My first post was inspired by today’s The Daily Post which convienintly had to do with the reason I am starting this new blog: self censorship. The daily prompt asks: Do you ever feel like you’re holding yourself back? And I say “YES, YES! A THOUSAND TIMES, YES”.
I first started blogging as a way to keep my family and friends informed about what was going on in my life. It inevitably became mixed with my thoughts and feelings about random things. I have found that it is impossible to have these two elements in a blog and be able to write freely. The reason I found for this is simple:
There is no tone in a blog. People don’t know when you are being facetious or serious. If you have not written clearly, your views and thoughts are misunderstood.
It is impossible to write freely when you know your mom and grandparents are reading.
It is a sad fact that I have actually lost a long time best friend over my blogging. She did not read what I was saying correctly, or was so pumped up by what she thought I was saying that she misunderstood the context. She ruthlessly wrote nasty things about me in my comments section which was sent to the whole world, and directly to my family’s email boxes. In the end I deleted the whole post. It was a rude awakening that I needed a separate blog that wasn’t meant for family and friends but that was meant for me.
I am incredibly tired of holding back and editing my thoughts (it is even worse when you have to delete a whole post due to misunderstandings) . Blogging is already a selfish activity. I am assuming that others care about my thoughts and feelings, I might as well be able to go full hog and spill my guts.
I am working past self editing by starting a new blog that is free from family ties. I don’t know if this is cowardly or not, but I feel that having two separate blogs will greatly improve my writing and sleepless nights thinking about how I might have offended or given the wrong idea to someone.
And now I will leave you with an excerpt from one of my posts on the subject of blogging in 2009 that came after a blog entry that left my dad and me in a tiff: (But I Digress: Thankful Anyway Thursday. August 29, 2009)
I have had this site for a year now…Whoopee! And in true Bullajabbar fashion, I have to change the name of the blog. I don’t know why, but I did. I think this name fits it better. I can’t believe that I have been able to write about nonsence at an average of 6 times a month for the past year, that is pretty darn good. On average, one of my good blog posts takes at least 2 hours to write and edit. If it is insiteful, has lots of links and I don’t have to put a disclaimer at the top it probably took me 3 or so hours to write. That is a lot of time invested for me to throw my ideas or “what I did todays” out there for people to read if they want.Whenever I write like the one the other day, which I only took about 15 minutes to write, I almost always regret publishing it. It is kinda like that letter or email you write when you’re mad, but instead of doing what your mother always told you to do and sit on it overnight, you mail it anyway only to say “oh crap! why did I do that?”I return to my book about thrift and the chapter on Emotional Thrift. The British author and columnist, India Knight believes that we emote too much and here is her paragraph on it:
Now, it may well be that you genuinely believe you are the only thing that matters- many people do, to a lesser or greater extent. But surely you can manage to keep your egomania to yourself? It isn’t the most attractive of characteristics, even if it is a very human one-and, to be perfectly frank, nobody cares as much about you as you do. Going on and on about yourself, or about a thing that has happened to you, is incredibly bad manners- it only makes any conversational exchange about you and you only. It also marks you out, in my view, as a person who cannot successfully function on his or her own, and constantly needs the praise ot interest of other people in order to feel like a functioning human being. This sucks. It is amazingly tiresome to have to deal with and I wish people would desist- not just because it would make me happy, but because I genuinely think it would make them happier too.
The Thrift Book: Live Well and Spend Less by India Knight, page 266.
That little paragraph knocks most bloggers right off the Earth. For what is a blog? A blog (short for weblog) is a site where people regularly express their thoughts and opinions in a public forum for others to read and then comment… a public journal if you will. This format has also moved on to include social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, where all anyone ever does is talk about themselves.
Do I think this makes us egomaniacs? Not really. Mainly because you can read the post or not. If I was forcing it down your throat, well then I would be on FOX News (a most despicable channel). And personally I like listening to other people, although as most people have noticed about me, I never ask people how they are doing, mostly because I know everyone says “fine” and that isn’t what I was asking. The British seem to be very non-elaborative when greeted with “you all right?” or “how are you?” It is always answered by “fine.” My boss has had to stop me on many occasions to say ” Jess, just say fine.” Well, you asked. This is a cultural thing that I have found and an observation British author Dave Gorman made in his book America Unchained. He writes:
Americans clearly get irony, they just don’t tend tend to use it quite as often in day-to-day conversation because, unlike us Brits, they aren’t afraid to say what they actually mean and will happily discuss emotions.(pg. 16)
So what does this all have to do with Thankful Anyway Thursday? I have often referred to how my blog helps me not feel lonely…OK, we all get that (andD is a bit tired of hearing about it), I really like writing it. It was really fun to review my posts over the past year…I went through all of them…and I learned a couple of things:
- I can be funny, creative, sad, insightful, and darn right wrong.
- My writing helps work my brain.
- I am getting better at spelling, though not so good at the linear thought process, as my professors always critiqued. I need to except the fact that I am creative and not so focused. Just ask Ellie about my Maths skills.
- I can sometimes make the uninteresting, interesting.
- And I don’t take criticism very well and need to work on tone in my writing.
These are the things I am thankful for.