Unsettled

Last week I wrote an intensely personal post about the changes and inspirations I’m experiencing in my life. My words were the most honest I think I’ve been here. Some may disagree and think that other posts were more revealing, but this one was hard for me. The irony is, I wrote about how happy I am. In fact, I called it radiating. And I am.

But for the entire day after publishing, I felt unsettled. And I’m not sure why. I’m an honest, open person by nature. Discussing my feelings and emotions comes naturally to me. I’m not uncomfortable with it at all. So why this niggling feeling, particularly after a post about such joy?

I think back to a guest post I had here a few months ago by Kristen from Motherese. It was called The Personal and the Vulnerable. In her post, Kristen said:

Two words that feel the same, are often used to mean the same thing. But to me, the difference between them is a meaningful one, especially for the type of community and interactions I want to create. To me, personal details are actually not all that sacred or even private…But what they don’t know – what I don’t want them to know and what it would be hard if they did know – is the vulnerable stuff. The hopes. The anxieties. The prejudices. The irrationalities. The hazy hazards that float before my mind’s eye as I lay down for the night. Only my very closest friends know the vulnerable stuff.

And so, as Kristen so accurately described, my post left me feeling vulnerable. Perhaps the  vulnerability is motivated by the intensity of feeling that I’m experiencing, feelings I don’t yet completely understand myself. Perhaps because of that I’m left feeling slightly raw from sharing it with all of you. It certainly doesn’t come from any negative or insensitive feedback. The comments and e-mails I received that day, and for days after were nothing but supportive, positive and generous. But still, a post such as I wrote takes a leap of faith.

As Coffees & Commutes (and before that at Thoughts from a Lite Mocha Mom) has evolved, I’ve considered at length the kinds of things that would be off limits for a blog post. I’ve wondered just how far I would go in sharing my most personal thoughts, or as Kristen says, my “anxieties and irrationalities.” I haven’t been able to definitively say what that would be. Already I’ve shared my most personal thoughts. And I can easily see me sharing more. Because what I write here is meaningful, to me at least. And I enjoy it. It feels good. And I think it’s also meaningful to some of my readers. I know this to be true because so often I find the words of others meaningful and helpful to me.

I discussed this earlier today with my husband. We came to an interesting realization. The issue I have with sharing my vulnerabilities on this blog is that I don’t always know who I am sharing them with. And I think, quite honestly, that could be what’s leaving me unsettled.

When I write, I take the same approach as I would were I having a nice long chat with a friend over coffee. The only difference is seeing a friend face-to-face, inviting that friend specifically to talk, and the ability to really experience their real reactions and fully discuss the issue.

I consider so many of you my friends, some real, some “virtureal.” How could I not? Through my writing I’ve shared things that I haven’t with many others in my life.  But just as I’m certain that you are sincere, and true, so am I certain there are virtual strangers who read too.

Anonymous. Unknown.

And though I appreciate everyone who reads, and hope that everyone who does find some value and connection, it is still hard to wrap my mind around this place.

So I find myself at a crossroads. A figurative one that I must fully consider. Through my writing, I’m going where I want to go, but before I go further, I need to reach a more comfortable place. I need to feel confidant that this is the right way. I need some assurances.

And so I ask you:  How do you know what’s too much? What is your no-go zone when it comes to writing? When you read others, do you ever feel that someone has crossed the line? Has shared to much? Or do you value honesty? Is it meaningful you to you to read about the vulnerabilities of others? I’d love to know your perspective on this issue.

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43 thoughts on “Unsettled

  1. Corinne says:

    It's so personal, isn't it? I still don't know what's off limits… except fights w/ my husband, I don't get into that much… or our sex life 😉 You're welcome!But I think you hit the nail on the head, not knowing who you're sharing with. That's scary, and hard to be comfortable with. If I think about it too much I get twitchy….

  2. Amber says:

    Most of my limits centre around people I actually know. Maybe it's ironic, but there are things I would be more comfortable sharing with a perfect stranger than with someone close to me. And so I keep my blog to things that I would be cool if close family and friends, or colleagues, were to read. That means I don't talk about sex, I don't complain about other people or work, and I don't share personal details of other people.Ironically, though, I have found that sharing my vulnerabilities has been amazingly healing for me. Because other people generally don't have the same baggage and fears around them that I do, they're far more positive than I can be. The encouragement I've gotten by laying out my fears and insecurities has been AMAZING.

  3. Sarah says:

    I value vulnerability and I admire those who have the courage to go there on their blog – to expose themselves, their truths, their worlds, their stuggles. I choose not to, for the most part. I am functionally detached from my blog. I don't expose too much about my inner workings, my day-to-day, or my opinions on a lot of things. This is intentional.When I write (or publish) a blog post, I assume everyone will read it – parents ('cause they do), friends, future clients, bosses, employment opportunities. Anyone. That gives me perspective and keeps me deep in philosophical, but light in vulnerable and personal.My blog is public; it's on the internet and I am well-aware that anyone can read – people from my past, present, future. Although, my blog is 'all me' it is far from 'all of me'I am not sure that helps you. That probably doesn't settle you at all, but I will tell you that I appreciate your truth, even (especially) when it's raw. Emotions are powerful and I am glad to you share yours and lead us through your journey because you teach us so much. I know that isn't much assurance, but if I could choose, I wouldn't change anything about what you write in your blog.

  4. Amy says:

    I don't know if I can answer all your questions, because I haven't answered them for myself yet. But as far as my no-go zones, those would be when I'm sharing issues/details/stories/truths that are solely mine to share. There are words in me that are crying to get out, but they involve others whose permission I don't have to share. Some things my husband and I have discussed and he's not comfortable with me sharing. I have to respect that.As far as whether honesty is valued… I hope that honesty is always valued highly. I know it is for me.

  5. Amber says:

    This is an important issue to address. For me, sharing personal tidbits about fights with my husband is too much. I might talk about lessons I have learned from those instances, but usually a week or so after they have happened. This way I know I have cooled off sufficiently to not talk bad about my best friend.I am also trying to see the positive in each situation. This helps me see just how good my life is.

  6. Gappy says:

    I think that it is entirely up to the individual, and I think that the boundaries can also shift over time. I know that I have ended up writing a post on my blog that I would never have dreamed of writing when I first started. And if I'm honest, there are some blogs I read and think, 'Ouch.' I feel exposed on the authors behalf and I worry that what they are sharing is not emotionally safe for them, that they are opening themselves up to cruel people who may judge and criticise. It is not for me to decide what is appropriate for them though, I know that. I'd just say do what feels right to you. This is your space and it is entirely up to you what you choose to share. Feeling vulnerable isn't always necessarily a terrible thing. Lean on your friends. xxx

  7. Tiffany Noth says:

    I think you're absolutely right, the unsettled feeling of not really knowing who you are sharing your thoughts and feelings with. Knowing what has been too much {imho} really depends on knowing who it was shared with… and unless the blog is set to an invite only status, we never really know.

  8. Nicki says:

    While not the same as your dilemma, I find myself going through a similar issue. With my new found elected official status, there are certain things I will be unable to blog about. Thinking that someone else is controlling what I write has unnerved me. It put me totally off writing for a while.Another issue was when I realized that a friend's estranged wife was reading my blog. We would do things together and I would blog about day trips and such. Then, I realized who was reading and it felt like I was censoring myself by not blogging about these little trips.I do not know that there is an easy way to overcome the issue of not knowing who is reading. I have written a couple of posts that I never published or that I put as private and only let a few people read. It is hard to find the line that is too much to share.

  9. Kelly says:

    I will speak up as someone who stumbled too far in the wrong direction and got stung as a result. While I don't know everyone who reads my blog, I do know that my mother reads it. Therefore, I share nothing that I don't want her to know. I sometimes write despite her, but her judgment is always right in the back of my mind.I would love to explore my childhood vis-a-vis my children's childhoods, but that entire time period is off limits. I'd also like to explore things like mother-daughter relationships, etc, but it's all a no-go. And as my son gets older, I've begun shifting away from revealing too much about him, as well. So much of my writing is about working through what's nagging me or setting down memory of what's important, but I must always respect the boundaries and feelings of those close to me.When it comes to myself, I feel that the more down-deep scary/vulnerable I am, the more I grow as a person. Can you see the catch 22?

  10. amotherworld says:

    It takes courage (and a lot of balls!) to write completely openly and honestly on a blog. While there will be those who will praise, there will always be those who will judge.If I'm uncertain if a topic/issue is too personal to share, I err on the side of caution and save those for my own journal.Figure out what you are comfortable with and listen to your instincts – they are always right.

  11. Denise says:

    Oh Christine. Such a beautiful post. Thank you for writing it. And how did you sneak inside my psyche and perfectly articulate EXACTLY what I felt last week? My Searching for Grace post left me feeling the same exact way.Hmmmm. For me, like you, it's the unknown. It's the stranger who may use what I write against me or my family. Someone malicious or sick. That's my deepest fear. I try to protect my family as best I can. But, I still feel that the good out-weighs the bad. When I read a raw, brave tribute exploring true emotions, I applaud them. And almost always walk away feeling vindicated about my own challenges. That is why I share what I do.Thanks for writing this post. I'll think about it all day.

  12. ShannonL says:

    Christine, As an IRL friend and also as your biggest fan online, I really value your honesty and appreciate your words, realizations, vulnerabilities. All of your posts are meaningful. You can't let that go or try to hide it or it won't be what you want/need it to be for yourself.I'm sure the unsettling feeling IS the unknown. It seems that you are fine with sharing your feeling with friends (both real and 'virtureal'), and the comments you receive show so much support. But it's the lurkers… not only strangers, but maybe even moreso the people who know you IRL and read but don't comment. You don't know for sure if they're reading, they don't comment or mention it to you, so you don't know what they're thinking. Or if they are judging you. I understand that. But I say, if you get this much love and support from your friends, and you feel good about what you write then screw the other people! 🙂 You're awesome. Don't change. This blogging experience has been nothing but positive for you and I'm really proud of you for exploring yourself and sharing your feelings here. I don't think you should screen yourself because of strangers or not-so strangers. Try not to think about it, because really who cares what they think?! xo

  13. Justine says:

    I am all about honesty, and I love seeing that in other blogs simply because I have not been able to express it fully myself. The fact that I may not know the people reading my blog does not bother me. It bothers me when I know that person (i.e. my boss, my family). Since they are not usually privy to this vulnerable side of me, it makes for an interesting dynamic when we do see each other face to face. But above all, I’ve not been able to come clean about my life for fear of how my traditional family would perceive me. I want to desperately, and maybe that’s why I envy you your freedom and willingness to share. I am not afraid of sharing the truth about my life – There are family members who would prefer that I keep certain details private and I do it out of respect for them. Yet, I want to fight that every day. It is my blog, my feelings, my life – why am I hiding for someone else’s sake? Until I figure that out, I will continue to devour the truth and honesty in places like your blog and many others who are willing “to go there.” We are all friends here, virtureal or not – we get each other, and I love that you trust us with your feelings and vulnerabilities. It’s your authenticity that endears you to me. I hope you will continue to feel comfortable in your space as I selfishly hope you will inspire me to be more comfortable in mine.

  14. Maria @BOREDmommy says:

    I was just thinking about this last night actually, and truthfully I think about it every time I post. I will say that I censor myself when I blog – I just feel like I can't fully express myself or share a lot because of who may or may not read it. I have shared things in the past, and its left me in a spot where I failed and felt totally vulnerable and embarassed by the entire situation. I hate that feeling. So, instead there is a lot I don't discuss – especially anything that could be even remotely related to my extended family – it's just not worth the heartache to me. And the fact that I have to do that really bothers me to some degree, but it's the lesser of two evils.

  15. ck says:

    I think the only things I don't share are things that could some day come back and haunt my kids. I feel that sweet, anecdotal things they do, or lessons they've taught me are fine. But there are some really personal things either about myself, or that I'm experiencing due to other family members that I keep silent on because if my kids find out about it one day, I want it to be when they're ready. And from me…of course, that's assuming blogging will still be going strong by then. We'll see!

  16. LZ @ My Messy Paradise says:

    There is a BlogHer session that touches on this.For me, my limits are more based on how others in my life would feel than how I would feel. If I talk about myself and my worries, fears, issues, etc. I will talk about almost anything, as long as I'm still comfortable sharing it. When what I say would hurt my husband or my friends and family, I stop.

  17. Aging Mommy says:

    Hi Christine – great post as you bring up issues we have all thought about as we develop our blogging style and open up our hearts and minds. I totally agree with CK that for me the first and most definite off limits topic is my daughter, not the funny little happenings, things we do, things she says but anything that she might one day wish I had not shared with the world and which in my heart I know is not right to share about her. I also talk very little about my husband other than anecdotally as he prefers to remain relatively anonymous and I would not want to share details of our marriage, sex life or anything that personal which is simply something I regard as being between the two of us. As for myself, I have found myself increasingly talking about the unhappiness I experienced, my feelings and emotions on a whole variety of topics but yet there are still some things I doubt I will openly share on my blog but instead might share to some degree off-blog with blogging friends who have gone through similar experiences. So I think when it comes to self, you have to simply stop sharing when you no longer feel comfortable doing so and/or derive any benefit from doing so. But sharing my stories of previous unhappiness for example I have found cathartic and also have realized how much it has helped others reading my blog to talk about their own issues.

  18. Kristen @ Motherese says:

    Hi Christine – Once again you've struck a chord with me and with so many of us. The part of your post that has really got me thinking is this question of who is reading. Even though it should be obvious to me that anyone, anywhere could be reading my posts, I never think that anyone is reading other than the people who comment so it always throws me off when an IRL friend remarks on something I've blogged about. I know that I am much more open here than I am with most of the people I know IRL and, of course, I wonder why that is. Like so many of the other commenters here, the one place I do draw the line is at personal details about Husband and my boys. My blog is my space and it represents a series of my choices; they don't deserve to be exposed just because I expose myself. Probably not coincidentally, the blogs I like reading best are the ones that walk that same line.

  19. Allison @ Alli 'n Son says:

    I love the honesty in your posts, it's one of the reasons that I keep coming back. I do find a lot of value in your words. But it is so hard to know when you've gone to far, and I think that it's different for each person. I found that when I publish something that I feel uneasy about, I shouldn't publish it. I learned that the hard way. It can mean that the post shines a negative light on you (even if you are just being honest) or it could mean sharing too many personal details. You will know when you've gone too far, you will feel it in your gut. Take some time, think it over and come back once you know where your personal boundaries are.

  20. Allison @ Alli 'n Son says:

    I love the honesty in your posts, it's one of the reasons that I keep coming back. I do find a lot of value in your words. But it is so hard to know when you've gone to far, and I think that it's different for each person. I found that when I publish something that I feel uneasy about, I shouldn't publish it. I learned that the hard way. It can mean that the post shines a negative light on you (even if you are just being honest) or it could mean sharing too many personal details. You will know when you've gone too far, you will feel it in your gut. Take some time, think it over and come back once you know where your personal boundaries are.

  21. Allison @ Alli 'n Son says:

    I love the honesty in your posts, it's one of the reasons that I keep coming back. I do find a lot of value in your words. But it is so hard to know when you've gone to far, and I think that it's different for each person. I found that when I publish something that I feel uneasy about, I shouldn't publish it. I learned that the hard way. It can mean that the post shines a negative light on you (even if you are just being honest) or it could mean sharing too many personal details. You will know when you've gone too far, you will feel it in your gut. Take some time, think it over and come back once you know where your personal boundaries are.

  22. Allison @ Alli 'n Son says:

    I love the honesty in your posts, it's one of the reasons that I keep coming back. I do find a lot of value in your words. But it is so hard to know when you've gone to far, and I think that it's different for each person. I found that when I publish something that I feel uneasy about, I shouldn't publish it. I learned that the hard way. It can mean that the post shines a negative light on you (even if you are just being honest) or it could mean sharing too many personal details. You will know when you've gone too far, you will feel it in your gut. Take some time, think it over and come back once you know where your personal boundaries are.

  23. Belinda Munoz + The Halfway Point says:

    Hi Christine, it's tricky, isn't it? When I first did a post that I thought might be a little too personal, I felt a bit unsettled, too. But then I later felt oddly empowered by what at first made me feel vulnerable. I felt liberated that this thing that I fretted about getting out there got out there and there was no getting it back. By no means do I share everything (nor have any interest in doing so) but my approach in what I share is to see where the writing takes me. I let it unfold and if it feels right, I publish. If it feel all wrong, I write a new post. As others have said, I'm protective of details about my family and loved ones that feel overly personal. But when I hit publish, I assume that people I wouldn't normally want to read would be reading. Not sure that makes sense…

  24. Lindsey says:

    I think it's something we feel our way around every day, and at least for me the boundaries are always fluid. I have a slightly different fear, weirdly: the people whose judgment I fear, or whose reading I feel unsettled by, are often those I DO know … interestingly some of the closest people to me never read my blog and while it sort of bothers me it also is a kind of relief.This may not be helpful. But universal, interesting questions here. Thank you.

  25. Maureen@IslandRoar says:

    What a great post. Some people definitely share too much. I try and share only what I know I don't mind those closest to me discovering if they happened upon the blog. But I know the feeling you describe, that vulnerability, the "did I say too much" feeling. I think it's good to stretch ourselves a little. We should probably all share a little more than what makes us cozy and comfortable from time to time, so long as no one (including ourselves) can be hurt. I'm loving your posts, btw. I think it's great that you're stopping to consciously think what you want your blog to be.

  26. Theta Mom says:

    I instantly connected to this Chirstine, as I have also written about a similar topic about setting some blog standards in reference to privacy. I always struggle with this since you never really know who is reading on the other end…For me, what works is after I draft a post I ask myself if I am comfortable sharing every detail, every single word…Will I still feel this way a month from now or even a year from now? We all know how "posts" tend to have a shelf life so once somehting is out there – it's hard to take back…At the end of the day, I think you CAN remain authentic and show your vulnerable side without spilling every minor detial of your life.Hang in there – you'll find the "right" space in due time.xo

  27. becca says:

    Such a great post Christine. Obviously one that resonates with so many of us. I try not to censor myself too much on my blog. I write about my curiosities, hopes, dreams, insecurities and passions… all things that I hope will strike a chord with others and if not, that's fine too. I use the space to write things that I hope to look back on nostalgically. I also will not write about things having to do with my husband specifically although I may raise questions about love in general. I MOSTLY read blogs where the writer is vulnerable, open and honest. Where I get to know them and feel I'm forming a relationship and friendship. I used to read a few blogs that were purely humorous but as hysterical as they are, I didn't feel like I was getting much out of it. I'd be sad if you stopped sharing so much because it's why I keep coming back here. To learn more and think more. Very few of my IRL friends read my blog. Sometimes i wish they would so they'd get to know me even better but other times I feel safer that they don't. It's strange. This place is very strange.I hope you find your space soon. I'll be here regardless!

  28. Cheryl says:

    I definitely have boundaries. In general I consider myself an open person, those who know me IRL would say what you see is what you get with me – good and bad. Plus, because I was a professional journalist, I'm used to my stuff being "out there."However, there are some things I won't post about. Personal things about my husband, our relationship, private conversations. I also do not post really personal things about my children. There are some things from my past I also won't share, for all different reasons. Oh – and I can't write anything negative about my MIL, as her best friend has read my blog.That being said, the blogs I connect with are the ones in which the writer writes her truth. If the writer is detached, then won't the reader also be?Which is okay. There are so many blogs out there to read and so many readers looking for all different things.You just have to feel comfortable. And confident. Not every post has to be a confessional, so to speak. You'll find what works for you.

  29. Hyacynth says:

    I've read this twice now. I always have to read your posts a few times; I think that means that what you're writing about is exteremely relevant and thought provoking. I think that means your honesty is coming across as just that — honesty — and not oversharing. BUT, who is to say what is oversharing? Sometimes we need to share so others know they are not alone. Sometimes we all sit here struggling with the same.exact.dumb.thing never to talk about; whereas if we would bring it into the light, perhaps we could dialogue into a better place. Maybe that's just the eternal optimist in me. Personally, I've shyed away from some topics that have been heavy on my heart and I KNOW other women are thinking about — sex after babies, merely tolerating children during certain stages of growth, my own personal biases –because I'M not ready to address those let alone allow someone else to address them. Because I write to figure things out. I write to make sense of my day. And I sometimes don't know if I'm ready to tackle those things. Also, just a strange things to add; for some reason I've made an unwritten rule in my mind to never blog about blogging. Strange, right? Why? I have no idea.

  30. Capital Mom says:

    There is some safety in just writing about the kids and my life with them, as opposed to writing about me. Since family reads my blog there are so many things I can't say about me because they relate to them. So I just write those posts in my head.

  31. Chantal says:

    My rule is usually "If I can't tell someone this face to face I can't write it". I stick to this 100% when it comes to talking about others, gossip type stuff. I remember stumbling upon blogs where people were cutting down "friends" or bashing their spouse and I quickly stopped reading those. The few times I have broken my own rule is when I talk about my own feelings. Feelings I may not open up about in casual conversation. But since they are my own I feel I have permission to let them loose. I often feel anxious after I wrote those types of posts. Usually because I am worrying about when my Mom will read them 🙂

  32. Karen says:

    If something relates solely to me and my feelings and won't hurt someone else if I reveal it, then I feel it's acceptable for me to talk about – as long as I'm personally comfortable with sharing. I don't like to say anyone's name on my blog without their permission, so my husband and son are usually the only names that show up on a regular basis.Where I'm challenged is wanting to write about real-life relationship struggles. Often, I can't do this because even relaying them in very general terms might tip off the very people I'm thinking about, because they read my blog. I refuse to hurt people (even unintentionally) by having something I say misinterpreted. As a consequence, I censor myself a lot. What I didn't expect was that it would make me so much more sensitive to the various nuances of situations I find myself in. I'm looking at things more thoroughly and with an open mind rather than assuming that everything is black or white, often because I want to figure out how to write about something without making it completely obvious what specific situation I'm alluding to.

  33. Heather of the EO says:

    I don't write about anything personal, obviously. 🙂 No really, I obviously DO. And for me, it's because at the center of me, I need it to be for me. To write my heart, to write to "find out what I'm thinking." I often forget this is so very public. Really…I completely forget. So I have those strange experiences where I'm talking with someone I don't know reads my blog and I get all confused. It's like I've compartmentalized it, and I kind of like it that way.I have not had the bad experiences in doing so that others have had, so many I'll change it someday. But for now, the only thing I'm really careful about is that I am only sharing my experiences from my viewpoint without including my loved ones. (Like not writing about my husband much and censoring what I say about my kiddos.) I think of the readers as one big person, if that makes any sense. A unified friend front. I write to that friend and for myself and I'm being true to me. I am incapable of writing without it being somewhat raw and utterly honest. Maybe this is not good in some respects, but I truly believe the benefits outweigh the risks.What helps me the very most is knowing that there's freedom in transparency and always, ALWAYS redemption working its way in. In my life, and I hope, in the lives of people who feel more understood by reading my words. Sorry I wrote a book. :)Great thoughts, lady. REALLY important to find your footing in this regard, because you can't delete your memory or the memories of your readers. You can't take it back. That's scary, but never forget to follow your heart-gut.

  34. Boy Crazy says:

    I think there's a way to expose some vulnerabilities – making yourself real and human to your readers – without setting yourself up for emotional hurt or situations that bite you in the ass. What I share on my blog is only a sliver of my life, my thoughts, my opinions, my anecdotes. But everything I do share is authentic. I am often baffled by bloggers who write as if only their online friends are reading. Even what we write in comments or on twitter – all it takes is a creative googler to find a nice long potentially-embarrassing record of our every utterance and heartfelt post.It's a hard path to navigate. I don't blog sooooo much more than I do, if that makes sense.But it's a personal, individual decision. (my two cents) ;)-elizabeth

  35. Charlotte says:

    Interesting question. I'm not sure where the line is for me, but I know there is one because sometimes there are ideas I pass up as too personal. Usually it is things I wouldn't even share with super close friends, though.

  36. evaevolving says:

    Christine, I don't have an easy answer to this question. I think we each navigate how much to share, one post at a time. But what I do know is how much I loved your post last week. Just reading your words made *me* feel like I was radiating too! And it's often through the most personal posts that leave us vulnerable and unnerved that we can all – collectively – learn the most. Those posts are the ones I read and find myself nodding with such agreement, and smiling with such relief that I'm not the only one who feels a certain way. Does that make sense?

  37. Jill says:

    Thank you for sharing your wonderings. I've only been blogging a short time and I find myself discovering the answers to my boundaries even before I know I'm asking the question. For instance, I write about my children as the two-year-old and the four-year-old. Not an intentional decision to protect them…not an issue I take with those who call theirs by name…simply what I wrote the first time I wrote about them. This world of the internet is my routine companion and a place of much uncertainty for me. I find myself desiring to be open but hesitant as well. Thanks for writing beautifully about the struggle.

  38. alita says:

    Thought provoking! I have a short list of boundaries in this judgmental world that we blog in. It so happens that I don't blog about fights with my family. I don't air my laundry in that way. I will give insight as to the outcome of a certain situation through my poetry or even through my photography. I hover on the edge of the complete truth, but I pull back when the message can be misconstrued as something destructive to myself or others. Things I struggle with are usually put out there, but subjects such as addiction or judgment of others is usually I keep to myself. Does that make sense? I'm always truthful, but I'm not always an open book.It is a fine line we tread on. Especially since it is such an open forum. I say go with your gut.

  39. Jen says:

    Christine, it's different for everyone. And that's what makes it so difficult. I feel much the same as Kristen–making a distinction between personal and vulnerable. But it's not my place–or anyone else's–to tell you what your comfort level is. You have to find that for yourself. Good writing, to me, is not specific to a subject. Good writing speaks loud and clear and tells the story of what is important. To the writer. I hope you find your comfort level. Keep working toward it. You're certainly on the right track.

  40. Jana @ Attitude Adjustment says:

    I, too, worry about what I'm sharing online. I worry about prospective jobs, friends of friends, etc. But there's also a part of me that's just happy to be read. In person, I may be scared to share these things, but when I'm typing, something else takes over. I deliver myself over to the art of it. I am a cautionary person by nature, though, so I do try to be careful. (Though, what is careful. Is cursing okay? What should I and shouldn't I share? I think I go by instinct.)

  41. Jack says:

    In the early days of my blogging career I had complete anonymity and treated the blog that way. I wrote about whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to. I always knew that people who knew me could stumble on it, but it never bothered me.And then it happened. The real world collided with the blogosphere and all hell broke loose. It was a very ugly scene for a variety of reasons. It wasn't that I couldn't talk to people about what I blogged about, I didn't want to. Anyway, I have since become a bit more guarded. I am still pretty open, but some things are better left unsaid- at least for me.

  42. coffee with julie says:

    There are many times when I wish I had started up my blog with a pseudonym because I love to write and it would provide me with so much more freedom. But I read another blogger's (Penelope Trunk) take on pseudonyms and realized that the blogosphere and the real world almost always eventually collide, so you might as well just use your real name. However, this means that I don't press "publish" unless I'd be comfortable seeing the same piece on the front page of the Citizen. Everyone has different comfort levels, but that's what I use as my gauge. In terms of your blog, I find great value and meaning in the honesty that you bring. I have never felt that you've compromised yourself (or family, employer, etc.) Rather, the depth and quality of your writing has simply made me view you in high regard. It is always classy and more philosophical, rather than revealing. We're all walking our own fine balance. From where I sit, you have an intelligent balance. But if it makes you feel unsettled, that's not good. Take the time to find what feels best and we'll all still be hear to read!

  43. […] I write about it. And sometimes when I do, I worry about writing it. […]

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