A Voice

posted in: Blogging 103 comments

A couple of weeks ago, I asked you a question – why do you blog?

You told me you blog because you love to write. You blog as a memory keeper for your family, your children. You blog to put the words in your head out there into the world. You blog because it’s your creative outlet. You blog to share your stories. You blog for money. You blog because it’s your business. You blog to connect. You blog to feel part of something. You blog to belong.

I told you I blog because I love everything about it – the writing, the memory catching and keeping, the friendships.

Most of all, I blog because it is my voice.

This is where I speak my heart.

This is where I speak my mind.

Which leads me into another question – who reads your blog? Who do you write for? Who is your audience?

When I first started this blog, I had no intentions of sharing it with my family. It was meant to be a go-to shopping resource blog. It morphed quickly into something else. Something I wasn’t entirely sure I was comfortable with my parents reading, my friends knowing.

And so I stayed silent. I wrote, I connected, I made friends. But I never spoke about this space with my parents, my siblings (except for my sister), or my friends (only the few who took an early interest because I foolishly broadcasted the fact I started a blog on my personal Facebook page). The few friends who knew, came by and read a post or two here and probably never came back. To which I might have said, yay.

It sounds like a contradiction – if this blog is my voice, why am I silencing it with people I know in real life? Is my heart not to be shared by them? Are my thoughts not to be known to them?

I am very careful with what I write, who I write about. I don’t name names. I don’t share pictures of people in my life (aside from the husband, my son, my sister).

I’m not trying to be elusive. I’m trying to be sensitive.

And yet, I’ve apparently ‘failed’.

I found out recently that my mother knew about my blog from the start. How, I don’t know. She’s never mentioned it to me. My brother told me (and I wasn’t sure he knew) that she had read a post I wrote about a funny incident involving a goose she may or may not have run over when I was a kid. It was meant to be funny. It was funny.

She didn’t think so. She stopped reading immediately.

I wrote a from-the-heart post about a friend’s betrayal. I found out that she had read it and knew it was about her. And she felt ‘pained and disappointed’. Pained because of how I felt about her, disappointed because I ‘made it public’, despite the fact that my readers don’t know who I’m talking about.

My first reactions to these two incidents?

Oh shit. I need to self-censor.

That led to, if I self-censor, will I lose my voice?

Which then made me think, if I lose my voice, will I lose interest in writing, in blogging?

Consequently, if I lose interest, will I shut this blog down completely?

The thought of never blogging again in this capacity – of writing about motherhood, my children, sharing my puzzle pieces that make me ME, of connecting with YOU, of losing my voice – it’s like I died a little inside.

Do I write for me? For my children? For the people in my real life? For the people in my online life?

In truth, I do. I put a check mark against all of the above. You are my audience – mother, friend, sister, blogger, husband, children.

But this is MY voice. My heart. My thoughts. My memories.

This is my space, where I speak for myself and my children. I speak for what I think is right and wrong.

My voice, my thoughts, my memories – they may not be the same as yours, but damnit, let me speak with my voice.

Dr Seuss quote

Who you you write for? Who or what do you speak for?

I am linking this post with Galit and Nicole‘s wonderful Mother’s Day linky,ย Who Do You Speak For? Share your voice with them and link up now.

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Alison
Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the worldโ€™s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and DrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Womenโ€™s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesnโ€™t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).
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  • May 8, 2012 Natalie

    I’m sorry. It sucks when you sacred space feels violated. I know the feeling. But I decided to keep writing because it’s MINE. Not someone else’s.

    So carry on. We love you.

    And tell Scrumplet to hurry up. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Natalie recently wrote…The Parenting MirrorMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Yes, exactly. This is mine, one of the only things that truly is, so no, I’m not stopping.

      And, thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • May 8, 2012 Susi

    Just beautiful. I’m glad I found your place to share your voice and heart.
    Susi recently wrote…I got some sunshineMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Susi. I’m so glad too!

  • May 8, 2012 My Inner Chick

    ****Which then made me think, if I lose my voice, will I lose interest in writing, in blogging?***

    Yes. You will.

    Mama A, if you censor & worry about who you may offend when you write, in my opinion, you will sacrifice your “True Voice.”

    Follow your heart. It will know where to take you.

    Xxx Love.
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…~Jean QueenMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Kim, you are right. You are the epitome of someone who speaks from her heart always. xo

  • May 8, 2012 Galit Breen

    Your voice is stunning and I am so, so very glad that you’re using it in the exact right way – for yourself.

    (It’s why you’re authentic, because you’re you being you.)

    I hear you on the fuzzy IRL lines. It’s just…different.

    Love every word here, my sweet friend, who just happens to be a mother of TWO now!!

    xo
    Galit Breen recently wrote…About NoticingMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Thank you my friend. It is writers like you to inspire and encourage me to continue speaking with my voice.

      IRL lines – fuzzy, yes, that.

  • May 8, 2012 tracy

    Our voice is our truth. Always. xo
    tracy recently wrote…I’m This BigMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Word. xo

  • May 8, 2012 Elaine

    I’m glad you write for YOU. That is one of the main reasons I (and I’m sure MANY) keep coming back to read.

    There is a lot to say for authenticity, for sure. Keep it up.
    Elaine recently wrote…First Communion Forgetfulness & MEMMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Elaine. It’s always good to know I’m a right track.

  • May 8, 2012 Jen Burden

    I love this post, Alison. I had something similar happen, so I understand. You have to write from the heart. Keep doing what you’re doing.

    And HUGE Congrats today on baby #2!!

    Jen ๐Ÿ™‚
    Jen Burden recently wrote…AUSTRALIA: Listening to My Heartโ€ฆEventuallyMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Jen. Write from the heart is what I know to do.

      And thanks for the congrats! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • May 8, 2012 Alexandra

    These are OUR blogs and OUR space.

    We use them for what we need to.

    For me, it’s motherhood and changes and trying to make people laugh a little.

    We decide what we put out there.

    I know it’s a difficult choice, but it’s our space. Even if you don’t name names, people will imagine you are writing about them.

    I had a whole slew of people stop talking to me over a made up post I wrote about my teen son.

    Ridiculous, but I couldn’t convince them.

    People will always be looking for something.

    So glad you are speaking for yourself.

    It’s a hard world without connection.

    “The definition of hell is when nothing connects to nothing.” I think of that quote by T.S. Eliot always.
    Alexandra recently wrote…We’ve Been Found OutMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Alexandra, thank you for encouraging me to write this post – although it may have gone a slightly different direction from what we talked about ๐Ÿ™‚

      You’re the epitome of true voice, and always an inspiration to me to stay true to my voice.

      Love the T.S. Eliot quote.

  • May 8, 2012 Tammi

    I have had issues with people reading my blog and being offended too. I have in some ways had to self-censor who I write about and sometimes when I worry if someone will be offended I hit the private button.
    Tammi recently wrote…What Do you Speak For?My Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Tammi, I’m sorry you felt the need to self-censor in your own space. It’s so hard sometimes, isn’t it?

      • May 14, 2012 Tammi

        It is hard at times but I am glad to know I am not the only one who struggles with this!
        Tammi recently wrote…Celebrating Mother’s DayMy Profile

  • May 8, 2012 Kimberly

    You know that I have been through something similar with those in my real life finding my blog. For a split second I thought to self censor also but I quickly brushed that away. My blog is my voice. My thoughts. My feelings. They don’t have to read if they don’t want to. But I’m going to keep on writing.

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Exactly – they can click the ‘x’ in the corner of the window. We will keep writing.

  • May 8, 2012 Mark

    I write about my Family for everyone. On purpose, I shared my blog with my entire Family and everyone at work, including my bosses. That way, I’m completely honest in what I write. If I were not, someone would call me out might quick!
    I hope today’s your day!
    m.
    Mark recently wrote…Pillow TalkMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      I’m so glad you chose to be open about your blog, because I can’t imagine you not being completely honest. It’s what I love about you! (and May 8 was the day – did you make that happen??)

  • May 8, 2012 Jessica

    You have every right to write for yourself, to share your voice.

    Ive been very open with my family about my blog, so they expect to be written about. They are actually really supportive. I have a few friends that read as well, and I typically dont use names.

    Im ok with it. Its not for them, its for me and my kids. Keep doing what your doing for you!
    Jessica recently wrote…Prayers From A 3 Year OldMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      You’re right, it’s not for anyone else, it’s for us and our kids.

  • May 8, 2012 vania

    if you looked back at my older posts, you’ll see that i didn’t censor myself. i wrote about my teens and some of the problems we faced. i wrote about us going to family therapy together. i wrote about that stage when my oldest hated me. i needed to get things off my mind and so i wrote about it. i found relief in doing so and i found support from my readers who gave me insight and encouragement. i also use my real name on my blog and really don’t care who knows its me. then one day, a blogger i considered a friend, a mom blogger of kids not quite 6 years old yet, decided to throw together a post about parenting teens. she didn’t have any of her own, but she decided to do it anyway and to do a bit of link baiting too and included me in the post. since the post really wasn’t well thought out, since she just wrote the post to write a post that day, it wasn’t well written. she didn’t really take a good look at what she wrote and her words gave the impression that i was a bad mother. at the same time my teen was hating me, she was venting to her best friend in her own pissed off way with her own take on things that weren’t necessarily true, but it was the way she saw it and it justified her actions. her friend’s mom was a reader of mine. instead of believing my take on the situation, the woman believed the “telephone game” version her daughter gave her and spread to the community that i was a liar. somehow, she felt that she knew the inner workings of my home better than i did because her daughter told her so. i stopped writing those kind of posts. i actually stopped blogging for several weeks because i didn’t know how to continue on. i finally started again, but i started censoring myself. the form of self therapy i had was gone. to this day, i can’t truly voice anything. no matter my stress, i can’t let it out. having your voice quieted…it’s a difficult and heart wrenching experience. i still write for myself because i enjoy writing and in many ways for my fellow bloggers because i enjoy helping, but sadly, i just can’t blog anymore for the reasons i once did.
    vania recently wrote…Stop Marketers From Pissing On Your BlogMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      I’m so sorry that happened to you – it’s unfair and completely avoidable. It’s a shame that you can’t use your blog as therapy anymore – because it truly is the best therapy!

      I hope that some day, you can perhaps reclaim your voice again, somehow.

  • May 8, 2012 Karyn

    I always think comments say more about the person making them than the issue or situation. Be who you are, it’s what makes your blog – your blog.
    Karyn recently wrote…Find Friends Who Use WordPressMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Karyn, that is a great way to look at it ๐Ÿ™‚

  • May 8, 2012 Kimberly

    First of all congrats. If you heard squeeeing it was me in Canada. So happy for all of you xoxox.
    I ha an incident once like your friend. Now I vow to not write about friends unless it’s sappy.
    But this is why I love you ya baby maker.
    Xoxo
    Kimberly recently wrote…Soulmates And Ewoks: Thatโ€™s How She RollsMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Thank you, and yes, I heard you squeeing!!!

      Ah, friends. I’ll still write about them if I want to. But, my life is far more interesting than theirs. So maybe not. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • May 8, 2012 Mirjam

    Oh Alison, I ADORE this post. So much of this I can relate too. I’ve have made so many wonderful friends by blogging. But yet my best friends IRL are not really interested. I also only shared my blog with my sister. And sometimes she makes me regret that. Some times I’m scared at the consequences of publishing my feelings, my life. But like you, I can’t do without it. This is what we bloggers do, and this is what we do best and by doing this we are leaving our mark and our living our lives to the fullest, hopefully touching others.
    (Sorry for commenting with a novel.)xoxo
    Mirjam recently wrote…fun timesMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      I love your novel ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes, this is what WE do, and we do it well, so never mind anyone else!

  • May 8, 2012 Blond Duck

    My husband doesn’t want to be on my blog and has told me our kids will never be on it. And when we take pictures now, people will ask me not to post them. It’s made me consider changing my blog, but I worry that will change the uniqueness of it.
    Blond Duck recently wrote…Ode to Grilling and How I love TheeMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Don’t change your blog – it’s yours to do what you will with it. If you choose to not feature certain people, it should be your choice.

  • May 8, 2012 Life As Wife

    A similar thing happened to me for the first time when I published my post about feeling abandoned. It’s how my husband and I really felt about our family. We didn’t name names or point out specifics (like Dad you never invite us anywhere and always back out of our plans.) but still, he was offended and asked my about my post – when he never mentions it or comments to me about.

    I always say if you think it’s about you, it probably is… I told my dad my blog was my space and I don’t edit my feelings.

    I enjoy your voice. Don’t be quiet please!
    Life As Wife recently wrote…He Just Saw FriendMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      I like that – not editing our feelings. And thank you, I will keep writing the way I write.

  • My family knows about my blog but that doesn’t mean that I’ll change something in how I write. They are used to me and my big mouth by now…
    Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes recently wrote…I faced facts and made chocolate chip cookies, everyone winsMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Hahahaha!! Good answer. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • May 8, 2012 Steph_Sikorski

    When it comes to my audience I am always afraid my family will read it. As a child I remember my mother telling me “our family problems are to stay in the family! You understand?” clearly thays still in my head. Nevertheless I avoid those stories I want to tell, more because I dont want to deal with he fallout. Also, I have tught my kids “just because you think something doesnt mean you should speak it”. Meaning weigh your words before you open your mouth. Just because your teacher is harsh doesnt mean you can or should text your friends and rag on her.
    Sigh. Either way it is a tricky road to navigate.

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Yes it is. I do avoid writing about things – but because I CHOOSE to, not because I’ve been told not to. Clearly there are things we should be discreet about – airing dirty laundry and all that. I just don’t like being told what I should or shouldn’t write about.

  • May 8, 2012 Jaime

    I haven’t told anyone that I blog. I use/d it as a way to get my feelings out there. Mostly I write about my everyday life- my husband and daughter, my family and friends. But there are days when I’m sad or mad and I write darker posts. Things that would priobably scare my family and friends if they knew.

    I have one friend who knows about my blog. I slipped when talking one day. She searched through the blog unti she found the one and only post about her. A post about how I was mad and upset with how our friendship was going. We had a huge fight but made u. But now, if I’m upset about anything to do with her, there is no way I’d voice it on my blog. It’s not worth the hassle.
    Jaime recently wrote…A New CarMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Yes, certain things, it’s really not worth the fallout. Which is why I choose not to write about certain topics or people, but totally by choice. I resent being told what I CAN write about, because it’s my space.

  • Great post! I had a similar experience with people finding me and going through a self censorship of sorts. It’s a balance. And ultimately I’m not sure who I write for. Just that I enjoy it!
    Sourire11 from LifeinCleveland recently wrote…It’s my SITS Day!!!My Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      As long as you still enjoy it!

  • May 8, 2012 Julie

    I think as long as you’re willing to stand by your word and the consequences of writing about others, have at it! But I also know you have enough respect and are savvy enough not to stir it up with those you truly care about. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Julie recently wrote…Red Dragon, Lunchmeat and why there wonโ€™t be a Monday Meals PostMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      I do stand by my words, always. I’m very careful about how I write and what I write about. By choice. But to be told that even with my choices, they’re still not good enough? Yeah, I put my foot down.

  • May 8, 2012 Jessica

    Blogging is such an evolution in what we are willing to present and how we learn to choose our topics – I’ve had a few similar experiences as I’ve found my voice. Censoring is so difficult – there are plenty of things I wanted to write about but never considered doing because I knew it violated someone else’s privacy. But it’s hard to know where that line it – am I violating my children’s privacy because they are young and within my control? Will they look back and wish I hadn’t kept a public record of so much? I do find I write differently about them as they continue to gain age; I include far less personal material about my 11yo than my 6yo. But I also find it essential to me as a person to continue writing. I try to stay aware of ‘the line’ and the fact that it is always moving.
    Jessica recently wrote…A tester and a teaserMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      You’re right – there IS a line and it’s continuously moving. I will not talk about certain things in this space, and I will probably talk less about the kids activities when they’re older (stalker danger!) – but it should be my choice, not someone else’s.

  • May 8, 2012 julie gardner

    First of all, I could have ten blogs that were HYSTERICALLY FUNNY using material just from my in-laws and extended family.

    I swear. They are that ridiculous. But in a lovely, charming, filthy way.

    Still. Theirs are not my stories to tell. And my blog is open, real names used, shared widely among friends and family; even my 93-year-old grandfather reads it.

    So while I don’t censor what I write about myself, I don’t include stories about others.
    And if Grandpa has to hear about my vaj, so be it.

    But more importantly:

    YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY

    scrumplet is here.

    Much love to you all. MUCH love.
    Like most of it, even.

    XO
    julie gardner recently wrote…Today call me enoughMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      That is true – certain stories are not mine to tell. And I believe I’ve not crossed that line yet. At least in my mind. My mother would disagree I suppose!

      And thank you, thank you for your well wishes and love. Sloppy kisses from my boys and I. xo

  • May 9, 2012 Just Jennifer

    First, that quote is my very favoritest of all time.

    Second, I write my blog for the very same reason – my voice.

    I am completely 100% transparent. At first only the closest people to me knew I had started a blog. But as I continued, as I started putting myself out there more and gaining readers, I became completely open about it. I share most of my posts to my personal facebook wall. Most of the time I have no idea if someone from my personal friends has gone and read, but other times they make themselves known. I’ve decided I don’t care waht anyone thinks of what I write. It’s me. Just me.

    That’s not to say I’m not careful. I’m still careful about what I talk about. For example, I don’t post pics of other people’s kids unless I have their permission. But that’s just common sense and courtesy.

    Great post! Buuuut…I guess this means you’re still pregnant?
    Just Jennifer recently wrote…Mother’s Day blogCard Link-up!My Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Yes, common sense and courtesy, absolutely. I would never write about someone else’s children or include their pictures. I would never tell someone else’s stories.

      I wrote this post over the weekend before Scrumplet arrived, so as of your comment, he had arrived!

  • May 9, 2012 angela

    This gives me something to think about. I definitely censor what I write in my space. I feel a little freer in other places, like Just.Be.Enough. for example, because I doubt my mom will read that and take it the wrong way. Sigh ๐Ÿ™‚
    angela recently wrote…A Bedazzled Dream DayMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      It’s a hard thing to navigate, isn’t it? I hope you find a balance.

  • May 9, 2012 Jessica

    This is the challenging part of blogging, isn’t it?

    Finding a happy medium between being authentic to ourselves with respecting the privacy of those closest to us.

    My blog is my voice. It’s where I share things that I find relevant to my motherhood journey.

    I don’t share everything about my life or the people in my life, however, because my blog, while like a journal, is not a journal.
    Jessica recently wrote…โ€œWriting is my icing”My Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Yes, absolutely. I probably only write about 10% of what goes on in my life! But all by choice.

  • I’ve had those same thoughts from time to time and am sometimes so frustrated with what I can and can’t write about. Sometimes it seems like it would be easier and better to do everything anonymously. And then I’ve had a friend (someone I didn’t even think took the time to read my Mommy-drivel) tell me how much she enjoyed it and that if I ever thought about stopping, I should think twice. Whenever I’ve disappointed someone with my blog, I have tried to think about the people who might be reading (silently) who enjoy it.

    I’m so glad you didn’t let anyone take away your voice (even if it involved an incident with a Goose).
    Jennifer – Treading Water in the Kiddie Pool recently wrote…MomentumMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Jennifer! I have considered starting an anonymous rant blog, haha!

  • May 9, 2012 Carolyn

    This was a great and honest post, I could echo some of it.
    While I haven’t kept my blog from my family, I haven’t shared I have one. I think mostly because I want a place for me, something or somewhere that’s mine. Does that make sense?
    Carolyn recently wrote…Motherhood Can Be LonelyMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      It makes complete sense, because that’s exactly how I feel ๐Ÿ™‚

  • May 9, 2012 Katie

    I was just saying elsewhere that along with “why do I have my blog”, this has been on my mind lately.

    Also? CONGRATS, MOMMY!!!

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Write a post, I wanna read it!!

      And THANK YOU!

  • May 9, 2012 PhotogCynthia

    It’s a tough balance isn’t it? On my personal blog http://www.cynthiasblog.com I post mostly for photographers and bloggers. On my group blog http://coffeeonthepatioblog.com/ I post for women.

    I write mostly about creativity and things that lift me up, so personal issues don’t come up much. However I have used my blog as a threat a number of times…e.g. you keep…and I’m blogging about it!

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Haha! I can’t do that – though sometimes, I wish I could.

  • May 9, 2012 Janice

    I always feel like I have to self censor my posts. It’s very hard for me to not mind what other people might say or might offend. It’s true for me thouh that my family (besides my husband) doesn’t come to read my blog. At first I though it would be great for them to read about our life (because we are all so far from each other) so I also foolishly announced on FB that I had a blog. I was rather surprised that not even a handful came to visit.

    Oh well. I dont write for my real life family and friends (except when I specifically dedicate stuff – like poetry for my mom) because I know they wont read it anyway. So I’m trying to write for me. And my experience as a mom. But as far as writing good, reflective posts? Well, I’m still working on it.
    Janice recently wrote…PerfectionMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      I don’t write stuff for my extended family or friends either. I write mostly for me, and I want this space to be somewhere my kids can go to and know how I felt about them way back when they were little.

      Good, reflective posts will come naturally. Keep at it!

  • May 9, 2012 Stasha

    Love this Alison. SOmetimes truth hurts and sometimes people take things the wrong way. And always there will be fans and there will be critics. And that is OK. That is life. I hope you never silence your voice. I love reading it. Even if there ever is something I would not agree, it still made me think and evoked emotions. That is what writers do. Stir feelings!
    Stasha recently wrote…Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Stasha! I welcome disagreements – as long as they’re civil, make sense and is not for the sake of argument. And you’re right, such is life. I’m glad you love reading my words. xo

  • May 9, 2012 Leslie

    Oh, man. This is a tough one. Some extended family knows about my blog, but I donโ€™t discuss it much with my immediate family. Like you, I try to keep their information private as well. I think you have a great balance – as a regular reader, I feel like I get an idea for your personality and life, but have absolutely no clue about the rest of your family or friends.
    Leslie recently wrote…Wow ’em Mother’s Day Brunch RecipesMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Leslie, that is the best thing anyone has said to me, thank you!

  • May 9, 2012 Laura

    That feeling is so tough.

    I learned early on to self-censor on my blog. I think it came by blogging while a teenager and into university. In university I used to get phone calls from my parents because they were either concerned or upset about something I had blogged about. Even now if I write about anything that is upsetting to me, I often get a phone call about it.

    On the other hand, I am thankful I learned that lesson before I got married too. There are definitely times I feel like writing a post about those things my husband does that aggravates me, but I realize that I am influencing people’s opinion of my husband based on what I am writing about, and putting him down certainly isn’t the loving thing to do.

    On the other hand, these things you are writing aren’t putting anyone down publicly at all. You are being open and truthful and doing it as cautiously as you can to protect those around you. That is admirable, and you should know that the majority of people appreciate what you have to say and get something out of it! So, don’t stop. I look forward to hearing your “voice” some more.
    Laura recently wrote…Mama HomeMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Laura, thank you for your thoughtful comment. And I’m glad you can see that my writing isn’t meant to put down anyone (even if some feel that way) – I do try to be respectful of their privacy. I don’t tell stories that are not mine.

      Thank you for being so encouraging!

  • May 9, 2012 Charlotte

    I know what you mean in terms of wanting to keep this blog world separate from IRL friends/family. I dunno why that is, but I feel the same. It’s like I can use my corner of the blogosphere to really express myself freely, without judgment.

    But the nice thing about having this space is that you can do with it exactly as you see fit. It IS your voice and I, like so many of your other readers, love to hear it.

    Also, congratulations, momma ๐Ÿ™‚ Love the new pics on FB and wanted to wish you all the best here officially, too. XOXO and am thinking of you and the little scrumplet.
    Charlotte recently wrote…Past and present HobokenMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Charlotte! I love that people enjoy reading my words. And you continue using that space for YOUR voice.

      Thank you for your well wishes!!

  • May 9, 2012 Nikky44

    Such a beautiful post!! It has touched me because I am facing that same thing now. Neither my family nor my friends know about the Blog, only my online Bloggers friend, absolutely no one else, and I am continuously so anxious about any of them finding out. I was trying to look yesterday how to make my Blog “invisible’ except for the ones who ask to join? I try to calm myself by thinking it’s my space and i am only saying MY truth, so why worry that much? I’m still very confused ๐Ÿ™

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      It is YOUR truth, keep telling it and all will be clear ๐Ÿ™‚

  • May 9, 2012 Elizabeth

    I held back from telling extended family and my friends about blogging because I was nervous…nervous to have my writing and ideas critiqued by people I knew. But eventually I gave in and told our family because blogging had become of part of who I am. And fortunately, they were supportive. But I’ve just recently started to tell friends and again…I’m nervous! =)
    And thank you for sharing your voice. It’s a pleasure to read!
    Elizabeth recently wrote…10 Ways to Make a Better SandwichMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Good luck telling your friends! And thank you for reading always.

  • May 9, 2012 Jessica

    The downside of the Internet is anyone can find what you right, there is not stopping them so you have to constantly think before you publish. I censor myself a lot because I know my family reads and that people from my past can find my blog if they wanted to.
    Jessica recently wrote…A Failed AttemptMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Yes, it is public, that’s why I avoid many topics and people. But we can’t make everyone happy, right?

  • May 10, 2012 tracey

    I write so that my children will know me in my own right; not just as their mother. I write so that I don’t forget. I write because I have to.
    tracey recently wrote…ClickMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Good reasons, Tracey!

  • May 10, 2012 Missy

    There’s nothing worse than writing a blog post you think is heartfelt and finding it’s offended someone else.

    And CONGRATS!!!
    Missy recently wrote…No GuaranteeMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Oh well, I guess Mom just won’t be reading ever again – which is A-OK!

      And thank you!

  • May 10, 2012 Kristen

    This could not have been more beautiful! This was purely from the heart and anyone who reads your blog and goes one post past the one where they were mentioned will see that. Don’t change your blog. Don’t change your voice. I adore whom you speak for!

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Kristen, for your support as always.

  • May 10, 2012 Heather

    I love this. So often I feel like I’ve got to censor myself, but it is your voice. You can’t be scared to share how you feel because someone might get offended. It’s an outlet.

    Great post. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Heather recently wrote…Why Gay People Should be Allowed To MarryMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Heather!

  • May 10, 2012 Kelley

    This is great! I like that you are confident with your choice. I set out with my blog soon after starting with the intention of writing humorous observations about life in general. I knew I couldn’t write too much personal stuff or I’d be dealing with family drama all the time. It wasn’t worth it to me.
    Kelley recently wrote…Trash talking my dad (and "Finding the Funny" #16!)My Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Family drama is totally not worth it. I think you’ve definitely found your voice – it’s funny, authentic and lovable!

  • May 10, 2012 Lady Jennie

    I do censor and sometimes I regret that I have to, but I think I would censor even if people weren’t reading. I would feel guilty to write about someone even if they didn’t know it (or did feel guilty the few times I did). It’s too bad – guilt can be shackles. Keep writing for your voice!
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…I SpeakMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Guilt sucks. I don’t tell anyone else’s stories – just mine. If they don’t like it, they can click away ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • May 10, 2012 Jill

    First of all, congratulations on your wee one! Exciting times! It’s horrible to feel anxious about writing something from your heart. I don’t know, people are so easily offended these days. Saying that though, I guess that’s why I pretty much write about fluff…do I want everyone to know my inner most thoughts? Sometimes, sometimes not…ugh, it’s a hard one!

    I’ve got this quote on a magnet on my fridge and I think it sums it up very well: “This above all: to thine own self be true” (Shakespeare) Worked for him! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Absolutely – Shakespeare is wise!

  • May 11, 2012 francerants

    Amen sister!
    francerants recently wrote…Just Give Me My Damn Coffee AlreadyMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Heh, thanks my friend!

  • May 12, 2012 Lisa

    Oh, how I can relate to this. I found out that my dad and step-mom read my blog after posting some very real things about dating after divorce. I also got called out by an ex-inlaw for not including them in a ‘I am grateful for’ list. I had the same immediate thought of self-censoring, but I don’t. I still put the thoughts out there. I don’t share pics usually, to be sensitive, but the thoughts that are mine are still mine. Quite the balancing act, and I love how you expressed it. Stopping by from Saturday share fest ๐Ÿ™‚
    Lisa recently wrote…Why I Want My Kids to Be Like Forrest GumpMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Lisa, for sharing your experience. It’s wonderful that you’re sticking to writing with your voice!

  • May 12, 2012 thedoseofreality

    Such a fascinating question, and I may borrow it (with full credit given, of course) and explore it further on my own blog. I know I blog for me, but I really think I blog for women. For the women out there who don’t have real, HONEST girlfriends who tell it is like it is, because I want them to know they are not alone. I want women to become champions of ourselves and each other. This is why I blog.
    thedoseofreality recently wrote…โ€œTimeโ€ To Read Another MagazineMy Profile

    • May 13, 2012 Alison

      By all means, do write about this, would be interested to read your point of view! I love your reason for blogging, carry on ๐Ÿ™‚

  • June 5, 2012 Christine

    I am always surprised when someone from my ‘real’ life tells me that they read my blog. I always do a double take in my mind…anything there that I wouldn’t want them to see? Sure I post pictures of myself without makeup..in a sports bra in all my mommy-un-glory. I don’t regret it. It’s real. I think that’s what my readers want to see. Real. Here’s to keeping it real!!
    Christine recently wrote…My Finds Monday – AWESOME Baby Shower GiftMy Profile

    • June 6, 2012 Alison

      Hear hear!!

      PS: I regularly post pictures of myself without makeup too ๐Ÿ™‚

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Alison Profile PictureI'm Alison. Writer, a mother of four (two boys and boy/ girl twins), social media enthusiast and book lover. A believer in the power of chocolate and hugs. Chugging coffee as I type. Want to know more?

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