Blogging, for me, is a rather furtive and anonymous business. The opinions I post are, I like to think, forthright, but the few images in which I appear are less obviously me. When I began blogging, I was utterly terrified someone I knew would read what I'd written and associate it with me. I thought that if people I knew in the 'real world' were aware of my blog, I may subconsciously temper my tantrums. Although I write for a living, I write about what other people are thinking or doing; blogging, like the abortive novel and a half I've written, is more personal. And I don't know how comfortable I am about people peering too closely.
I have a healthy respect for those who are happy to blog under their real names, illustrate their blogs with pictures of themselves and talk in depth about their friends and families. I couldn't do that: it would be akin to publishing the pages of a personal diary. If anyone ever read a diary I'd kept, I would be obliged to kill them.
So, there is a very small circle who associate the blog with the person. My brother and sister know, a fellow blogger up the road who I hope is now a friend, knows - and in the last week, two other friends have become aware of my extracurricular scribblings. Sitting in Starbucks drinking overpriced coffee last week, the first friend intimated that she was considering starting a blog; the second shocked me by announcing that she had one. I went home and read her blog, then sheepishly emailed to admit that I blogged too.
Last night, the first friend emailed me. She had found my blog and wanted to know why I hadn't told her about it. "Er, cos it's very embarrassing," I replied. Like an alcoholic or drug addict, I have an ever-so-slightly shameful but enjoyable secret. But I know she won't tell: she's got one now, too.