A friend recently asked me WHY I blog? What is it in me that feels the NEED to disclose so much personal information with the world? Why do I have such desire to SHARE so much publicly. Sure, other people may think as I do but they are quite content to think quietly. Privately. Some people may discuss issues with close friends and some people may journal but what is it exactly that drives me to think, write and then publish?
Well, first off, my mother asked me that question many times. As did my sister. As much as they were fans of my writing they were not fans of my disclosing. TOO MUCH INFORMATION, they offered. You should keep more to yourself, they advised. Some things should remain private.
Fair enough. And to be honest I concur. Some things should remain private. And those things will never find their way into my blogs.
But who defines those things is key. You may say 90% of your life and I may say 25% of mine. And so I blog and you don’t.
In their own lives my family members made that choice and I took no issue with it. Apparently though we are allowed to take issue when someone is too vocal. But doesn’t that go to the old saying “Tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt?”
Something like that. And I don’t care.
Because I do know that when you speak your mind and your truth you might as well paint a target on your heart. When you remain silent you remain safe.
But this doesn’t really answer the “why do you blog” question, does it?
There are several reasons and the first one that comes to mind is this: I blog because I can. I blog because that target on my heart doesn’t scare me half as much as most. You know that recurring dream when you’re naked in a room of fully clothed people? And you’re desperate for cover or clothing and humiliated because you can’t find it?
I have that dream regularly. Except I am not desperate or humiliated. In my dream I keep thinking that yes, this is awkward and yes, maybe I should locate clothing or a blanket but in my dream I just keep getting on with whatever I’m doing in spite of my nudity.
I’m no dream-interpreter but I think this speaks volumes. Not to my desire to join a nudist colony (I did go to a nude beach once and the best I could muster was “topless”) but more to my comfort level with being transparent. I have no problem sharing my truth because it is my truth and I own my truth. Sure I may start scribbling and in my wine-soaked state say things that are my truth THAT NIGHT and those truths may not exist next year. But that is the point of a blog, right? It’s not a novel meant to stand the test of centuries. It is a snapshot (does anybody still use that word?) of how the writer is feeling that moment.
So … answer #1 – I blog because I can. I blog because I am not afraid of sharing too much, being too transparent or pissing anyone off.
And then there’s my brain. And my life. I spent the first 45 years of that life trying to fit into a prescribed mold and trying to do the right things for the right people at the right time. I may have poured out my soul into an original song or two but for the most part I kept my inner rumblings to myself. And you know what? Inner rumblings are like a volcano. They may exist as a quiet roar for years on end and then BOOM! They erupt.
At least for me. I know people who can compartmentalize their inner rumblings, stash them away privately for late night ruminations, share them with only a few close mates or ignore them entirely and go back to slotting themselves into a bigger, more acceptable picture.
I am not those people. Not anymore. I was those people and now I am not. I am not condemning those people for still being those people and nor will I apologize for no longer being those people. My life now is my life. My big fat transparent beautiful life.
As for my brain? I have a lot of time to think. And a lot of time to consider different stories, options, approaches and reasons. My brain just goes there. If you go back to the very first blog I ever wrote – April 2012 – you will see it was written in response to something a friend said to me. I had replied to him in depth, via email, and when I did he said “Vic you need to start blogging. You need to share your insights with the world.”
So … reasons #2 and #3 – I blog because I spend a lot of time thinking about things that most people don’t have a lot of time to think about and I blog because I love to write. My life brought me to a place of understanding that I choose to share with the world. And because my friend believed in me and my ramblings enough to suggest that I make them available to the public.
And that’s the real reason that I keep on blogging. Because as much as that target can be a bit daunting at times the positive feedback I have received over these last 6 years far outweighs my fear of getting shot in the heart. “A” tells me she reads all my blogs and sometimes feels like I am reading her mind; they speak so profoundly to her own life and journey. “B” tells me she loves the way I write fearlessly. “C” tells me I usually make her laugh. “D” tells me I always make him think. “E” tells me he just likes my style. And “F” tells me I have taken her feelings and put them into words.
So … reason #4 is really my biggest cause for blogging. The same reason people give Ted Talks and become keynote speakers or even write memoirs. I want to entertain you with my truths and I hope to help you sort out your own.
I am no qualified therapist. No one has invited me to give a Ted Talk or a keynote speech. But I do believe in my ability to write and my ability to entertain. I believe in my ability to tell the truth and my ability to be transparent. I believe in my ability to tackle subjects that are universal and terrifying and subjects that are difficult and daunting. I believe in my ability to help.
Sure, when I write about my son, my ex or my current beau you can figure out who it is. But I would also like to believe that I have never written anything about any one of them that is damning. I also work very hard at keeping everyone else anonymous. Do I succeed 100% of the time. Perhaps not. Do I ever go back and think “Golly, I wish I hadn’t written that?” Perhaps a time or two.
But that is it. A time or two. For the most part I don’t go back at all. Maybe one day I’ll have a hankering to peruse all those old snapshots. For now, I choose to go forward. Go forward and tackle difficult topics in order to clarify them in my own soul and maybe help you clarify them in yours. Or at the very least entertain you with my musings.
I believe I can.
I believe this because you my lovely readers have told me so. And for me, that is enough reason to keep on blogging. Sure I could blog about travel or food, real estate or fashion. But you don’t need to be honest or fearless or transparent to do that.
It would also appear that nudity is my jam.
I’m okay with that.