Wildflowers Unscripted Writing Challenge Day 7: Because I have a blog, people assume…
“You’re a writer so you understand emotional shit.”
“I feel like you’re one of the more romantically inclined people in the group.”
“When I met you, I really couldn’t trust you cause of your blog.”
“I think you’ll really like this article/video/quote…”
It’s a more recent development that people have started to assume things about me because of my blog. Granted, my blog is a significant part of my identity. If you know me, you know I write and if you know I write, you know about Twenties Unscripted. With that comes a lot of assumptions that people make–some of which are accurate, some of which are flattering and others of which are flat out wrong.
Last year I wrote a blog post titled, “The Tightrope Between Privacy And Vulnerability As A Writer.”
…at rare moments in life, you realize something is important, or will be important, or may be important. So significant in fact that you guard it. It is glass. You feel like your fingertips alone are too strong to hold it; they may crush it. To entrust it to the online world would be to spray paint the Mona Lisa, irreversibly tainting something beautiful.”
I sometimes worry there is a perception that I barter every detail of my personal life for hits and retweets. I worry that because I give people one dot of my life, they feel as though they can blindly connect the rest. I worry that people think I value writing over the integrity of my relationships. I worry that people assume any and every thing that happens to me is immediately up for grabs on the blog. That I don’t have to take time to process things the way any normal person would before I even consider writing about them publicly.
But, that is the risk you take in the world of personal blogging. You risk people making grossly inaccurate assumptions about who you are as a person and what you want out of life. I once had someone very confidently tell me, “Oh, yeah, I know you don’t believe in love.” Um, whoa? Yes, there is often times a very snarky undercurrent of cynicism in my writing, but there are also at least two dozen blog posts where I applaud love and declare that it’s something I want out of this life.
The truth is that if and when something really affects me, I require some layer of separation from it before I write about it. Sometimes when wounds are too fresh, you can’t find the words to do them justice. And, in other cases, some things are too sacred to write about. Blogging is about finding that ideal space in order to marry your thoughts and feelings with the right words. The kind of words that will make sense to people other than just you. The kind of words that will affect people other than just you. The kind of words that will mean something to people other than just you. Otherwise, hit up Staples and just buy a diary.
I have said before that I always write in the interest of maintaining bridges. I don’t ever want my words to be so incendiary that they would burn my bridge with another person.
There is the fear from others that anything they say or do is liable to end up on the blog. As though I have absolutely zero sense of discretion, privacy or confidentiality. As though every moment of my life will be translated for random strangers online. I can’t convince you that these assumptions are wrong; all I can do is know that for myself. My private moments and things exist. Yes, life is the palette from which I pull all the color and context for my blog. But, there are still the things and people that I guard very carefully. There are the feelings I am not comfortable revealing. There are memories of my past, pangs of my present and wild dreams of my future that people know nothing about.
This place is my safe haven. It is my outlet. Yes, it is public and expository, but it still where I go to make sense of a lot of my thoughts in hopes that maybe other people can make sense of theirs, too. So, sometimes I write things and feel differently about them a week later. My blog and I are both works in progress. Yes, I write about my life. No, you don’t know everything about it.