A friend of mine, who doesn’t blog or read blogs, asked me why I blog. “Don’t you feel weird sharing your personal life with total strangers?”
Their question surprised me because I don’t blog about my personal life. This isn’t that kind of a blog. I explained that to my friend. They didn’t believe me. “You talk about your writing, don’t you? That’s personal.”
Um, no. Writing is my job.
“But what about when your writing’s not going well? Aren’t the bad times personal?”
First of all, I don’t blog about when the writing’s going really badly.
Second, when I blog about the harder aspects of writing I do so to let people know that the writing life is not as glamorous as people think.1 And to demonstrate that, yes, even people who make a living writing have days that are not so productive. It would be the same if I was an accountant blogging about a bad accounting day.2
My friend continues to see blogging as a weird self-revelatory public display that only exhibitionists would engage in. I was bummed that I couldn’t persuade them about the goodness of blogging, but our conversation did leave me thinking about all the stuff I and my blogging friends don’t blog about.
I never blog about
when I’m unwell or depressed (though I do occasionally talk about homesickness)
the state of my relationships with family and friends
my family and friends (unless it’s to boast about their achievements)
politics (except indirectly)
religion (though I will argue about it on other people’s blogs)
personal or family crises of any kind
books by living people that I hated
So basically I don’t talk about stuff that is personal or that I think will start flame wars. I hate flame wars. I also avoid writing word counts (too boring), talking too much about works-in-progress (I’m superstitious), and whingeing when the writing’s going crappily (not only boring but irritating3). And bloggging about blogging is deeply lame. Ooops!
What about my fellow bloggers? What are your no-go areas?
- I cannot remember the last time I had a pina colada. And I’ve never had one served to me by a cabana boy or girl. [↩]
- Are there accounting blogs? And if not why not? [↩]
- Strangely, though, I really enjoy some other writers whingeing about their writing. Though they’re such fabulous writers they could write about accounting and make it riveting. Not that there’s anything wrong with accounting. Some of my best friends love accounting. Or they would if they did. [↩]