Sunday, September 27, 2009
The Perils of Posting
I started this blog during a very rough patch in my life. My dog died, my brother died, and then my mom died--all within weeks of each other. Then every appliance in my home died. Well, maybe not every, but it seemed like it at the time. We had a flooded kitchen, dirty dishes, dirty laundry, fish eggs in our pipes, and other disasters for a long time. Then I suffered through some medical issues. The blog enabled me to pour out my feelings to my friends without burdening them. I could write at my leisure and they could check in at their leisure, and I didn't feel like I was imposing on them. Friends followed the story, and sent me encouraging emails and called me, and I felt loved and supported through a hard time. The blog gave me a way to share different trips I've taken with just the people who care. I didn't have to feel like I was one of those people who showed all 1000 slides of their trip to the Grand Canyon. Friends could read it or not. So, the blog has become special to me as I've written about the highs and lows of my life. It's made me feel less alone. But I'm conflicted, too, because it's hard to know how much to write. Brenna has given me good advice to "Write as if the worst person who could possibly see it was reading it." I write very cautiously: I don't state where I live, I don't give revealing details, and I don't use (real) last names. My nephew, whose job involves (in part) searching for blogs, couldn't find mine. If I write about someone, I let that person preview it and make suggestions for 24 hours before I publish. But no matter how cautiously I write, I still manage to bother people around me, who think I've told the story wrong, or that what I've written may come back to haunt me, or that it's not my story to tell. Julia and Finslippy, two writers whom I admire, write lovingly and openly about their families. Do the people around them give advice and tell them what they should and shouldn't write? Did Erma Bombeck's family criticize her each week after her column came out? I try to write in a kind way that will be uplifting to the subject of the post, but often it's not the person whom I'm writing about that is upset about how I've written a post. If Child A does something that I'm happy about, and I write about it, I will ask Child A before I post it. But usually it's Friend B that objects to the post, even though she has no relation to the story except she also knows Child A. Does that make any sense? My choices are to stop writing it, to keep writing it and make all the suggested changes to keep the peace, or to keep writing it and ignore the critics. Julia calls her blog her best friend. Although mine isn't my BEST friend, it is like a friend, and therefore is very difficult to just drop.