Thursday, 24 March 2011


Someone in my family started to write a blog recently and was very open about telling us about it.

I sat down with my Mom to look at the blog with her and guide her through the whole blog world a bit. My parents don't follow blogs and don't understand them or why someone would want to write one. Or, more to the point, why someone would want to read one.

My Mom said that she thinks writing a blog is rather self indulgent; like you're assuming your life is interesting enough that someone else would want to read it.

I said that yes, maybe that's how it is for some people but for the most part it's a way to share your life with other people and I think that people who read blogs have an understanding of why blogs are written.

I told her that I feel like when I'm reading a blog I'm reading an ongoing novel and that I'm catching up with a friend and that that somehow makes me a part of their life. That I get to root for people and it makes me feel like the world is bigger and at the same time smaller than it really is.

She was upset by a post she read on the family member's blog and I told her that people often wrote posts about tough times in their life and that she shouldn't take it as a sign that the person was depressed; just going through something difficult.

To show her what I meant, I brought up a page from this blog that I wrote when Dad got sick to show her that it can be an outlet for sadness.

I sat there as she read it and watched her get choked up and I was embarrassed. Embarrassed by my writing and the fact that she wouldn't think it's very good.

I have a hard time showing my creative side to the people closest to me because I fear their judgment. Sure, I can show my photos to people I don't know, but have me show them to a friend or a co-worker or a family member and I feel like a hack. Like my stuff is awful and doesn't deserve to be shared online with strangers. Who am I thinking I'm any good.

Same with my writing. I love having you guys read it and comment on it and I blush any time someone says I've written something well. And sometimes I even believe you.

But I don't want my friends, family, and co-workers to read what I write because then it feels like I have to find out that while I'm ok, I'm not really that good.

When I'm blogging here in obscurity I can pretend that the only reason someone hasn't snapped me up to write a book is that I just haven't been found yet. If people I knew were reading this blog? That's when I'd find out that while it may be amusing at times it's not much of anything and I'm not meant to ever make anything more out of this than a web based log of my life.

I do have a few friends who read the site and that keeps me honest about what I write, like a mental gate check... Hmmm...would I want B and S and buddy (hi Buddy!) and a couple of others to know/hear this? If so, then go ahead and write it. For them, it's kind of like a shorthand way to keep up to what's going on with my life. I'll often get an email from S after a post checking in with me. "Sounds like you're having a rough day, need to talk?" But at no point have any of them had anything to say about the quality of the writing and I don't really want to go there.

So it was an odd thing to realize: that I'm embarrassed by my blog writing if I feel like people I know in real life might be reading it. As long as I can pretend no one I know is reading it I'm fine.


Blogger Truly said...

I fully understand where you're coming from with not being sure about sharing with the people you know. Tons of people I know, read things I write but never say a thing about them... I'm not sure if that perturbs me more...

On a different note, are you reading Feed? Amazing book, I hyped it up so much that I was asked to go through and (*shudder*) Highlight my favourite passages in my friend's copy. But there are some beautiful ones.

That book is where I learned about "salad days" <3

Thursday, March 24, 2011 8:54:00 am  
Blogger Mademoiselle Hautemess said...

It is so brave to share your blog with your mom. I keep toying with the idea...she so desperately wants to feel closer to me as I have moved from home and am increasingly more independent. But it just feels like removing an important barrier...a safety wall. However, my content errs on the side of vulgar & TMI at times and potty mouthed & poorly written always.

I am just impressed that you bared your self to your mom!

Thursday, March 24, 2011 9:14:00 am  
Blogger Just Sayin... said...

Brave of you to share with family.
There are no rules to WHY people blog. There are so many reasons.

Some do it to get discovered.
Others to vent in a forum instead of weighing down family and friends. Writing styles change frequently too. No one in blogworld is a bad writer. No one.

They are short stories, and you do build a rapport with the readers who comment. Hence the blog-o-sphere family.

Blogging is no different than joining a book club, or any other group.

I share mine with very few people from my daily life, unless they are already bloggers or would help me keep it real.

Very proud of you for sharing. I do not think many could.

Thursday, March 24, 2011 10:07:00 am  
Blogger Happydog said...

At the risk of embarrassing you further....I do enjoy your writing. It feels very "real" and conversational and I like that. Yes, very brave to share with family--their opinion does matter and we can't rationalize that away like we can stranger's opinions. Since I've been posting photos and comments on Flickr I've realized that family comments that are positive I can dismiss because after all they're family they have to say nice things, so strangers comments seem to mean more to me....

Thursday, March 24, 2011 10:28:00 am  
Anonymous Claus said...

I write a blog, it's science fiction and I don't share it with anyone other than the random passerby that happens upon it. I'm not sure if I'm embarrassed about it or that I just want it to stand on its own. I've often toyed with telling people but I get more out of random, unsolicited strangers reading it and allowing them the anonymity of being able to comment on it without being self conscious.

This is VERY different that pouring out our beliefs and inner feelings, as you do. I'm not so sure I could do that. Maybe that's the next step. There is quite a bit of me in my stories but it's hidden under a facade of special effects designed to protect me from the real world.

Good on you for sharing with your mom. I can't imagine that's a bad thing even if it feels a bit akward.

Thursday, March 24, 2011 11:37:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

Truly, I did read Feed. (I read both feeds actually, very different books!) But yes, I enjoyed it, some really interesting and disturbing ideas.

Mlle, I just showed her one post and that was enough. I think the feeling of having a safety wall can be important with a blog, or at least certain styles/types of blogs.

Thanks JS, and well said :)

Hey, thanks Happydog. And I totally know what you mean. . .

Fair enough Claus

Thursday, March 24, 2011 6:54:00 pm  
Anonymous randomstranger said...

I know what you mean - I feel the same way about my writing/singing. Sometimes I wish I could be like those oh-so-flamboyant people who just ooze confidence and don't really care what people think!
But it is what it is, huh?
PS. I like your writing - the way I would describe it is that it produces this light feeling (even when the content is intense) - it makes me feel like I'm floating.
Does that even make any sense?

Thursday, March 24, 2011 8:23:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

I wonder if those so totally confident people really feel that confident or if they're faking it some of the time? But yeah, it is what it is.

PS Thank you. Really. That's a cool thing to hear someone say :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011 9:02:00 pm  
Anonymous Dominic said...

I take the middle ground with my blog: I don't really tell people about it, but it's easy enough to find it if they look.

I was something like a year into blogging before my parents discovered it.. And a couple other people from real life read it from time to time. But that's about it.

I do have a second blog which is very firmly anonymous, but that's a whole different thing.

I tried to take up blogging a few times before I actually succeeded in keeping one going. The secret, if you can call it a secret, seems to be to just write about whatever happens to interest you. Either other people will have enough similar tastes to get you some readers.. or you can pride yourself on being a truly unique individual ;)

Friday, March 25, 2011 4:33:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

Fair enough.

And, yeah, I know what you mean about either people will read it or not! :)

Friday, March 25, 2011 6:34:00 pm  
Blogger Jonathan said...

It's weird, isn't it. A lot of my family and close friends know about my blog, and I often forget. It's only when somebody comments about something I've written that I remember.

In terms of quality, I'm my own worst critic, and *know* I'm lazy too. The variation in quality of my own writing is huge from week to week.

Your blog on the other hand is wonderful - which is why I've been coming back again and again over the years. It often feels like you're taking the reader (as a friend) into your confidence.

Saturday, March 26, 2011 6:11:00 am  
Blogger Victoria said...

Totally weird, yes.

And, thanks . . . :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011 8:49:00 am  

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