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.