Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Outed

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.

16 comments:

Brom said...

Agreed. You can have fun writing and exchanging comments and remaining anonymous and reveal your self if you so wish to, when you feel comfortable, by other means. Everyone and his wife can access the internet, you just don't know who could be watching!

Obvious really.

PS Glad the orse is on the mend!
:-)

Pig in the Kitchen said...

I'm just glad my blog is about food and i don't have to reveal my real opinions (!) then everyone would hate me and never come to visit.
why haven't your friends posted a comment? Come on friends, we want to read your blogs!
Pigx

ziggi said...

other than my daughter and sometimes Himself, I have never admitted to anyone, face to face as it were, that I blog. EEEEK!

You however, are a writer, and a good one, yours is well written and interesting, you should be proud.

Mopsa said...

Isn't it weird who we do and don't tell? I'm happy for friends to know, but not keen on professional contacts having access to my whingefest/domestic habits.

Hannah Velten said...

I never admit it either - it sounds so naff to be a blogger...associations of geeks and weirdos always spring to mind! Glad to see that the Grey Mare is doing fine, and obviously feeling much more herself!

Musical Midnight said...

I don't tell my friends or family I have a blog. My mom knows, but she has no interest in reading, because to her it would seem to be snooping in my diary. If she wants to know what's going on, she just picks up the phone and calls. And I like it that way.

And I certainly don't tell my in-laws, since most of my rants are about them.

Yes, I worry sometimes that they might stumble across my blog, but as I don't use names (even altered the names of my pets), I feel I'm pretty safe from adding fuel to the fire.

Expatmum said...

Hi all. I started blogging recently but since I was already "out there" it never occured to me to truly hide my identity. However, I have decided it's not such a bad thing as it keeps me from slagging anyone off - especially with my big gob!

rilly super said...

M&M, I don't think I've read anything on your blog which would make me have any second thoughts at all about you being a friend, colleague or neighbour

Omega Mum said...

Totally agree. It's like floating around in an invisibility cloak - much more fun.

@themill said...

What worries me most is admitting the addictive element of blogging...

Gill said...

I don't get the scerecy thing or the embarrassment- if you are embarrased by what you write why do it?

Iota said...

I think you explain it all very well. There are those who blog secretly, those who blog openly. Those who write an opinion and are happy to stand by it no matter what others think, those who mind very much how their opinions are received. I think this is part of the fascination of blogging.

I love the anonymity, but it gets harder and harder to maintain the longer you go on. It seems less important though, as I get more confident of my place in the blogging world. It is a delicate question though.

I agree with Pig. We need to know your friends. (
I don't agree with you, Pig, about your blog being solely about food and no opinions - I've learnt a lot about you and what you think from reading it.)

Vanessa said...

As my blog relates to our business and the book trade I'm obviously glad if people read it but it does freak me out slightly when people come into the shop and say "I read your blog".

I tend to be quite trenchant in my views though and sometimes looking at the stats I wonder whether I should be more diplomatic given some of the people who seem to read it...

Winchester whisperer said...

It's a conundrum, M&M, you want people to read it but you don't want to tell people about it. I suppose it boils down to this: if it's good (like yours) its reputation will spread without your having to advertise it yourself.

GeraniumCat said...

I'm with you on this, M&M - one of my reasons for blogging is to get away from work, which had rather taken over my life, so I try very hard to remain anonymous as far as colleagues are concerned. There are a small number of people I've made off-blog contact with, and that's been a real pleasure, but I'll stick to being feline for now.

Barrenblog said...

I've tried to keep my infertility blog anonymous but due to the subject matter it's really hard - I keep dropping in hubby's name and then having to go back and edit it out! On the whole, though, I think it's really cathartic to be able to express yourself in this way - blogging is good for the soul!