Friday, April 21, 2006

come closer


I'm a bit frozen in place in this little blog life I lead. For one, none of you even know my real name. That's really the least of my concerns though, cause what's in a name? You get more of "me" than a lot of people do - not that you're asking for it, but you do come back for something...

No one in my 'real life' knows about my blog. Not one single human being. Is that weird? Is it? I'm asking, so feel free to answer. A lot of people don't even know I write. Some of them do, but in the past I have had a couple of my friends read a short story or two, and it felt like I had Freddy Kruger in my stomach, striped shirt, scissors for fingers and all. No wait, that was Edward Scissorhands. I loved that movie. But having them read my short stories wasn't fun for me. Maybe you get through that if you give it a chance. I don't know. Haven't tested it out. I took a creative writing class once. I had to read my work in front of the class. It would have been unbearable, but coincidentally I had an academic wine and cheese party right before class and in preparation for my reading I guzzled a couple of glasses of wine in about 10 minutes. It worked.

If the privacy issue isn't enough cement to stand in, I have these technological blinders on. I'm no idiot, yet I've just barely managed to figure out how to publish posts. I somehow stumbled onto how to make a blogroll, and on the advice of a fellow blogger, I learned how to see my stats (so thankfully I know that, when I'm lucky, all 7 of you read what I write). Outside of that my blog has been static. No Madonna-like reinvention of the self here.

I am interested to know how anonymous you are with your writing. The idea of saying, "Hey [insert name of any friend], I have been blogging for two years" kills me. I feel like I might as well be talking to my friends about masturbating. No - wait...I can do that. So why is this one so hard for me?

Let me try to answer that honestly. By telling people I write, it feels like I'm telling them I write WELL. I worry I'll sound presumptuous. So what? What am I afraid of? I guess I imagine people scoffing, eye-rolling, looks might be exchanged. I worry I would sound self-absorbed, dramatic, affected. But what's the worst thing that could happen? What if, in fact, I suck AND I keep writing, thinking I'm ok? I guess nothing, really.

Everyone has their own truth. I'm a firm believer that there is no such thing as an objective truth. One assumption I have always held, of which I have only recently become aware, is that anything outside of obligation or doing the "right thing " is simply frivolous. Writing falls into this category. It's hard for me to openly do something that has no purpose beyond personal gratification. So, secret blogging forever? I have no idea how to resolve that. I guess I'll play it by ear. I'm asking the questions. That's gotta count for something. Do I just say fuck it? Do I need to put it out there and if people don't like what I have to say, that's not my problem? Do I swallow my fear and forge ahead or is this little aneurism something that should be clipped and left alone?

10 comments:

ChapFu said...

i had/have all the same questions. i started blogging to finally get some feedback because i never wanted to show anything to people i knew. not only because that was scary, but because i didn't trust them. they might think it sucked, but maybe they're morons. they might think it's great, but they're related to me. etc...
as time has gone on, it's just become part of meeting me. it was really dorky and weird at first to tell people but i just throw it out there now, to anybody who might seem interested, and move on. i wanted to do away with the anonymity thing, really, but i've gone so long with chapfu that i'm a little attached. and even you know my real name (can't remember how you know that).
i had a few stages of hard times when i felt like i couldn't write what i wanted because of who would be reading. i think i've balanced out now. i really don't much care who reads it. and some things i don't put on the blog because that's simply not a venue for everything.
if anything, though, it's helped me get used to people simply looking at, reading and commenting on what i've come up with. i doubt you want to stop writing. it's an inevitable step that you show people. or you dry up and blow away. you don't want that. sounds like it's time for you to start showing and start developing that skin they all talk about.

Lx said...

yea, i've never really understood those people who've kept secret diaries. why? you know what you feel inside. why write it down just for yourself? or what? remembering? i remember all kinds of shit without having to write down stuff in a diary form. so in a different way, it's just as narcissistic as the usual. almost like: look at my fine self in this here mirror...

i use my blog in a different way than the usual. it's a sketchpad; a way to try out ideas. plus, i don't edit or even really think about a piece beforehand. i sit down and write. and what comes out, gets committed on paper/online. it's sort of a different way to use this site; not the usual "here was my weekend" type bullshit which is now available on the web at more than a dime a dozen.

your blog should be what you want it to be. but i think that if you never really want to show others what you write, then you wouldn't have a site. you'd write it in a diary/notebook and put it away.

the anonimity thing...up to you, of course.

i don't tell people anything about a blog. i tell them i'm a person who writes on the side. and almost always i get the: "oh...way-ell, that's nice."
and we move on--usually i move on, as in physically move on. as in, see ya.

"jpnru"

Rachel said...

I like that: "dry up and blow away". I feel like I might sometimes.

I fall somewhere between the dime-a-dozen "here was my weekend-type bullshit" and a venue for trying things out. Clearly I have a drive to share my stuff or, you are right, I wouldn't be writing it here. The blog gives me a safe space to try different things.

Funny, when I first started this, I had this fantasy that I would be able to completely shed my inhibitions, but even in a state of anonymity this weblog world becomes a microcosm.

Lx said...

well, the self-censoring is the self-censoring...for whichever reasons you choose. one way to rid your inhibitions and perhaps "let loose" in a way, is to attribute traits to "fictitious" characters. or, even better, put a mozaic together using several pieces of either you, or you and people you know, and just create.

i say "just" as if it's that easy. but you know what i'm saying.

in my writing there is so much of myself i attribute to characters, but then there is so much of others that go in there also. what comes out is an amalgamation or a commingling of all kinds of traits and demeanors into one. my friends have mostly taken a liking to my site because they like tracking down these individual attributes to their rightful owners. so they'll say: "ah, this is so-and-so, or this thing happend to so-and-so." it becomes a fun game, I suppose. but then there's the curveball or spitball that comes at them every now and again. that one's tough to hit. that one usually renders a strike.

in any case, this is what you want it to be. the self-censoring, i think, is a part of a certain type of person. we all do it to a degree. otherwise, we'd all be Ron Jeremy. well, you know...sans, perhaps, the size.

yea. bad metaphor.

RONIN said...

I've told a few people about the blog. Since I don't really write about people I know, it's not a problem. Mostly it's just for me to vent and get stuff off my chest...

Rachel said...

How could any metaphor with RJ be bad?

femme d'espoir said...

hi, "rachel"

no one in my "real life" knows I write either. Well, they didn't until I told my mother about it this past weekend. Her response, "That's nice. How many hits do you get a day?" I had no idea that my 80+ year old mother knew what a "hit" was!!

I generally don't write about what's happening in my personal life at the moment because I suppose I feel that's crossing a line. In time, I may decide to cross it.

You mentioned inhibitions. Even though mine is an anonymous blog, it is difficult to feel fully free from inhibitions.

Why write? that's hard to say. I've always had the desire to write, and have written in rhyme since I was four (i can hear Nathaniel groaning over that comment). I've probably started and stopped a half dozen novels. But I find the blog medium much more conducive to finishing a project. Easier to set a deadline and get it done.

Truth or fiction? Mine is some of both. Mostly truth, but sometimes it is embellished.

I doubt seriously that I will ever "out" myself. More likely, one of my students will do it for me.

I wish you well with your writing.

Cheers, femme

Rachel said...

Hey Femme:

We should all be so hip at 80+. Oh, and ankle strap all the way.

R

Bwana said...

Feel a bit twinkish for so late a comment, but for me the anonymity aspect of a blog is a must ... in that it represents something I would have liked to do in my professional life, but did not do for too many reasons... and that the blog confirms for me the selfless-aspect of blogging...it's free (so far), no one edits you, no one can restrict you, you have no obligation to do it everyday.

In short, you can use it as a truer mechanism for communing ethically, intellectually, cultural, spiritually with others.

I think it is a great deal like the type of literature that formed BEFORE electronic media... people would exchange letters, recopy them and send them on to others who shared the same questions about life/art/existence, which allowed some sort of chain of like minds to exist in a darker, more retricive world.

OK. I'll shut up now. Oh, and you rock.

Rachel said...

Never too late - always love to hear from you bwana.