Oversharing and Blogging: The Thin Blabby Line

canstockphoto6433663Lately, several bloggers I follow have written about issues of privacy and what they are willing to reveal about themselves in their blogs. One of my favorite bloggers, Molly at Whoa, Molly! refers to offline life as the Real Meat World, saying she reveals everything in real life, but is more hesitant online and tries to retain some vagueness.

I’ve read a variety of blogs that are vague to the point of disconnect or ones that share so much information, that I suspect they are either fictitious or narcissistic. Some display a blatant disregard for the people in their lives. Some write as if they live on an island with no one else within miles of them. Most of us fall somewhere in between.

When I started writing for this blog, it was an exercise in public writing. I have, over the last year, been open about my flaws and struggles, willingly allowing the blog to become a collection of personal essays. I try to be protective of the people in my life, but write about aspects of our lives together. I regard very few things as sacrosanct, except that are personal to my marriage (my husband is a very private person) or that would affect my job (or future references from said job).

I assume that I am not unique – that my experiences and feelings have been experienced and felt by many other humans. Commenters have said that they admire my openness and honesty, but it is less about those virtues than the fact that I like to live my life the easiest way possible. I want to be the WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) version of myself online, because it’s easier. People who know me offline are rarely surprised by anything that I post.

Unless I am seeking specific technical information, I like reading blogs that carry the writer’s or artist’s essence. Those are the blogs where you may not know a name or where they live or what they do, but you feel a sense of connectedness, of familiarity – but not in a weird, stalker-ish way. I also enjoy blogs where the writer’s life seems completely foreign to me – where I come away with a different perspective, but still a sense of the writer.

Much has been written about the falsity and fraudulence of online life, to the point where it is mocked in popular culture (whilst many of us partake). I have a strange track record of electronic communication experiences. In the early days, I made the mistake of thinking a book or gardening chat room was about books or gardening, but eventually it was always about sex. There were always one or two people who would engage in virtual flirting, which gave sowing and reaping a whole new meaning (I used a biblical metaphor, rather than referring to chat “hoes” – I’m all about class).

Once chat rooms lost their novelty, there was email, the favorite route of communication for passive-aggressives. Am I here? Am I not here? I will deign to answer you much, much later in my pajamas while making out loud, rude comments about your shitty grammar and spelling skills. I have to agree with another fave blogger of mine, Ross at Drinking Tips for Teens, that email has lost its shiny new thing status as well.

Much of communication that used to entail your bestie through a private pipeline is now something posted, tweeted and pinned. People have mistaken gross and stupid for interesting and engaging. I won’t speak to the Facebook inanities or why birds everywhere are offended by the icon that now represents the dregs of human thought. I gave those accounts up a few months ago, after I decided I probably should make time to be a parent, take a shower and occasionally talk to my husband.

I am a midwesterner, raised by reticent Brits who would, if they ever read this blog, disown me in the time it would take for their tea to steep. I was raised on secrets and stiff upper lips and frowns of disapproval, so one would think I’d be a little quieter.

There are legitimate concerns to deciding what you will reveal about yourself online including: security, whether you impact offline relationships or work, if you have kids, are in a precarious domestic situation or in the process of legal action. These are significant and real concerns in an age where social media can be used to do real harm.

Lately, my bigger concern is how public self-revelation affects my psyche. The danger is that we’ve become navel-gazers to such an extreme that we’re evolving towards an inability to look outward. Does it create a bloated sense of self-importance? Does it alter my experience of offline life (everything is seen as “material”)? Does it elevate the mundane and typical to a spotlight event? Will I become a self-indulgent recluse? Maybe I’ll write about that…

77 Comments on “Oversharing and Blogging: The Thin Blabby Line

  1. Michelle – I think your experience closely mirrors mine. I like having a place to lay out my thoughts at times and share a bit of my world. Certainly there are things i will never post. I do know how to filter what I release for public consumption. Sure there are some very controversial beliefs I have that I could offer, but I do not want my blog to become the center of hateful back and forth between myself and those who comment who disagree or between those commenting looking for a place to be combative.

    Like

    • I’ve read blogs where you get the sense that they are trying to instigate some controversy. I think a good rule of thumb is the old “if you can’t say it to somebody’s face”, then it probably shouldn’t show up in your blog. I’ve read posts where it was obvious that someone was passive-aggressively in a conflict with someone they wanted to “get at”. I tend to be more thoughtful when writing than when speaking. I am often more insensitive and reckless offline, but the people in my life are so used to me that it hardly raises an eyebrow. Online though, there’s a whole variety of people to take offense, so, like you, I tend to hold back in hopes that I can write about it later with a little more circumspection.

      Like

  2. You bring up a very interesting point. I have always been a relatively private person. Sharing feelings and concerns with very few close friends and relatives. Those closest to me. And now, with social media, and particularly my blog, I seem to have become an open book. Yes, of course, I do still have some boundaries, but I am much more open than I would ever have imagined I would be. For a writer, this is important. Honesty is what makes our books authentic and popular. But in my personal life, it’s a different story. Or it used to be. Because now, with social media my personal life and me, the writer, have become one and the same person.

    Like

    • I think that’s where I’m at too, Fransi. It is simply easier than trying to maintain boundaries and images and different personas. I think also that it’s a sign that you’ve reached a point where you are comfortable with who you are and, as I often feel, I want people to hang out with me or read my blog, because they like me or it and not something imaginary.

      Like

      • You’re right. And it does take a certain comfort level before you’re willing to ‘expose’ so much of yourself. But it feels good. That’s what surprises me. Does it happen to you, too?

        Like

        • It does feel good to be open, but better yet, it makes me feel like I’m evolving – that I am not ashamed or embarrassed about my stories. As a writer of fiction, it also makes it easier to tell other peoples’ stories realistically, to have a protagonist with flaws because I’ve accepted my own.

          Like

  3. Those last questions are very good ones, and I do think there is a self-effect in doing what we do. I just can’t articulate it yet.
    As for what we reveal, a couple of days ago, I posted a tongue-in-cheek piece about “mantasies.” Normally, I link my posts on my Facebook page, but I didn’t want to “reveal” this particular one to the real-life friends and co-workers there. Who needs the grief? If they stumble upon the post, fine, but it was really something to share only with this world here… with people who are never likely to meet and judge me in real life. So, it looks like, yes, I’ve created not just one online version of myself but multiple ones. Odd…

    Like

    • I wonder, too, if it changes one as a writer, when you add the public posting aspect. I loved your mantasies post and slightly envied your ability to write and post it. I have deleted draft after draft that I thought was really funny, but also a little too personal and I worried about the kind of comments I’d have to deal with once I published. Apparently we all have our line in the sand.

      I haven’t tried to hide my blog from people, but I prefer strangers to my family reading it. Fortunately, few of them actually use computers. That’s very, very helpful!

      Like

  4. I blog under a pseudonym (Sorry, Cutter is not my actual name) so I maintain some privacy, even though most of my friends know about my blog. I try to be mindful of what I put on my blog. You never know just who is reading…and taking notes.

    Like

    • I am mindful, but I try not to be to the point that I limit what I write about. Mostly, I am mindful about the use of stereotypes or letting myself become a constant ranter. Ranters are exhausting. I’m not sure that anything I’ve written would be of interest to people beyond the blogging world.

      Like

    • I operate similar to The Cutter. My goal was to share my experiences and hopefully let some people with similar issues feel less alone. However, I conceal my identity to protect those that are close to me. Or even those that aren’t close to me any more.
      I think it all depends on the blogger and what they hope to accomplish. I hope that one day, I will have waded through all of the drama of my life, and have enough distance that I can be more honest about who I really am. Today, though, is not that day.
      My blog is therapeutic and it forces me to view my situation(s) with laughter. It’s helping me in ways that I appreciate. I’m truly an open book. Well, you know, behind the mask.

      Like

      • I think it can be a safe place for people to express themselves while maintaining some modicum of privacy, but what privacy means to different people varies widely. I think it all depends on one’s comfort level and life circumstances. I have very little drama in my current life, having lived several decades with lots of self-destructive drama. The distance of time and emotion makes it possible for me to write about the past and not be so judgmental of myself or others in similar situations.
        And having a sense of humor makes any situation loads better. Good luck to you!

        Like

  5. fabulous, fabulous post!!! I try to be conscious of others when I blog: I don’t name people in my life (like my beta readers or proofreaders) when I mention them. I only reference the feedback they’ve given me, as I hope it might help other writers. And I try to be descriptive about life problems that affect my writing without sharing TMI. Can’t say that I always succeed but…. it is definitely shocking what some people put online!!! Definitely something to be conscious of when blogging. Wonderful reminder!!!

    Like

    • I am not necessarily surprised about what people put online, but I often wonder about the why. Are they looking for sympathy or advice? Are they so underground that no one would recognize the details of what they posted? It’s sometimes hard, too, as a writer, to recognize that blogging is often not about the writing, but about the story. I have a hard time sussing a story out of bad writing, but there are blogs I read where the story is so compelling, it outweighs the occasional typo or ramble.
      Most of the personal stories I tell are ones that I’ve reached some sort of conclusion on already in real life, so I don’t really “need” anything from an audience and just enjoy the conversation that follows. Quite a few blogs are worrisome in that you get the sense they need something, anything from you as a reader and sometimes I just need to look away – it’s like getting caught in an awkward conversation!

      Like

      • ooh, I totally understand…. yeah, that’s the worst and it’s super awkward. You know they need some kind words and help/advice but not really from a stranger….

        Like

  6. After having someone show up on my doorstep, literally, in a not-nice way, I took some time off. When I began blogging again, it was under a pseudonym for the sake of my children. There are some wacky people out there.

    Like

    • Wow. That must have been awful. I talked things over extensively with my husband before starting a blog, so that we were both aware of the parameters. I also have safety concerns, especially with a child at home. There are certainly some people who will assume rights and knowledge just from reading one’s writing.

      Like

  7. Great post. You and I have similar blogging philosophies, I think. I am definitely a what-you-see-is-what-you-get person; always have been. I think it is actually a rebellion against my stiff upper lipped/secret-keeping family. I was the baby and just marched into rooms — “I’m here, deal with it!”
    Your comment (in the comments) about blogging being about the story, not the writing is helpful to me. I struggle with that – don’t like sending out writing that isn’t polished, and yet it’s a must with blogging. Six months into blogging, I still take way too long posting because I’m niggling with words. I just love diction, though – choosing words and syntax is the best part! (I know, writing nerd.)
    Thanks for the food for thought.

    Like

    • Thanks! I rework blog posts until I’m finally so sick of them I hit “Publish” as a way of ending the torment. I’m a bit of a writing nerd as well, but also recognize that the point of a blog is generally less about grammar and more about what one is trying to say.

      I don’t like the efforts required to “control” my information, but I know I need to maintain some level of decorum and awareness about safety.

      Like

  8. I think almost every mature blogger has come up against this boundary between blog and personal life. I think about it all the time, but in real life, I truly am a blabber-mouth! I overshare to my friends in such a way that my blog seems tame by comparison. There are some things I will not blog about, simply because I know my mother reads my posts. There are things I don’t purge out of myself onto a blog page, because I know it might hurt someone. But, I once inadvertently started a neighborhood-wide online comment war because I wrote a post about my husband’s deft handling of an uncomfortable political situation that arose at a block party at our home. I am learning to be more discreet, but I also think that getting too precious about my real feelings doesn’t produce a ‘true’ post.

    Like

    • Most people that I know offline, don’t know about or read my blog and I don’t know if it would matter if they did. I am not usually an impulse blogger, but I’m an impulse writer. Usually by the time I hit the end of a piece of writing, I’ve got the crud out of my system and I go back with a little more circumspection to see if it’s a subject worth blogging about. I like the phrase “getting too precious about my real feelings”. This is when I remind myself that I’m a blip on the radar. Whatever I say is just a tiny speck in the human universe.

      Like

  9. BTW – the subtitle of this post is so funny, I wish I wrote it myself.

    Like

  10. My husband was skeptical about my blogging and he made me promise a few security-related things — no pictures, no last names, relative anonymity. I think he was right and it is freeing.

    I’ve posted some very personal things and some not at all personal things. But I’d never put these stories on Facebook for the known world to see.

    It’s hard to find the balance, and while I think I probably go over the line on occasion, my husband’s insistence keeps me from having to deal with the consequences (like Sarah above — scary).

    Good thoughtful post, Michelle. Thanks for opening the discussion.

    Like

    • Thanks, Elyse. Social media is evolving at the speed of light – and like medical technology, our standards and ethics and concerns are following in its wake. You have written about things that are bound to bring some cornballs on board, so it’s good to have an overly cautious voice in the background.
      On the other hand, I wonder how much I tone down things as an avoidance of conflict. If I were flying solo, I imagine I might be a little bolder, but with people around me, and since I’m not doing heroic journalism, I do try to be more thoughtful and careful.

      Like

  11. Your openness on your blog is something I do appreciate. I enjoy reading about people’s thoughts and personal details. It makes me feel more connected to the world in some way, and often times causes me to view things in a different light.

    I find I have a problem with properly expressing how I feel. There is this fear that I will say something about someone or a day to day experience, and my identity will be revealed, or I will be judged by the people who surround me in person. I would love to share more personal details, and not just my opinions on things, but it is the fear of repercussions that holds me back. I guess there is always sticking to the non-offensive and positive aspects of day to day life, but then I feel I would just be faking a life for the world to read about. No one has a perfect life where nothing bothers them, and everything is happy. Everyone has challenges to overcome, or funny encounters, or difficult people to face. Sharing these things I think is good for the sharer, and it lets other readers know they are not alone in the world.

    Like

    • I think it’s very hard to maintain a balance between writing about one’s life and just complaining. Sometimes when I write about things that are troubling or challenging me, I feel like I have to have resolved it, not just for myself but for readers, before I publish it. I usually hope that in the course of processing some problem, that my thoughts and ideas might somehow be useful to someone else.

      It’s a challenge to write authentically about something. Most things I have mixed feelings about, but what I find so encouraging about blogging, is that most people have some new idea or comment to bring to the table. I learn from other people’s perspectives and you’re right, it connects us through similarities and creates a great venue to civilly discuss differences. But someone’s got to be willing to open that door initially. Sometimes it’s me.

      Like

  12. “… birds everywhere are offended by the icon that now represents the dregs of human thought.” What a great line! See, you ARE a writer!

    Like

    • Thanks. I like to think that if birds had their own version of Twitter, it would be called Blabber. They’d send out blabs. The icon would look like a human slumped over a computer keyboard.

      Like

  13. Green,
    This makes me think that I over shared when I posted about never having had a bikini wax!
    Denmother

    Like

  14. I’ve been a blogger for almost a year now so it still has that new car smell for me. It’s been quite an education for me reading some of the deeply dark personal content on some blogs. Yes, it feels weirdly uncomfortable to me sometimes and I admit that I’m likely to quit reading mid-post. I’m very careful with what I share about myself. Right down to my gravatar that is not a picture of myself nor do I share my full name anywhere on my blog. Yet, I do notice that I’m opening myself up more and more and often that is revealed in my comments on other blog posts rather than in my own posts. Loved this one!

    Like

    • Thanks! The comments are a whole other venue in the blogging world. I believe I commented on one blog that I was disappointed that the plural of penises wasn’t penii. A proud blogging moment for me. Comments are worse, because once they’re out there, there’s not a single thing you can do about it!

      I decided to use my first name just to make it easier for people to have a conversation with me while blogging. Also, people kept referring to me as a dude. Although, I like to be gender confusing when I can be.

      It does become easier to open up, but harder to know where that line is in a world that seems to have few boundaries.

      Like

  15. What a great post. I find that thoughts about my son and wife’s privacy are paramount when deciding what and how much to blog about. I too am amazed when folks lambaste loved ones on line to an audience of countless, faceless others. I try to walk the right line, and I find that my wife is good at telling me when I’ve gone too far. The blessing and curse of a spouse who follows your blog.

    Like

    • If I write a post that includes either my husband or daughter, I talk it over with them to make sure they would not be embarrassed or upset. As much as I enjoy digging deep and trying to be authentic, these are the people that make my world and I would never do anything intentionally exploitative. My husband reads my blog every once in a while, but it’s our version of “does this make my butt look big?”. Asking the question and attempting to answer “what do you think?” after I post is a minefield we’ve chosen to avoid. I’m too sensitive about my writing and he’s too technically minded – it never ends well!

      Like

  16. I read this earlier today and it’s been ruminating for a bit. It’s funny that I seem to have levels of openness. I rarely express a political opinion on Facebook – I resist the peer pressure to change my profile pic, I think of FB as a place for me to post photos and be silly, to stay in contact with family.

    When I started my photo blog I didn’t think much about privacy, I’m trying to gain exposure for my work. When I started the memoir I had a conundrum. My siblings and I have differing views on events – I wondered how they might interpret my view, would I need to be careful and present a picture that includes their thoughts – then it hit me, it’s my memoir and I’m writing my experiences, not theirs.

    Comments are another thing entirely, there is something very freeing about commenting without connection or a newsfeed. I feel like I am more real in the blogging universe than I am on social media, even moreso when I am interacting with other bloggers, if that makes sense.

    Like

    • My sister will read my blog on occasion, but never says much about the family of origin stuff I sometimes write about. We are many years apart in age, so our experiences were very different and you’re absolutely right that siblings do have differing views on events. Much of my childhood happened before my sister was even born, so it was like we were raised in two different households.

      I mentioned to someone earlier that comments sometimes catch me out as being mind numbingly dull or painfully vulgar. I try to be thoughtful, but on some days when I’m in a hurry, I’m pretty sure a little crazy comes across in my comments. There have been several occasions when I wished that I could do a “recall” on them!

      Like

      • I have had the same thought – I’m always glad to get a reply to one of those comments – tone is sometimes hard to convey. But I do enjoy breaking the wall of anonymity a bit in the comments. My blog is not one where there are deep philosophical conversations – it’s more about images or techniques. I seem to hang out on more personal blogs like yours.

        Like

        • That makes sense. I would imagine the comments are a more engaging dialogue for you. I’m grateful, though, for the blogs like yours that focus on photography. Your captions and ways of weaving a story with your pictures make it more than a photography blog – so enjoyable. And of course, your memoir blog is overflowing with larger-than-life characters.

          While I enjoy blogs with a focus – politics or writing or whatever, I am drawn to blogs with stories and humor and thoughtfulness, regardless of the content. Much the way I’m drawn to people in real life!

          Like

        • I think a photo blog should have some context – otherwise you should just post photos on social media – that’s kind of why I was drawn to the idea, making it more than a photo album full of likes.

          I think I am drawn to blogs like that too. I like things that make me laugh or think. I was just reading a post about building community – it split things into steps – first it’s just you talking, then your friends talk to you, then your friends and followers talk to each other, finally followers of other blogs talk to you through guest writing and reflagging – it seems that the first two are rather easy, I’m not sure how you get to the place where your readers talk to each other. I see it on a few blogs, but not many.

          Like

        • On occasion, people who comment on my blog will respond to other commenters, but I wonder if that is considered by some as intrusive. It’s an interesting thought and one I’ll add to the list for “blog policy” in terms of encouraging it. I don’t mind being a forum!

          The photography blogs I follow are usually of animals, so that’s my particular “bent”, but they’re not as engaging as the photographs accompanied by commentary, some of which is hilarious and makes it a full interactive experience.

          Like

  17. Social media and sharing is becoming very difficult for persons in the medical field. I know co-workers who were fired for saying something about their job. The hospital deemed that anything negative was bad press, even “what a crappy day I had at work” is seen very negatively. There are basic boundaries and suppression of freedom. And I don’t know anymore where the line protects both.

    Like

    • There is certainly a fine line when it comes to employment. California and Illinois just enacted laws in January to prevent employers from asking for Facebook passwords from employees or potential employees. When reports started cropping up of employers doing this, it should have been a wake up call for many people that until laws are in place and some ethical guidelines were established, comments about one’s job should be kept offline.

      Freedom of speech has never been freedom from consequences, only that the government can’t suppress it. Private employers, especially those in at-will states, have free rein to let employees go for inconsequential reasons. It doesn’t seem fair, but there is some level of common sense that one should not complain to the world about the people who are currently paying your bills. If what the employer is doing is illegal and egregious, then there are legal routes to take (again, online information then becomes potential fodder in a legal case).

      I “over-answered” your comment, but I’ve been working for a recruiting firm for many years so have thought about the consequences candidates may incur as a result of social media. Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

      • Yes, I do understand, but anyone in a difficult stressful job should be able to say that they had a hard day at work. We as healthcare workers cant talk to anyone outside of “need to know” personnel about what are often horrible experiences. I couldn’t even post how upset I was when one of my kiddo’s died. Until I am paid 24 hours a day for my job, I am entitled to say some general information for my own emotional benefit. It is all now about the employer, and nothing about the employee.

        Like

        • Oh, they lip synch it, but the counseling offerings are so restrictive. I found one in my area and hated her after one session. Or “resilience training”–you cant miss any one of the six sessions. Pretty impossible to make a commitment like that and also take care of patients. ” Oh, excuse me from the code, I have to go to my meeting!” Yeah….riiiight….

          Like

  18. I felt good when I saw your title. In a few weeks, there’s a blog workshop I am attending. I was asked of expectations — I said, I’d like to hear about the thin line between privacy and blogging. There’s always hesitation — about putting it all out there, or offending others unintentionally by the content you publish. I like the way you put it that somehow, there’s a certain connectedness you establish in spite of anonymity. There’s a certain comfort you feel with someone, even without ‘knowing it all.’ Your blog actually makes me feel bolder, braver and think that it’s okay to open up. =>

    Like

    • The privacy issues really apply to blogging and writing – since often the people around us can end up being fodder for the cannon. I’ve read other writers who comment on this issue. I think it’s possible to write and blog and not be exploitative, but it’s a challenge when writing authentically. I’ll be interested to hear about what you learn at the workshop!

      Like

  19. I have found it very difficult in the past to maintain a balance between discretion and openness, between overt name and shame, just complaining, or just trying to make points that I care about but in a ‘non-specifying individuals’ kind of way but then as you mention – you can end up being so vague that it has very little meaning. For example if I want to talk about something related to my ex and how I am learning, I tend to not bother now.

    Like

    • I think one can write about personal things, but not as a vehicle for impacting personal situations or people. It can change the perspective to the point of discomfort. It would be like writing to a specific goal or audience – it doesn’t come from a genuine place. So for readers of a blog, the connection may be lost as well. It really is a challenge and as you can see from the comments, that “line” gets determined individually, based on one’s own comfort level. I tend to avoid writing about subjects or situations that are still in play and about which I haven’t reached a particular conclusion.

      Like

      • Agree re the individual interpretation. I’m not entirely sure that you can avoid the impact on personal situations or people. It’s partly why I stopped writing stories, certain people read things into them which I had not intended – the majority of writing I have done is for my niece and nephew (and also practice of picking up an ‘online pen’ and making words appear after many years of not writing anything fictional). I like your final sentence very much it sounds a sensible way forward.

        Like

        • That is a problem with writing all around – you can’t control how a reader, known or unknown, will interpret something. All you can do is be thoughtful and let the chips fall where they may.

          Like

  20. Well said, Michelle. As a newbie-blogger, I am still finding the right path to take with sharing my thoughts and writing in such a public manner. As a introvert who intends to someday publish, I took up blogging as a means of toughening up and being open to having my work being critiqued. This has meant taking some risks and exposing little pieces of myself. However, I totally agree that writers (regardless of the medium chosen) need to respect those around us, and take care with what we expose of ourselves and others.

    Like

    • You are starting exactly where I did and for some of the same reasons. The happy upshot is that I am writing more offline as well. Writing a book or short stories to submit for publication seems a lot less daunting after posting personal essays for the last year. The blogging audience is a friendly one, too, so it is a positive experience.
      I am an introvert in many ways, but when it comes to most of my personal stories, I have little that I feel the need to hide. I respect others’ privacy, but am thoroughly exploitative of my own! There’s nothing I’ve done or said that is unique to just me – it’s all been done or said before, so I don’t feel the need to protect it. It is cultivating your perspective and voice that makes the difference in a story.

      Like

  21. Really simpatico with you on all this. Mid-western, German heritage (similar horror from the anal ancestors), but wanting connection. Writing about my bipolar disorder carries an inherent intimacy quotient if, as I promised, I’d be honest about my symptoms and management. But the illness also makes me delusional, paranoid and angry, so I often worry about saying too much from the wrong place when I should wait until that ugly tide goes out. Thin lines, and all that.

    The questions you pose at the end are all ones I’ve pondered, too.
    And I have become a self-indulgent recluse, but I don’t think blogging is the cause. Communicating at a distance is just so much easier.

    Like

    • I read a lot of blogs by bloggers who have bipolar disorder. Coincidence? Also, it’s like reading Web MD. I relate to so much of what is being written that I’m pretty sure I have it or at least that I’m minoring in it. This is where being a consummate editor has come in handy. My posts get reprocessed 200 hundred times before I hit “publish”. Ironically, it’s the ones the get by the vetting process that resonate with more readers. Something to keep in mind when keeping your personal wolves at bay. Or to at least diminish your anxiety about it.

      I like communicating through blogging, not just for distance, but for the extravagance of time. Time that I can take to ponder, respond, write, comment and sound somewhat coherent!

      Like

  22. I think you’ve hit on the crux of something we’ve struggled with on our blog, too. We have certain boundaries we won’t cross–and yet, this week we talked about the issues of growing up in an alcoholic family. That was hard to do, in part because of the Cone of Silence thing that dictates “thou shalt not speak of our family”; but in part, too, because we don’t want our blog to devolve into a self-revelatory free-for-all. Sometimes it feels like a very fine–and shifting–line.
    Karen

    Like

    • That’s always my concern – that my “me-me-me” blog doesn’t overshadow writing well or writing about issues that are more universal. The keeping of secrets coveted by messy families often do more damage than the reveal does and it is somewhat of a public service to say some things out loud (“you are not alone”). I think all we can do is pay attention to the line, touch base with our real life compadres and edit like there’s no tomorrow.

      Like

  23. Such a thought provoking post. I struggle with how much to divulge. I battled for months whether to include a picture of myself on my blog or not, but everything I read about writers being “found” through their blogging said to do so. It’s a very slippery slope. Like you, I tend to not discuss any specifics – I don’t mention “my guy” by name, I mentioned what industry I work in but never a company, etc. Still at that, some of my posts are very self-revelatory and I have to quadruple-edit everything to make sure I’m not exposing too much. It’s a tricky, thin line.

    Like

    • It is tricky and because I’ve had experiences of being found when I didn’t want to be (via Facebook), I pulled back on some aspects of social media. I’m finally reaching a comfort level, but I spend a lot more time editing than I do writing before I post.

      Like

  24. Pingback: It Takes A Village | A Mind Divided

  25. Wow, such wise words. I am definitely an oversharer, but I’m learning. Your post here will help me a lot as I find my way toward a WYSIWYG, yet safe, blogging experience. Namaste.

    Like

  26. Great post. I blog under my own name as (hopefully) when I publish my books people have an idea who I am and it helps the process. That’s the plan anyway.

    I do read blogs where they seems to share everything about themselves. I try to keep a balance so people reading my posts get the essence of what I’m about. A fine line. I hope I don’t share too much 🙂

    Like

    • Initially my plan was to just get in the practice of writing out loud and then work my way into an author’s identity. However, blogging fostered some unexpected side affects. I enjoy interacting and being part of the blogging community and would like to continue the dialogue. If at some point, I’m getting ready to publish something, I may let readers know, but there’s another fine line – using readership for marketing, which bothers me sometimes to read on other blogs. Not sure blogging hasn’t become an activity unto itself. Since I’m miles off from even completing the editing on my first novel, I don’t have to worry about that issue quite yet!

      Like

  27. I feel one can never be too careful yet if one is too cautious, one would become too afraid to show anyone what they wrote.

    I plan to blog one day but I will keep my topics to a few subjects and not put too much personal detail. I also plan for that blog to not be linked to many of my online handles in the past.

    why? I used to moderate a game forum on a volunteer basis when a teen. For a harmless game played by teenagers, we saw quite a lot of sick things from sick people. Someone who just seemed young, depressed and in need of some kind words turned out over the years to be a stalker who targeted one young volunteer to the point that she had to make a complete break and leave completely because the stalker stalked her everywhere on the internet and eventually real-life danger became a real possibility.

    worse? we couldn’t do anything to help and well… for a harmless small game fansite, we’ve worked with Law enforcement a few times due to suicide notes, cyberbullying etc.

    it’s scary to realise I could have been the target of that stalker but he didn’t choose me…

    Hence I will be very careful and very paranoid.

    Like

    • Unfortunately, if someone targets you, there’s little that can be done to stop it except constant recording of everything, contacting the police, etc. My experience blogging over the last year has been, for the most part, very pleasant and I’ve been fortunate to have had the experience. I have to admit to being a tad naive, because every time I hear about people being stalked in social media, I’m just baffled at the amount of energy, time and bizarre motivations that would cause people to do this to another person.

      Like

  28. Pingback: Shocking Revelation: My Opinion Does Not Matter | The Green Study

  29. Pingback: The Green Study Potpourri (or What’s that Smell?) | The Green Study

%d bloggers like this: