04 September 2013

On (not) blogging about matters of the heart.


The more I blog, the more I keep to myself. In my experience (and also of other bloggers I know), being open and vulnerable is what draws readers in. Readers resonate with what they relate to, I guess. For me, blogging has moved from a diary structure ("today I went to...I did this...I felt that...") to more of an exploration of my thoughts/writing about concepts and issues I've experienced or feel are important/occasionally sharing travel, music or food experiences. Of course my blog will always be about me but I want it to be about broader concepts.

Lately I've been bumping into more people who know me through my blog. I've written about the knowledge imbalance before: readers know so much about a blogger, yet unless that reader is another blogger or a friend, the blogger does not know so much about them. I love meeting readers, but I'm still not sure what to make of the knowledge imbalance. It is mostly guilt for not recognising them their twitter picture when I meet a reader in real life. And then I realise they know so much about me. I sometimes write forgetting that I have an audience. There was a time I was out for dinner, I posted a photo on Instagram, then queued to buy a drink, and a blog reader near the counter squealed saying she hoped she'd meet me because she saw I was at the restaurant too. That was weird. And a dose of reality about how much I reveal about myself. (Related: I have this strange fear that one day someone will comment on how much I eat and tell me to cut back, based on my food pictures on Instagram!)

I've also been so conscious of how bloggers are judged. Not that what others think of me should matter, but I am constantly reminded of how much or little readers (especially hate readers) expect a blogger to give of themselves, and how we never really know of a blogger's life outside of what they blog. (On this, my friend Kerri Sackville wrote a beautifully honest piece about her breakup and how she's so guarded online, as well as mindful of the hate forums.) And then I received that comment with some friendly advice that it's not realistic for me to find a lover who will cope with my illness. Yeah that. That sort of pushing of one's own issues onto me made me withdraw somewhat.

Two, three years ago, and even last year, there was a lot of writing about love and subsequent heartbreak here. I was always mindful of how much I revealed, so I wouldn't be at risk of rewriting Jagged Little Pill, but more so, to protect him. Writing through that time was good therapy. Except when I actually needed to see a counsellor and that was good. Because I couldn't write everything here. (I told the whole story aloud to a friend the other week. It sounded so sad. I listened to every word I was saying, and made a vow - "never again".)

The more time that passes, the less I need to write about that period in my life. That's not to say I dont still think of him, I do. It's a year this week since I said goodbye to him, and I realised recently that at the time, I didn't even feel that I could write that goodbye here. I wrote it on Kiki and Tea instead. I either didn't feel the need, felt that all that was said could be said, or it was a decision to keep a little more of me to myself.

And it's also been a long time since I've written about matters of the heart here. Or "boy crazy", as Tash teases me. There's a lot of just focusing on making my life a good one on my own and with good friends, and so I haven't given boys too much thought, and a little of a lack of boys I've been crazy about. For a while I wondered whether I'd ever feel that same love again. Maybe I will, but I don't want it to be that way again.

I've made a very conscious effort not to get wrapped up in words, rather to observe and then appreciate people's actions. It means more when people treat you well, than reeling you in with loving imagery and properly formed sentences and then writing that they'd wished they'd treated you better.

Anyway, right now, I have a crush. It's been for a while actually. He's taking up a lot of my thoughts. I am bursting with words, but I'll write very little. He's the loveliest. I want to wrap this feeling up and put it in my pocket closest to my heart.

Often, things are nicer left off the blog.

Do you find the more you blog, the more you keep to yourself?

Do you have a crush? Isn't it wonderful?



  1. Gosh that feeling is like champagne, isn' it? How lovely. You know, I tend to write generally about myself and my family - the bush and the animals are really the star at my place... although the kids and my hubby can tend to steal the limelight sometimes. I guess because I was a journo, I set some personal boundaries for myself early on. That said, the personal does slip though and I am lucky enough with my readers that they let me get away with it! I adore your honesty and know that there is a seriously lucky guy out there waiting to have you in his life. ♥

  2. Gorgeous post, of course, and thank you for the mention. LOVE the discussion of knowledge imbalance. I find that too (and especially because of my books). Recently I was very upset with a friend who lives OS; she hadn't contacted me for months and I felt so neglected and hurt.
    "You know I'm still alive?" I wrote to her.
    "Of course I do!" she wrote back. "I read your blog!"
    Which was lovely... but I wasn't hearing anything from HER!
    And yes. I have a crush. Her name is Princess Penelope Fancypants. She sleeps on my head every night. But I'm not sure that's what you were referring to...

  3. The knowledge imbalance is a funny one. I'm ok with it as I think it comes with the territory of putting yourself out there and I'd rather people say hello if they see me out than tell me about it later! My blog's not a personal one though - sure there's content that contains info about me and my family - but it's not the focus so it's easier to keep the divide between personal and private. Great post.

  4. The knowledge imbalance is a funny one. I'm ok with it as I think it comes with the territory of putting yourself out there and I'd rather people say hello if they see me out than tell me about it later! My blog's not a personal one though - sure there's content that contains info about me and my family - but it's not the focus so it's easier to keep the divide between personal and private. Great post.

  5. Lovely post. I am relatively new to blogging but I am already starting to experience the knowledge imbalance. A fellow mother from my daughter's Kindy asked me if I was Money Mummy. It blew me away. I guess the loss of privacy is what I fear most about blogging but I also know it is what makes my posts interesting to read - let's face fiance is pretty boring otherwise! I guess I will have to continue to figure it out as I go.

  6. Thanks for the lovely post. I am a newbie blogger and I am already starting to experience the information imbalance. Last week a fellow parent at my child's Kindy asked me whether I was Money Mummy. It blew me away. The thing that scares me the most about blogging is the loss of privacy but I know that is what makes my posts interesting. Otherwise, let's face it finance is pretty darn boring! I guess I will just have to figure it out as I go along. :-)

  7. I've always assumed that's why Tori Amos stopped writing extremely personal lyrics on her albums. Of course Tori may also have gone a little craaaazy. You are obviously not crazy, unless you are crazy in love (insert Beyonce music here).

    You will let us know how things progress with you-know-who, won't you? In very general terms, of course.

  8. Another post of yours that is resonating with me :-) When I was recounting the point you made in one of your blogs to someone the other day, I referred to you as 'my friend'. Now while we have actually met, danced and chatted (through my involvement with AFTS), I'm not sure our relationship could be classified as 'friendship' as such.... but I do feel very connected to you through your blogging and FB posts, and Instagram and all the other social media platforms. (in a good way, not a creepy online stalker kind of way!) If I were to bump into you in the street, I'd greet you like an old friend and I'm sure I'd feel totally at ease with you, wanting to pick up the conversation where we left it last time. And I'd probably get a bit of a surprise when you were just polite and pleasant in response, rather than equally overjoyed with our meeting... So, please be tolerant of us, your faceless, but devoted audience, and enjoy our enthusiastic greetings and big grins of delight at seeing you in person. After all, you ARE a bit of a rock-star!

  9. I have a whole slew of things I do not share in my blog space(s). So when people get all Hateration about how I'm one-sided or blahblahblah, I've learned to let that roll.

    Great piece.

  10. I'm really interested in your perspective about the knowledge imbalance. I'm not a big enough blogger that strangers have ever recognised me or approached me, nor to my knowledge even recognised me, but the knowledge imbalance is something I'm quite used to.

    I grew up in a religious community where everyone knows everything about everyone, and that always meant that I was a topic of conversation. Particularly as I never conformed to their conventions. I also have a tendency to be memorable, and have often had people approach me who went to school with me but not in my year who I don't remember at all. And now I've married The Viking, who grew up in the same community and was also always a topic of conversation, I'm sure we're even more infamous.

    I don't mind, though. And I tend to prefer people read my blog than hear about me through gossip. At least in blogging you choose what words you put out there. What you divulge of yourself. I have recently developed a close friendship with the partner of The Viking's friend who had judged me, then read my blog and realised she was wrong.

    I would prefer to be known for what I choose to be known for. Remember that, when you're thinking of withdrawing your words. You control what you say and what you don't, and you control what people know about you. Own it.

  11. I love, love, love that "crushy" feeling (surely one of life's best!?). Keep it close, I know I would. x


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