Friday, June 27, 2008

Blog to Book and Thoughts on What We Choose to Blog

I found my way to th blog Magnificent Octopus from a link on Mental Multivitamin.

I enjoyed this post about a blogger who edited her blog posts into a book called Petite Allure. Magnificent Octopus shared thoughts on what we choose to blog and how we are selective on what we share on our blogs. This is a topic I’ve touched upon before.

I left a comment on her blog. Here is a copy of my comment.

I'm possibly too honest and open at times on my blog. Then again it is true that my blog shows just a slice of my life, what I choose to share. Personal friends who I'm close to often say they are surprised I didn't discuss A, B, and C on my blog as it was a big thing happening in my life last week or whatever.

For me sometimes things that I need to talk about with them or vent about or am upset about or that take up my emotional energy never make it to my blog. It can be too hard, too raw sometimes to write and blog stuff like that. So my blog readers may think perhaps I analyze and blog about X topic but really they have no clue that I am not obsessing on X topic but it is 'safe' to blog about while I'm dealing with heavier stuff (Y).

A couple of weeks ago I found out my grandmother was dying and her decline was swift. After spending about 12 hours sitting vigil with her (sans computer), I drove home, crying while driving sometimes. I stopped the car in my driveway and
pulled out pen and paper, needing to write and vent. I wrote a poem (not something I do often). It was raw and emotional. I thought that I could blog that and my readers would 'get' what I was going through. At about one a.m. I got a call that she had passed away. The whole thing was so sudden that I have not looked at that poem again let alone blogged it. To be more complete in the telling of that episode in my life the poem really should be on the blog. But I just don't feel like revisiting it.

There are also a lot of examples from real life and stories I could tell to illustrate general principles and opinions I have and why. However I can't tell all on the blog lest I alienate friends and family.

A friend told me something little recently. It was 'no big deal' and not even a topic I planned on blogging on. Yet she phoned me in a panic the next day begging me to not blog the example from her relative.

I think a couple of my friends are censoring themselves from me for fear of me revealing stuff on my blog.

Others have joked "you won't blog this, will you?" but I know there is some seriousness behind it.

Another thought on blogging sometimes I'm all revved up on a topic and write a long blog post draft. Yet I don't take the energy later to edit it and polish it into something publish-able. In that way probably some poignant writings never see the light of day. Oh well.

Oh, and I read that a woman was being brought to court by her insurance company regarding the fact that she had not blogged a serious illness of her child yet was claiming he was impaired. I also don't talk about the various health issues we go through here (just some of them) partially for that reason. The argument in court was if the kid was really sick for a long time it would have made it to the mother's blog.

Anyhow, what we reveal on our blogs is an interesting topic.

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Melanie said...

I once a read a blog where the author was trying to be denied injury insurance for herself because she had not blogged about it - on her blog which primarily about her sick child!

Jess said...

I can absolutely identify with what you're saying here... there is much from real life that I don't blog.

Perhaps it's too fresh and painful.
Perhaps I don't yet have any resolution.
Perhaps I have resolution but don't want to cause unnecessary offense.
Perhaps I have resolution but don't have enough life experience to back up my thoughts.

It can be such a delicate balance-- revealing enough of yourself that your readers don't perceive you to be perfect (or to think that YOU think you're perfect), and yet to not reveal the intimate things that belong in private life. To reveal enough of your processing and thinking to be provide interesting topics and thought-provocation for your readers and yet not to charge out into a blog post without adequate thinking and consideration going into what you're writing.

Anyway, yeah. I'm with you. And like you, I wouldn't dream of blogging about someone else's issues, but I wonder if that has affected my IRL friendships at all? Interesting thoughts, as always.


christinemm said...

Hi Jess,
Thanks for leaving a comment and your thoughts.

I would not blog a person's detailed information. The issue at hand was like this. This is NOT it but a very close example.

Say I posted a parenting post discussing the increased 'cutting' (self-mutilation) being done by teenagers. Say I was blogging about what cutting was and how horrible it is and sad and how it is on the rise. Then saying that even a friend of mine said a relative of hers is doing it.

That is all it was. Actually there was not much to that exact story worth blogging about anyway. Plus if I said "a friend told me her relative aged 12 is doing X" it is SO vague that no one would know who it was anyway! But I didn't do it and I had not even planned to blog on that topic anyhow. It was actually a parenting topic I don't spend much time worrying about and one that I might have mentioned one time in over three years of blogging, based on an old Dr. Phil episode. It is not one of the topics that are large concerns to me.

To be honest based on discussions with my friends about topics of concern to us, I often blog on the issue. I never blog on the exact stories we discuss but I use that inspiration to discuss the topic in GENERAL.

Another example is that I may blog about the issue of bullying. But I won't tell a story of exactly what one certain kid did to my son on a certain date or something like that. Even though I think I have a right to tell a story that happened to my own son to be frank.

I have so many times that I have detailed stories and examples to illustrate the more general topic at hand (bullying, learning disabilities and so on) however I don't tell them as a person may not want their kid on my blog. Even if one kid in the story is my kid I don't tell the story lest the other parent not like their kid appearing in my story (even using a fake name).

Ah, the politics of blogging. Face to face conversations and phone conversations are so much more 'free speech' as there is no recording of it and people talk more freely!