Saturday, November 04, 2006

A Post About (Not) Crossing the Line

Ever since I started blogging, one of the most tempting things for me has also been one of the most scary things. I'm talking about exposing personal things. Now I'm no social butterfly, far from it. But once someone is allowed into the 'inner circle' of my life, I am willing to share just about anything. My problem is that there are about 3 people in this world that are inside of that circle at the moment and one of them is me. You the reader are right now closer to this circle than 99% of other people in my life - aren't you proud.

This causes a dilemma for me. I sometimes desperately need an outlet for personal things. It honestly aches not to be able to share some things. The blog is a tempting outlet. However logic takes hold quickly at this point and the permanence of a blog post is more than enough to squash any attempt at truly sharing.

Is the fear unfounded? I guess of course it depends on what it is I'd like to share. But for now the best I can do is dance around the issues with cleverly worded but ultimately ambiguous concepts (as I've clearly done in this post). So much for trying.

I both admire and shake my head at those bloggers who have no fear in laying it all out bare on the page. Sometimes I wish I had no personal stake in what I write here. It would be wonderfully liberating.

I've read Stephen King's book " On Writing" several times (usually re-reading snippets here and there for inspiration) and it's awe-inspiring how much of his personal life he is willing to expose to the reader. Maybe so much has happened in his life that he can pick and choose the interesting bits out for public display. I simply don't have that kind of pool to draw from and I don't have that kind of courage. In the context of blogging I'm not sure if that would be courage or stupidity.

I've thought about anonymously blogging those parts of my life. I'd get them out of my head, but would that really matter if I didn't take ownership of them?

As sad as this sounds, this is likely the most personal post I've ever written here. I dare not get any closer to that line. It's relatively easy right now because no one I know personally has ever read this blog (I'm secretly hoping that RSS *never* catches on in this respect). But rest assured one day someone will (all it takes is a google search of my name) and this post along with all the others will be there for all to read and judge. Hopefully all the tech related posts will turn them off before they ever get to the 2 or 3 juicy bits (I'm SO overestimating the juicy-ness of said bits) ;)

I've always approached my posting with an eye on what future readers (maybe prospective employers) would think. That is limiting. Is that true for all of you? Do you have really important posts that will never see the light of day? Maybe we start a secret society of anonymous bloggers whose posts are there for all to see, but whose ownership is only known by the members.

Sounds kinda silly, but not entirely ridiculous.

What are your thoughts? How close do you get to that line? Have you ever crossed it? (maybe there is no line for you).

Postscript: I thought this post might be somewhat cathartic for me. Reviewing it, that doesn't seem to be so. But I'll hit the publish button anyway. You only live once - at least that's what they tell me.


OddMix said...

I think I have a line, too, but mine is more about how my writing will affect others that I care about. I will blog about just about anything as long as it is not:
1. Potentially personally hurtful to another person I know.
2. Personally identifying of someone who hasn't consented.
3. About my place of employment except in the most general of terms.

My mother reads my blog, so do my children and my wife. Keeping that in mind makes it pretty instinctive to me on the way I will blog.

Good for you on the NaBloPoMo. Keep it up - I'll be reading!

Kate said...

I try to keep things somewhat anonymous--oh, regular readers could figure out who and where I am, but someone looking for Kate X's postings wouldn't find anything.

I do blog about personal stuff, a lot. But...I've avoided some really tough stuff for much the same reasons.