Tuesday, 2 September 2008

You're not reading this are you? Good.

April posted recently about how she stifled herself by making her blog too "available". I think she put it on Facebo or Bebook or one of those sites that I confess I don't really understand. Anyway, it appears that the thought of people reading her writing by accident, people who hadn't actually made the journey to her blog on purpose, sort of gagged her.

I found that interesting. You would expect that anyone who writes a blog would be over the moon to have more readers - any readers - seeing their stuff. But I really understand what she means. Most of the time this blog is frivolous drivel (the name I plan to give my band if I ever, you know, learn to play a musical instrument and stop being a lawyer and go on the road) and I couldn't care less who does or does not see it. I write it partly to entertain myself and partly to commit to writing stuff that I will otherwise forget. It is not world-stopping stuff. The fact that I can burp on demand is not going to make a difference to people's lives. (It may make a difference to my children's lives, but that is their problem. Serves them right for being born into this family.)

Some other posts though I found really difficult to write. Some posts I have written, read, re-written, thought about and then deleted. Personal stuff, mostly. No, wait. Personal stuff entirely. The process of writing it was interesting, sometimes cathartic and sometimes it made me realise that until I had written it down, I didn't really know what I thought. I sort of turned round and caught my subconscious typing. Wow. That sounds normal.

Anyway, the point is that I rarely post that stuff. Because people might read it. Blogging is generally supposed to be a bit like writing a diary but you rarely if ever publish your diary for public consumption. And even those who do (Alastair Campbell, John Prescott, David Blunkett for example) edit, correct and polish before publishing. I have not read any of the aforementioned diaries but I am pretty sure they don't contain much "Woke up and felt a bit crap this morning. Think I am getting a spot on my chin again. I am a rubbish human being" Come to think of it, I doubt any of those three ever felt they were worthless individuals. Their books are more likely to consist of "Woke up this morning, realised I am a god! The sooner the country realises this and bends to my will, the better!"

Where the hell was I? Oh yes. Anyway, my point is that with the best will in the world you fret about what people will think about what you post so you self-censor what you post and you find some kinds of writing easier than others. And by "you" of course I mean "I". I like writing shallow frothy stuff and I don't mind reading back my old stuff of this ilk. If I try to be serious and commit deeper stuff to writing (a) it is rubbish. I can't write the proper stuff well, and (b) I worry that people will see it and snort "Self indulgent tosh. I'm off to read Dooce."

And now I am going to save this post and come back and read it again later. Then I will decide whether to hit publish or not.


  1. Frivilous drivel or otherwise someone will always take offence at something. You'd think the Misssives were as light hearted and drivelly as you could get but only this week a (distant- ie. I don't like or see them much) relative decided to take offence at something I had written.

    The person that said "Publish and be damned" had a very good point.

    Meeester aked me if I'd thought about removing the post that offended.(Even though the person concerned wasn't even mentioned in the post!)

    Hell no! I'm not here to react to someone's sense of humour failure!

  2. God I can totally relate. I have never felt so inhibited in my writing as I did when I told people who know me about my blog. It puts a whole new slant on things because they might take offence. There are posts I have written and deleted for fear of offending, and the odd one I have put out there and then been too scared to look at the comments just in case!

    Publish and be damned is very apt missy m!

  3. I'm flattered for the reference; thanks! Bloggers get bashed so often, and my fear of leaving myself too open for that was what prompted my decision. But I do think we're all brave for putting ourselves out there - in any way that we choose to do so.

  4. I totally relate too :-( I just live in fear of being "outed" and folks taking the rampant piss because I write b0ll0cks.

    Maybe I should delete the lot and start again, but it's an identity I've had four and a half years so I'm kind of fond of it. In an irritating sort of way ...