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