Mistakes were made

New York City meets Munich

October 27th, 2001 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Out in the open

It’s been a wee bit over a year that I’ve been taking a moment out of almost every day to squeeze a bit of thought-flatulence out on to this World Wide Web of ours. It’s been a humbling learning experience for me, about both the nature of the web and blogging, and lessons about myself.

A year isn’t a very long time, really. In Internet time a year is supposed to be more significant, because the intense flow of communication and information tends to accelerate any process, for better or for worse. There is indeed some truth to this.

So what have I learned during my Internet year?

To write like everyone I know or ever may know has read what I’ve written on these pages.

The “tell all” style of writing certainly has its appeal. It’s a great joy for the writer to vent with abandon. For the readers, there’s a thrill to be had with being taken into the writers confidence. One of the first thing new bloggers tend to do is write about all the things they’d like to say, and to share all their thoughts they don’t share with the people in their day to day lives. Venting can provide a steady stream of material.

“My boss is an asshole” or “My girlfriend is making me nuts” or “I pretended to be interested to that guy flirting with me just to get to his friend.” These things can make for compelling reading, and they can be satisfying as hell to write. The rationale is usually “Well, (so-and-so) will never find my web site, so…” or “No one will know it’s ever me.”

Trust me, the Internet is not as big as it might appear. Unless you consistently fictionalize names and places, and never tell anyone you know about your blog, it is only a matter of time. Especially if your blog starts attracting a readership.

Even if “truthtelling” is avoided on a blog, how would you feel if your family or colleagues read your blog? Would it change what you write? I’m amazed at how many people avoid thinking about these issues as they pour out their personal lives on to the web.

There can be consequences for what is written on a blog, for both the author and for people close to the author. What I believe strongly in is accepting that responsibility up front.

Does keeping this responsibility in mind effect my writing? Absolutely.

Are there times I want to write about something and feel I can’t? Yes.

But, I find those moments highly revealing. When I discover I have things running through my mind that I can’t openly explore here, I usually have uncovered the edges of a conflict within myself. And then the issue isn’t how can I write about a topic, but what do I need to do in my life so that I can be more open and honest without feeling conflicted?

For instance, what if my Mom knows I’m living a kinky lifestyle? Would that be a problem? I can just hope my Mom never finds my pages and write about kink anyway. Or I can figure out why I have a problem with my Mom knowing I’m kinky. And then I can try to solve that problem. And then I can write about being kinky without inhibition.

For me, my blog writings act as my personal headlights revealing the obstacles of personal inhibition and limitation.

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