Blogging About Blogging

So, CJ from Don’t Lick The Ferrets posed these questions on her blog the other day and like I used to with my homework at school I am scraping this entry in before the cut off by the skin of my teeth.

I thought this was interesting and worth thinking about. Please share your thoughts in the comments here and/or over on CJ’s blog.

What role does blogging play in your life?
It’s something I wish I had more time for. It’s more than just a diary and more than just a way of reaching out to people and feeling a sense of community, although it is both those things. It occupies a lot of my thoughts. I usually have two or three posts in planning stages at any one time, whether that’s as an almost complete draft or a few sparse notes that probably only make sense to me. It’s a way of recording my thoughts and feelings about being a mother and a way of recording milestones. We aren’t keeping traditional baby books for the girls, but I hope that in years to come they will be able to look at this blog as a record of their infancy and childhood. I’ve had an online presence – in one guise or another – the mid-90s and I can’t really imagine not having one.

What does blogging say about you, your sense of judgement and the choices you make?
This is an interesting question as one of my “in the planning stages” blog posts currently deals with these kind of ideas. I suppose though that a blog post is always going to reflect my opinions but that it is also going to be edited for the audience. We can all be a bit judgemental at times – often, I guess, in the heat of the moment. What you get here is a more considered opinion than you might get from me in real life.
This blog is an accurate reflection of “me”. I would hate to think that someone would meet me in person after reading my blog and find me vastly different from the person they perceive I am through my writing, but (BUT) of course there is an element of self-editing. This is a blog, not a stream of consciousness.

Do you share too much? Are you what others would refer to as “inappropriate?”
Do you exploit your children, your relationship or your life? Are there bloggers who do?

I’m combining these two questions because I feel it is easier to answer them together. I know there are some bloggers who don’t show the faces of their children; I know there are some bloggers who use nicknames rather than the real names of their children. I don’t do either of those things. I think that we won’t really know if blogging about your babies (and their poop and their feeding habits and their propensity to pee on the floor) is an overshare or an invasion of their privacy until they are old enough to comment on that themselves. Our lives exist increasingly online. Who knows what our online world will be like by the time Marlo Armstrong is all grown up and has an opinion about that time her mum wrote about catching her poop in her hand. We have to use our judgement. I don’t write anything that I think they wouldn’t like to read when they are older. I hope they will enjoy finding out what our lives were like and not be concerned that I’ve shared it with the faceless masses.

I don’t believe I “exploit” any aspect of my life. Blogging should never be at the expense of anything else and there are definitely things I choose not to blog about. Carley at A Summer Full of Peaches blogged recently about how easy it can be to compare your life to those you see around you online and it’s certainly true that I often will hold back from posting negative experiences – not because I don’t want to be real, but because I feel they aren’t always mine to share. If someone has upset me, or I’ve had an argument, then it’s not fair to that person for me to document it online – particularly if the issue has been resolved and apologies have been made. I guess the exception here might be if I truly felt I was the one at fault, because I do think there’s good to be found in owning up to your own failings and learning from them.

Are you concerned your choice to blog could affect your personal relationships, your employment or another aspect of your life?
Well this leads on nicely from the previous question. And is why I won’t post about any family disagreements or similar. This blog is not known to many of my “real life” friends. I like to keep it separate. I like the fact that I am mostly addressing my deep, dark thoughts and personal musings to people whose faces I don’t have to see the next day. I am fairly sure that, as a teacher, it would be considered unprofessional that I swear on here as well as the fact that I share so much of my personal life. This blog is very separate from the person I am at work and I would probably feel somewhat mortified if anyone at school found out about it.

What is your goal in blogging? What is your purpose?
I want to document my life. I want to be able to look back in years to come and recall things I have forgotten. I want to hone my writing skills. I want to make contact across the void and “meet” people I would never meet in a million years in “real life”. If I can make money through it, great; if I can win an award, fabulous; but if I can just continue writing and sharing and interacting with the amazing people I have found through this blog, then that’s all I need.

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