stephmodo: Authenticity in Blogging

Authenticity in Blogging

• 28 June 2010

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending Evo 10--a fantastic blogging conference for women--thanks to a generous sponsor (Avery). During the closing keynote address, two fantastic women shared their thoughts on authenticity and I have to say they hit the nail right on the head. As a result, I found myself madly trying to write down every word that escaped their lips. Karen from Chookooloonks made me laugh and Brené Brown, made me think. Together, they articulated so well, many of my own thoughts on the subject of blogging. Brené said:

"Authenticity is the courage to be imperfect, set boundaries, and be vulnerable".

"Practicing authenticity when we are struggling is how we invite grace, joy and gratitude into our lives".

When Karen began blogging, she decided up front what her boundaries would be. She decided she wasn't going to blog about tantrums or fights with her husband, but rather the positive elements in her life. It didn't mean she was leading a more charmed life than others, just that she kept certain things private. She learned she could still be authentic without exposing all of her dirty laundry. And since I feel the same way about my own blog, these words resonated with me instantly. If you have any thoughts of your own on the matter, I'd love to hear them...:)

One last quote from Brené:

"We are not our best selves when we are afraid we are not enough".

Such a lovely reminder, isn't it? To focus on what you are, and not what you aren't? Anyway, I hope you all have a great start to your week and thank you, as always, for all of your support. Happy Monday to you!

image via Marie Claire Ideés (I had to use a "tea cup" image as Karen loves, loves, loves a good cup o' tea)


  1. Love this!! I am big on blogging boundaries! My blog is my happy place. For the most part, I like to leave the yucky stuff out.

  2. I am so sad I missed this keynote! Thanks for posting your thoughts on it.

  3. What a beautiful post. Rad to see you in person.

  4. love that last quote! this is a great post. boundaries are definitely important in blogging as is being AUTHENTIC. sometimes easier said than done!

  5. These are great quotes. I like posting the randomness ups and downs that are marriage and whatever -- because I feel like everyone can relate. But I never post anything that could be slightly incriminating without my husband's permission

  6. I love this post. Thank you for it. The last quote is one for my mirror!!

  7. I think that's all so true, and we must also remember that we have to preserve other people's privacy as well. That's not ours to offer up to others without permission. Boundaries aren't bad...they're completely necessary. Doesn't mean who we are doesn't shine through. Which I think is the best thing about blogging. Thanks for sharing this.

  8. Wise words. I know we've heard this phrase a thousand times "there's nothing to fear but fear itself". But it is so true! Because of fear at times we hide ourselves, especially in the blog world. We focus on what we believe others may want to see, instead of focusing on what we are all about. Great post!

  9. I feel the exact same way. Lots of things need to remain private. But you can still be authentic and real and relatable.

    ..and I'm really working on focusing on what I AM instead of the am nots.

  10. I wanted to re-tweet EVERYTHING that they said. What a great closing keynote.

  11. I loved their presentation and I was so glas to get to meet you in person and to sit by you.

  12. Thanks for the lovely shout-out! And I'm hating that we didn't get to meet at the conference -- I've been a fan of your work for quite some time.

    Next year, perhaps?

    Thanks again,


  13. yet somehow steph - with all the beautiful pictures and a gorgeous home restoration - you are authentic. genuine. sincere.

    a frustration with the utter lack of bl-honesty lead me and a few friends to post "what you don't see"

    anyway - keep it up. i love reading stephmodo, and the husband and i can't wait to put your guide to paris to use this fall.

  14. Sounds like this was a great experience... when I started my blog it was the same... all things positive. As someone who used to journal write about all things that bothered me, it was such a different euphoric feeling. I agree, no all things aren't perfect, but it makes a difference keeping an upbeat blog... mentally as well as professionally.

  15. This is a great post. I think it's such a delicate balance. As someone who has struggled with a seemingly obscure disease, I do like to occasionally talk about my real-life experience despite the fact that my blog is more about my design work and inspiration. I think it's about talking about real life, but not betraying your loyalty to family and other loved ones.

  16. wise words! great encouragement.

  17. Authenticity is not always neatly wrapped up in a pretty package ... not in my world at least. To only blog about the sweetness would paint an incomplete picture and therefore be a false representation of my story which is what I mean to share.

    I certainly have boundaries, some things are not okay to share, but if my story has the potential to do someone else a service by sharing it then I see no problem in doing so. That's my version of authentic.

    I think when we begin drawing lines that seem intent on putting women on certain sides, those who do and those who don't ......., just stick any word in there as long as it separates women into different camps ... when we do that, we undermine our own power.

    Talking about real life issues is like having a proper conversation instead of surface level chit chat. There are a lot of women who do just that, always light and positive ... it's great when you're marketing something, but is it real ... is it authentic?

    I happen to read a few of those women on a regular basis and sometimes link to them, but I don't feel as if they are the standard I need to follow in order to consider myself a blogger with boundaries.

    Likewise I go to them knowing what to expect just as someone who reads my blog sees a similar consistency each time.

  18. Was so great seeing you again, Stephanie! Thanks for the wonderful post. I was so moved by Karen & Brene's keynote on authenticity. I love your takeaways from it.

    Hope to see you next year at evo'11!


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