The more I blog, the more I keep to myself. In my experience (and also of other bloggers I know), being open and vulnerable is what draws readers in. Readers resonate with what they relate to, I guess. For me, blogging has moved from a diary structure (“today I went to…I did this…I felt that…”) to more of an exploration of my thoughts/writing about concepts and issues I’ve experienced or feel are important/occasionally sharing travel, music or food experiences. Of course my blog will always be about me but I want it to be about broader concepts.
Lately I’ve been bumping into more people who know me through my blog. I’ve written about the knowledge imbalance before: readers know so much about a blogger, yet unless that reader is another blogger or a friend, the blogger does not know so much about them. I love meeting readers, but I’m still not sure what to make of the knowledge imbalance. It is mostly guilt for not recognising them their twitter picture when I meet a reader in real life. And then I realise they know so much about me. I sometimes write forgetting that I have an audience. There was a time I was out for dinner, I posted a photo on Instagram, then queued to buy a drink, and a blog reader near the counter squealed saying she hoped she’d meet me because she saw I was at the restaurant too. That was weird. And a dose of reality about how much I reveal about myself. (Related: I have this strange fear that one day someone will comment on how much I eat and tell me to cut back, based on my food pictures on Instagram!)
I’ve also been so conscious of how bloggers are judged. Not that what others think of me should matter, but I am constantly reminded of how much or little readers (especially hate readers) expect a blogger to give of themselves, and how we never really know of a blogger’s life outside of what they blog. (On this, my friend Kerri Sackville wrote a beautifully honest piece about her breakup and how she’s so guarded online, as well as mindful of the hate forums.) And then I received that comment with some friendly advice that it’s not realistic for me to find a lover who will cope with my illness. Yeah that. That sort of pushing of one’s own issues onto me made me withdraw somewhat.
Two, three years ago, and even last year, there was a lot of writing about love and subsequent heartbreak here. I was always mindful of how much I revealed, so I wouldn’t be at risk of rewriting Jagged Little Pill, but more so, to protect him. Writing through that time was good therapy. Except when I actually needed to see a counsellor and that was good. Because I couldn’t write everything here. (I told the whole story aloud to a friend the other week. It sounded so sad. I listened to every word I was saying, and made a vow – “never again”.)
The more time that passes, the less I need to write about that period in my life. That’s not to say I dont still think of him, I do. It’s a year this week since I said goodbye to him, and I realised recently that at the time, I didn’t even feel that I could write that goodbye here. I wrote it on Kiki and Tea instead. I either didn’t feel the need, felt that all that was said could be said, or it was a decision to keep a little more of me to myself.
And it’s also been a long time since I’ve written about matters of the heart here. Or “boy crazy”, as Tash teases me. There’s a lot of just focusing on making my life a good one on my own and with good friends, and so I haven’t given boys too much thought, and a little of a lack of boys I’ve been crazy about. For a while I wondered whether I’d ever feel that same love again. Maybe I will, but I don’t want it to be that way again.
I’ve made a very conscious effort not to get wrapped up in words, rather to observe and then appreciate people’s actions. It means more when people treat you well, than reeling you in with loving imagery and properly formed sentences and then writing that they’d wished they’d treated you better.
Anyway, right now, I have a crush. It’s been for a while actually. He’s taking up a lot of my thoughts. I am bursting with words, but I’ll write very little. He’s the loveliest. I want to wrap this feeling up and put it in my pocket closest to my heart.
Often, things are nicer left off the blog.
Do you find the more you blog, the more you keep to yourself?
Do you have a crush? Isn’t it wonderful?