Likes and comments, comments and likes. These should not be the reason that I write, and deep down, they are not. Good thing, since they wax and wane like the cycles of the moon. I have somehow racked up 165 posts on everything from fried cheese and Bigfoot, to some of my deeper reflections on being fatherless. It seems that it is the stuff I write that speak of dysfunction, or my drunken poetic rants that get the most attention. I wonder if this is something to take note of. It’s become tempting to start writing about all the screwed-up aspects of my past life, the struggles of the present, and more.
After all, it is when we tell the complete truth, either in context, or even in style, that our writing will resonate with people. It has been said that “people don’t care what you know until they know you care”, or something like that .
Everybody knows I call my blog “Low-Carb Lifestyles”, but I really have a lot more that I want to talk about .The reality is, however- that if you want to dish the dirt on your own life, with all the gritty, honest details, you might hurt someone. This is especially true if you are in the habit of taking a few seeds of truth, and then liberally exaggerating all of it to make a good read. If you’re going to do that, great- but just remember that anyone reading it will assume that you are talking about them, and relationships, and that you truly meant everything that you wrote. There is no magic delete key or apologies that can truly erase something you’ve written- which then might make it’s way over to Facebook or Twitter- once it’s in the mind of the reader.
It’s like dishing all the details of your dirty fight with your spouse to your best friend in the heat of the moment. You feel better, but your best friend always has a certain idea of what your spouse is like, indelibly etched into their minds that stays, long after you and the spouse have patched-up your disagreements. Most likely, too, somewhere during the amazing make-up sex, you forgot about the fight completely.
Then a few days to a week later, the friend sends you this cute, ‘private’ message asking how things are going with the ‘asshole’, and you are indignant and shocked, until you remember the conversation the last time you two spoke…
So, sadly, but perhaps very fortunately, I have to censor my writings here, and I have disabled the link between this blog and Facebook. I can choose to send out a recipe on low-carb fudge, but I don’t want my angsty, drunken poetry being read by my spouse or co-workers. I don’t need them to know the latest developments on my fight with cellulite, or hear about some of the crazy things that happen at work, that I choose to write about, and usually expound upon.
I don’t talk about my ex-spouse, because something I say may hurt my daughters. I don’t want to talk anymore about the jealousies, insecurities, or other negative things I may feel from time to time because a reader may take it to heart, not realizing that these thoughts and feelings flit in, and back out like a breath, or compulsive sneeze- very powerful at the moment, but gone just as quickly. And I especially should be smarter than to have some wine and have an argument with my spouse, then write all about it in my blog- which he reads. Did I forget that, or did part of me want him to see it, even though by the next morning I felt like a complete ass, having meant what I said to about 1:9 strength ratio of what I indicated in my writings. I wanted to kick it up a notch. Bad idea.
Honesty. It’s a potent pill that has to be given in small doses, at the right time and to the correct audience. The same is true in any writing we do. Being true and authentic in our writings is fantastic, but we have to choose our subject matter very carefully. In fiction, there’s a fine line between being honest, and being sued for character defamation. You need to be ever mindful that simply changing your character’s name from Ann Miller to Anna Milstead , while leaving every other known detail about her life intact might not be enough to keep you out of trouble. This is obvious to most of us, but is a nugget of wisdom for the more ‘expose`’ -minded writers like myself.
What do you choose to share on your blog, and what do you keep close? Do you feel free to write about your opinions on religion and politics, sex and real relationships, or do you stick to impersonal topics and stay safe?
What piece of writing is worth sacrificing relationships to? On that note, I have decided that a journal or diary is for venting and pondering our personal relationships with, and a blog is for sharing recipes, ideas, and inspiration.
Have you ever written something on your blog that you regretted later?