There have been times I haven’t always been able to be as open as I’d like on this blog. It’s not because I don’t want to or don’t know how to express myself, it’s just that sometimes expression has consequences. Now wait a second.. before you think, “Hello! Isn’t a blog supposed to be a place where you’re UNCENSORED?” Let me tell you that self-publishing can be a double-edge sword. But I’m sure some of you have already considered this, particularly when you were deciding whether or not to blog under another name or identity. Even if the answer was obvious for you, at some point you still had to consider your options.
On one hand blogging openly is a way to thoroughly spew the contents of your mind and get feedback from people you know. I know that when my aunt who lives six hours a way is thinking of me, she types my url into her browser and then, poof, there’s my life spelled out for her. We stay connected and, without even trying, I let her in. When I decided to start this blog to document my last year as a twenty-something, I knew I wanted to be “sandyb”. I knew I would be comfortable posting pictures and talking about my husband or sister or neighborhood. All these things are a part of me – it just seemed natural to blog about them.
There are days I couldn’t imagine separating my reinvention journey from my real life. I even send out links to my posts on Facebook hoping that people will enjoy my writing and possibly even get inspired. I am a journalist by day, so it seemed like a good idea to connect with people the best way I know how – with my writing. And when someone takes the time to tell me that they’re feeling inspired to start their own Lists or that they simply enjoy reading my posts, it seems worth giving up a bit of my anonymity. I mean, don’t you love knowing that your thoughts are enjoyed?
On the other hand – the other edge of that sword – there have been days I wish I could just confess how hard it can be to look this deeply at my life. For all the fun I have coming up with new things to try and add to my growing List, there are moments when introspection is rough on me. There have been days when I wished I could just blog about my sadness, my fears or my anger. These emotions are as much a part of my journey as the good ones, and lately they’ve even been more prevalent. These are the times I second-guess my decision to be semi-public with my blog and when I wish that “sandyb” didn’t have a Facebook page.
More than once I’ve considered deleting my blog or going underground, only to emerge under a new identity, emailing only a few loyal readers and fellow bloggers to tell them, “Hey, it’s OK.. I’m over here now. Same gal, new url.” If it sounds like I’ve given it some thought, well, you wouldn’t be far off. But not to worry, I’m still here with no plans to abandonblog any time soon. I have a lot of work to do yet, both on and off the keyboard.
My final thoughts on the subject go a little something like this: Anonymity seems to break and create boundaries simultaneously. For every anonymous post that connects with hundreds, even thousands, there is a part of you that never gets to bathe in the thrill of that recognition. But, but.. For every post where you’ve had to hold back for fear of offending, divulging too much or patronizing, there is equally a part of you that goes unnoticed.
In either case anonymity, or the lack thereof, creates limitations and that, my friends, is the sharpest edge of all.
Just a little something on my mind tonight.
So, where do you stand on bloganonymity?
And if you don’t have a blog, but read them, what’s your take – do you read anonymous blogs or public ones?