Thursday, May 25, 2006

"Censer," Said the Censor

First I should thank my fan base, especially those who have my e-mail address and my snail mail address who very gently kick me in the head and remind me that there are really people who read my blog; who will come back and come back and see the same rant, and then get up and yell at me to keep writing, even when the words come slow and hard and I can’t think about anything except what isn’t getting done while I sit here and twiddle the keys.

Thank you.

Second, common wisdom in the blogosphere says you shouldn’t let your nearest and dearest know your blog address. It changes what you write, they say, makes you less authentic. It’s like Heisenberg’s uncertainty principal—people should either know what’s up in your life because they’re living it right next to you, but not know where you blog about it; or should know your spot on the web where you keep the diary that’s read by any passing stranger, but not know who you are.

Some of my skinterface friends who blog (and no, I don’t generally read theirs) comment that it’s weird when a stranger remarks on their choice of colors, or words, or asks what the next project is going to be—just as if they knew them, they say. (And how’s THAT for a typically convoluted sentence??) But in some ways, I find it odder to get an email from someone who knows me in real life—or a comment from a RL person that harks back to what they read on my blog—because I don’t talk about what I blog about. It’s all about separation of virtual and real, yolk and white, church and state.

But, not being one to listen to common wisdom, I let everyone know my blogaddress, even the folks who know the face behind the lunchbox. And now I find myself in the queer position of being afraid that no one reads this . . . and being equally afraid that someone I know WILL read this.

So I end up with the unbearable lightness of blogging. If I post what’s really on my mind, will I end up with my nearest and dearest fretting over what I said? Angered that they got it over the net, instead of directly from me? What, don’t I trust them??? (Yes, and no. When you put your heart near someone else’s hand, you trust them implicitly, but at the same time, this doesn’t mean you want them knowing all there is to know.)

And as you know if you’ve been reading this blog, when I write, I open my mouth and my heart falls out. Here’s the downside of authenticity and letting it all hang out—it ain’t pretty. It may clash with your public persona. And so I end up self-censoring, and if I don’t have a post about fluffy bunnies and the latest knitting project, I end up not saying anything out loud.

Which is great for filling journals, but gets no space filled here. And the weeks go by, and the weeks go by, and suddenly it’s been over a month and both mailboxes start to pile up with people saying “Just what the hell happened, Spike?”

And I come up with plans to do better; plans that only require a perfect world to come to fruition.

I had forgotten how good it is to have space to think again. Thanks for the kick in the pants, Bonnie Rae. I needed that.