Blogging For Ourselves

There’s a small, quick breath of uncertainty that comes just before hitting PUBLISH on a post, especially when I write from the more private and unfamiliar depths of my heart. These stories and emotions that only a select few have heard, or perhaps witnessed, suddenly become exposed to a larger audience. My anxiety becomes less about the quality of my words, the grammatical structure or spelling, but about acceptance and understanding.

My mom asked me yesterday if I was worried about any fall-out from family or friends in regards to my post on Tuesday. I won’t lie. There was some hesitation as my cursor hovered over the large blue PUBLISH icon, concerned I would disappoint some of my dearest to the point of severing ties. However, as I looked at my words again, it was hard to think that those who truly loved me, could stop loving me for being honest. So I published.

My family is a rare symphony of harmonious melodies. Although our musical structure is slightly altered from one another, sometimes even trying to blend major and minor chords, the time-signature unites us. Our hearts beat in unison, loving each other unconditionally and I have no fear of being an outcast. We have a unique ability to honor one another because of our differences, not in spite of them.

Friendships are different. They are relationships based on limited perspective most of the time, shared interests and similar activities; glimpses of ourselves that we have allowed over time. We tend to morph into whatever personality best fits the relationship, too. I don’t think it makes us dishonest, or false, just guarded and safe. It makes us likeable.

My twentieth high school reunion is coming up in October, over our homecoming weekend. I’m excited about fall football in Texas, sharing funny antics about our “glory-days” and of course seeing how far many of my classmates have come in the last twenty years. It’s strange to me how Facebook and my blog have perhaps made me better friends with my classmates now than we ever were in high school. Somehow, these relationships sparked by our childhood, are now united by unexpected bonds that are not distracted by childish drama, economic divisions, or education. We are more transparent, partly due to maturity, but maybe also partly due to some false anonymity the internet provides.

I do think I am finally closer to the person I wanted to be.

Transparency is a crazy thing, though. I think there is a fine line between choosing to be transparent for the shock value versus being honest. Motivation is essential. I also think a writer must first write for themselves, then for their audience. We have to stop thinking about how we can use each piece to get paid or recognized. We have to write simply because the story itself is more important than anything else, regardless of the outcome, as if keeping those words bottled up inside would make our hearts explode.

I saw a wonderful quote yesterday on page 9 of Barbara DeMarco-Barrett’s Pen on Fire that said:

You cannot do good work if you take your mind off the work to see how the community is taking it. – Dorothy L. Sayers

This time, the community embraced my post with open arms, surrounded me with hope and encouragement. I could finally get out of myself and see how my story could positively impact another woman’s life rather than focus on how it negatively impacted mine. I know that won’t always be the case, honesty isn’t always received with such generosity and friendship. But hopefully, if I continue to focus on the work, and stop worrying about how the community will take it, I will hesitate less before hitting the PUBLISH button.

After all, isn’t that why most of us started blogging in the first place, to tell our stories?

10 thoughts on “Blogging For Ourselves

  1. I am a fan of you and your writing because I can hear your voice when I read your blog. I appreciate the reminder you send out: “We all live in glass houses”

    That’s my take on your writing style; I read you and feel like you could be my next door neighbor. I value your honesty and your ability to write for yourself first.

    Here is the connection I made when reading your post today:

    My 24yr old daughter, Allie, writes a blog, http://alliemacpherson.wordpress.com/about/

    It is because of her writing that I decided to jump in to blogging too!

    Her style of easy flowing stories of life as a 20something living and working in NYC began to change almost suddenly.

    When I asked her why she has such an abrupt change in style, she said, “Mom, Grandpa found my blog on line and started reading it!”

    “So?”

    “Well, I can’t write about what I really want to anymore. I don’t want him to judge me”

    “Allie, write for yourself; write the words that you want to say. Don’t write for Grandpa”

  2. This post was beautifully written.

    I loved your words…”glimpses of ourselves that we have allowed over time” We do blog to tell our stories and it is so evident when one is written from the heart. When those blogs give “glimpses of ourselves” to the world and not just our friends and family – it is scary.
    But sometimes those words have the power to heal and that is so powerful. Your risk gives another strength. I believe this post and Lullabies I Never Sang do just that…they both brought tears to my eyes.

  3. This is so true. I shy away from really personal posts as I don’t know how my family and friends will react. I’m glad you shared your story and I hope I too, will have have to courage to blog just for myself.

  4. I’m so glad I read this post tonight. I’ve been feeling some frustration with my blog lately, things I wanted to work out but didn’t. And this helped me remember why I do it–for me, for my family, for the readers who identify with it.

    Thanks for this.

  5. You have a such a way with words that you touch so many people. Your honesty shines through, and that helps others to have the courage to be honest.

  6. I loved the first paragraph of your post. In a nutshell, you really captured the difficulty of writing online. Personally, hitting that publish/post button almost always makes me immediately question whether I will receive acceptance or understanding.

    Really well said.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s