Weekend Edition – Truth in Blogging Plus Good Reads and Writing Tips

Truth in Blogging

writing mask smSometimes, I feel like a fraud, like one of the shiny, happy people who populate the Internet with grievously sparkly accounts of their perfect lives. (Those people make me crazy.) I hope I do not actually do that, but sometimes I feel like certain omissions in what I share make me less authentic, even slightly dishonest.

This is mostly ridiculous, of course.

The world of digital publishing – blogging and social media in particular – puts writers in a strange new land. I sometimes feel like we’ve been pulled out of our cozy writing caves and plunked down on a stage in front of an audience we cannot see beyond the bright footlights. Dazed and blinded, we take out our notebooks and laptops and start, tentatively, to scribble and tap; but the experience is different in front of a live audience. Before, there was only the work – the words. Now, we are up on the stage with our stories, expected to share not only our work, but ourselves.

But, the reality is: no one is obligated to share anything. As the sole curator of our online persona, each of us has the right to pick and choose what we show and and tell, and what we leave unsaid.

Though I shared a little about my situation, history, and fears in A Writer’s Circle (and, was delighted that so many of you reciprocated by sharing details about your writing lives), these days I usually steer clear of putting too much personal stuff into the ether. I save that for my private journals. But, sometimes I wonder if I’m either missing out myself, or shortchanging readers by holding back.

There’s a scene from the first season of Desperate Housewives that still makes me tear up after more than a decade. In the scene, Lynette, played by the fabulous Felicity Huffman, is an overworked, stressed out mom of four who has become addicted to her kids’ A.D.D. medication. She feels like a complete failure because she can’t do it all herself. She doesn’t understand why everyone else makes it look so easy. When she finally crumples – literally – to the ground, her friends come to her side, and admit to their own messy lives full of failures and fears. “Why didn’t you ever tell me this?” Lynette asks, choking back sobs.

Why don’t we tell each other this stuff?

Well, as one of Huffman’s co-stars says, “No one likes to admit they can’t handle the pressure.” Nope. We sure don’t. We want people to think we’ve got it all together and know what the hell we’re doing. We don’t want to appear weak or stupid or needy. And with the digital window the Internet gives the world into our lives (if we choose to open the blinds), the pressure to project perfection (or something close to it) is exponentially greater than ever before.

If you blog, you’ve opened the blinds. The question then becomes, what are you going to share? How transparent and vulnerable are you willing to be? And, why?

I haven’t yet figured out where I sit on the spectrum of transparency and vulnerability. Most of what I publish online is, I think, more professional than personal. Even though my first foray into blogging came when I unintentionally became a mommy blogger writing about her divorce, I would still call myself a “careful” blogger. Though I readily share my thoughts, musings, and opinions, I rarely “let it all hang out,” as they say.

But, I wonder if maybe I should.

I write to connect with my own thoughts and emotions, with the world around me, and with other people. How deep can those connections be if I keep everyone at arm’s length? How integral are these connections to my identity as a writer? And, conversely, how important is privacy to my writing? Exactly where does my personal identity meet my writer identity, and how do I successfully blend the two? Is that even the goal?

I am always so touched and flattered when someone compliments my writing or tells me how impressed they are by my ability to make a living writing. I am gratified when someone acknowledges my hard work and perseverance. Making time and space to write is not an easy task for any of us. But even as I glow, for a brief moment, in the kindness of someone else’s words, I want to reach across the digital divide and confess that I’m just winging it. I want to admit that there is no grand plan. I don’t have the answers. I do so many things wrong. I miss so many opportunities. I run in the same damn circles year after year, fleeing from the demons of fear and procrastination.

But, instead, I just smile and say Thank You.

For now.

What I’m {Learning About} Writing: When you feel you have to write a certain way to be taken seriously

cemetaryI’m really enjoying the flash fiction course I’m taking via Grub Street Writer’s online classroom. Despite being up to my eyeballs in client deadlines, I’m managing to keep up (mostly) with the reading, assignments, and peer reviews. One thing I’m struggling with, however, is my own perception that Literature (with a capital “L”) has to be dark, tragic, or otherwise show the ugly underbelly of human existence.

My life is neither dark nor tragic  (touch wood). I’m all for stories that put the protagonist in a sticky spot, even in mortal danger, but I am not typically drawn to stories that focus thematically on the evils of human nature. It’s just not my thing.

But, I have this perception (and, it may be a misperception) that only “dark” stories are taken seriously by Important People in Literary circles. (We won’t even get into why I care one whit about what Important People think – that’s another whole post.) It’s kind of like the Oscars (ahem, Academy Awards). Very rarely does a comedy, musical, romance, or other “light” genre film win top honors. Culturally, we seem to consider stories with humor and happy endings as less important, somehow. Perhaps we (mistakenly) think that they are easier to write. Perhaps we think that enjoying them makes us “light.” Whatever our reasons, we definitely do not (in my humble opinion) give the non-tragic stories their proper due.

So, as I’m working on my flash pieces for class, I feel like I ought to be writing in a certain way about a certain type of sad or dark story. (It’s important to note that this is my baggage. The instructor and students have done nothing to make me feel self-conscious about this issue. That’s all me.)

But then I read a piece by Stephanie Vanderslice called The Geek’s Guide to the Writing Life: Having Something to Say and Saying It. It was exactly what I needed to hear:

But most importantly, giving yourself permission to write what you need to write will, eventually, lead you to the next thing you need to write. Maybe not right away — sometimes after you finish a big project you need to let the well fill up — but soon enough.

That’s how it works.

Each of us has a voice that deserves to be heard. Tragic or elated, serious or irreverent, cynical or mystical, all our stories deserve to be told. Doesn’t that make you feel better?

What I’m {Learning By} Reading: Two Things You Must Do to Engage Your Reader

book changerAlas. I have abandoned another book.

Though I know, intellectually, that my time is precious, and should not be squandered on books that fail to move me, I still feel guilty when I leave a book unfinished. As a writer, it’s hard to give up on a story that you know a fellow writer slaved over.

Setting my guilt aside, I am making an effort to pay closer attention to exactly why I abandon a book. In the case of the latest casualty, Changer by Jane Lindskold, it came down to two faults: un-relatable characters and a lack of tension.

Before I go any further, I just need to say that I feel like an absolute heel for criticizing this book or Lindskold’s writing. I do not usually post negative reviews. If I don’t like something, I just don’t write about it. Making this even trickier is the fact Lindskold’s stories are very appealing to me in terms of subject matter, themes, and concepts. But, try as I might, I just couldn’t find an emotional foothold.

Changer is about a group of immortals called the “athanor” who live among us. Each athanor has a sort of “core identity” as a character from one of many world mythologies – Anansi the spider, King Arthur, Neptune, Merlin, Lilith, etc. But today, each takes on a contemporary identity that changes every few decades in order to avoid detection by humans. The novel is described by the author as, “a story of revenge, of political intrigue, and of adventure,” and I think the concept does have that potential.

Unfortunately, though I read nearly half the book, I didn’t identify deeply with any of the characters. Wendy wrote about the importance of creating this reader/character connection in her post, Frank Underwood Saves the Human Society. I think that part of the challenge may have been the multiple POVs. There was no one voice to draw me into the story, and something about moving in and out of different characters’ heads created a narrative distance that made me feel one step too far removed from the story.

The second problem – the lack of tension – also took me by surprise. After all, we have a story that starts with a heinous murder, involves a colorful cast of gods and demi-gods, and – when I left off reading – was building towards a political coup. All the pieces are there. It seems that we should be on the edge of our seats, turning pages frantically. But, something was missing. The progression of events moved too slowly (pacing), and the energy of the conflicts seemed to lose something in the telling. The language did not stir me; again, it seemed a bit too removed. It reminded me a little of journalistic coverage – kind of detached and impartial. Just the facts, ma’am.

I did not hate this book, and I may return to it one of these days. But, even if I never finish it, I’m grateful for the lessons it’s helping me learn about how to capture a reader and keep her engaged.

And let’s not forget the blogs. Here are a few of my favorite writerly posts from this week:

Finally, a quote for the week:

dangerous masks

Here’s to writing, connecting, and always being true to who you are.
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Jamie Lee Wallace Hi. I’m Jamie. I am a content marketer and branding consultant, columnist, sometime feature writer, prolific blogger, and aspiring fiction writer. I’m a mom, a student of equestrian and aerial arts (not at the same time), and a nature lover. I believe in small kindnesses, daily chocolate, and happy endings. Introduce yourself on Facebooktwitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. I don’t bite … usually.
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Cemetary Photo Credit: Roger Smith via Compfight cc

72 thoughts on “Weekend Edition – Truth in Blogging Plus Good Reads and Writing Tips

  1. Hi Jamie,
    I appreciate your post a lot, especially your scope: the depth and breadth of this difficult subject are not usually broached (if that’s the right word). I, too, struggle with how much of me to show in blog posts, interviews, talk shows, etc.

    As a host of a weekly talk show, (*CHANGES* conversations between authors, on Google+), I have plenty of opportunity to disclose whatever I want, whenever I want and it will be preserved online as long as Google and Youtube exist, I suppose. I can also blog about my past or present life in whatever terms I choose on my own site and often, as a guest blogger.

    However, because I get peeved when I see what I believe is self- or other -exploitation of one’s suffering, diseases, pain, or stories solely for the purpose of selling books or augmenting one’s “brand,” I am quite reluctant to appear to be doing that. On the other hand, when I have something i want to share that is not “rosy,” how is that different? And, doesn’t everyone, as you wrote, above, have a “voice” that, even if it doesn’t exactly “deserve” to be heard (I don’t even know what that means), once they decide to broadcast it, their pieces can contain whatever they choose?

    I struggle because, unlike your self-description, my life has contained a bucketload of difficulties and pain. Less than some, more than others, if we’re comparing; but not crippling, exactly. At what point do I disclose, and what, and why?

    Still contemplating all that.

    Best to you,

    Sally

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sally.
      I agree that it’s an ugly thing when people exploit their own tragedies or suffering for material gain. Sadly, it’s something that does happen, and having seen people take that route, we can become overly sensitive to the risk of doing the same ourselves. I also worry about coming off like I’m having a pity party for myself, and having to defend my feelings because – in the grand scheme of things – I’m a very fortunate person who really has very little to complain about. But, I suppose all suffering is relative.

      It’s a tough thing to untangle – what to share and how and with whom. Definitely a work in progress.
      I appreciate you adding to the conversation.

      • So right. Then, I ponder: am I missing out on gaining followers/readers by not disclosing facts about my life/me which might evoke sympathy/empathy and make a deeper connection? Everyone says: “It’s all about relationships,” but do I want that kind of “relationship”? So far, not.

        Best to you!

        Sally

      • I know what you mean. There are different dimensions to both blogging and relationships. Where one blogger might be writing to forge personal connections, another may be publishing in order to build a professional platform. And there are many shades of nuance between the two. I suppose that the question to ask before we hit “Publish” is, why am I sharing this … what is the motivation and what is the intention?
        Thanks for the additional thoughts to chew one!
        😉

  2. Great post and I think the question of “How much do I share?” is something most bloggers and/or writers are faced with. The question is, how vulnerable am I willing to be? I tend to write straight from the heart. The only way I can do this is to “pretend” no one will ever read my writing. But when I post or something gets published, I am always so nervous. In this day and age of instant and hyper social media criticism, it is just SCARY to put yourself out there. I have a memoir coming out in July and I tell my friends, “It’s like spilling your guts to complete strangers.” But the thing is-this is the only way to connect with others, by revealing your true self to them. It’s a risk, but a risk worth taking, Just like love. Anytime we love we risk being hurt, yet what would life be without love? Nothing.

    • Hello, Tracy.
      Yes – we have to risk to gain. That’s always how it works in stories, right? 🙂

      I love your approach of writing as though no one will ever read your words. That’s a good trick to play on yourself. I have, on a few occasions, mined my personal journals for material – taking something that I wrote for my eyes only and adapting it for a public venue. At least that way, the “seed” of whatever I’m writing is coming from a very “real” place – the private space I inhabit when I’m writing just for myself.

      Thanks so much, and here’s to taking risks.

    • Glad to have you here. Thanks for the kind words. Always good to know I’m not alone. 😉

  3. Reblogged this on angelaspath and commented:
    Thank you so much Live to Write – Write to Live/Suddenly Jamie for this RAWlike post. This post goes along with some of my central theme’s about honesty and truth about who and what we really are. I’ll be sharing more too…Thanks again!

  4. Thank you for sharing this post. The authenticity ofyour words hit home. I began my blogging experience after I lost my bestfriend of 37 years and shared my grief. Since then, I began a new blog, Cow Pasture Chronicles which focuses on writing and fiction. It has been a journey, one I am happy to share.

    • I am sorry for the loss of your friend, Sheila, but how beautiful that the experience got you started on a new path. I hope it has, and continues to be a good journey.

  5. Thanks for posting this! I completely here you on Lynette’s breakdown because I could totally relate. I remember watching that episode, back when I used to watch the show before it got ridiculous, and being like yeah…why don’t you guys share your failures? That happens a lot with moms…everyone’s family is “perfect” like the vacation photos they post on Facebook. I’m not a Facebook person myself, but I do open myself up in my blog, not a lot but I do share some stories. When I have a massive failure, after some reflection and time to cool off, I might post it. I’m usually the only one in my close group of friends to be like yeah my life is pretty crappy right now and I guess it puts others at ease about their own stuff. But not many people do that. Oh! Thanks for posting the review/writing tip. I hate giving up on a book too and you’re right, most of the time it has to do with the character. As I’m editing my book I’m trying to make sure I take that into account, want to make sure I keep the readers that decide to buy it. 🙂 it would be my first published novel, so I’d like it to make sure readers stick around and spread the word, but who would if your character isn’t relatable on some level? Thanks for the reminder.

    • Oh! Thank you for admitting that scene got to you, too. 😉
      I haven’t watched the show for years and years, but that one scene has always stuck with me. Since then, I have been part of similar scenes in my own life – sometimes as Lynette, sometimes as the person comforting “Lynette.” Those are very real moments, when we pull back the veil and let others see our imperfections and our weaknesses. The funny thing is that once we expose our soft bits, we usually come away stronger.

      I’m glad you found the writing tip helpful, and congrats on being in the editing stage on your book. That’s very exciting!

  6. Great post – very thoughtful. I remember when I was in Grad school I became involved in an argument with my Thesis Advisor about self-disclosure and how health professionals should never disclose anything. I disagreed, because if you don’t self-disclose some (not all) you place yourself on a pedestal – and give the perception of being perfect, infallible and unapproachable. We never did agree, but I guess the bottom line is you have to do what your comfortable with. I am a self-disclosure (is that a word – well it is now), that’s the way I work, but for others it is not their bag.

    • I definitely would have been on your side in the debate with your thesis advisor. It’s so important to create opportunities for connection, whether we are writers creating characters, health professionals caring for patients, or just one person trying to relate to another person. How and how much we disclose is up to each of us.

      Thanks for sharing your story.

  7. I’ve been thinking about the transparency conundrum as well. It’s really hard, with this visible presence we create on social media, to know where the line is and whether or not to cross it. As a society, it’s important that we adults learn to navigate in social media, because someone has to be able to model a responsible presence for our young ones. I always appreciate what you have to say.

    • The “transparency conundrum.” I like that.

      You bring up a very good point about modeling responsible online presence for our children. This really is a new frontier, and the rules have not been fully established yet. It is difficult enough as adults to know, as you say, where the line is and whether or not to cross it. How much more challenging it must be kids without the benefit of as much life experience.

      Thanks, Joni, for coming by and sharing your perspective.

  8. Hi Jamie. Authenticity vs privacy is something I juggle often in my writing. My instinct is towards transparency, because I have a strong desire to strip the mask and be real. I want to show people the working, the mistakes and the redemption that happens daily in all of our lives. But I also need to take into account other people’s need for privacy . Apparently not everyone likes to publicly mine their lives for insights. Fancy!
    As for serious literature being dark and gloomy. ..pfft 🙂

    • Hi, Sara!

      First of all – your last line is my favorite. Pfft, indeed. 🙂

      Second, I love that you have a “strong desire to strip the mask and be real.” I sometimes feel a similar urge. (I love the line in KT Tunstall’s song, “Another Place to Fall”: Affection is yours if you ask – But first you must take off your mask – When you’re back’s turned I’ve decided I’ll throw it away just like I did)

      It is easier than ever with the Internet to take off our mask and share more of who we are, but it’s also easier to make mistakes and get hurt. Still, like Tracy said in her comment, we have to take risks, but they are usually worth it.

      Always good to see you.

      • Most definitely, taking off our masks is risky – we have masks for a good reason, and sometimes they are useful. Maybe what is the most important is that we know the difference between the mask and our true self – and that we feel comfortable either way; masked or unmasked.

      • Oooh! That’s some good stuff: masked or unmasked. That seems like an excellent question to ask not only about ourselves, but of our characters. I suddenly have all kinds of story fragments and possibilities swimming around in my head.
        😉

  9. Thanks for this post, Kate!

    It made me fight tears because just like you, I also always ask my question how open I need to be when I write to the online audience. It’s a relief to know there are others out there who have the same sentiment.

    I love writing and I’ll continue to get inspiration from writers like you.

    Cheers!

    • 🙂
      You can call me Kate. That’s okay. (I actually adore the name Kate.)

      I am sure that most if not all writers – online or off – wrestle with these questions on a fairly regular basis. There are some who make blanked decisions (I will share everything or I will share nothing), but most of us probably feel our way along with each piece. It is a constantly evolving question and answer that changes as we do.

      Glad you love writing. That’s the main thing.
      Thanks for coming by.

  10. I feel guilty when I abandon a book also. I don’t do it often because I cling to the hope that at some point it will get better, but last week I just gave in and moved on to a much better fit for what I was looking to read.

    • Ha! I do the same thing, Hollie. I keep turning pages, waiting for something to click and change my whole experience of the story. But, at some point, you have to face the facts. It’s just not going to work out. (Hmmm … kind of reminds me of the three years of marriage therapy I went through. It took two different therapists firing us to make me realize that there wasn’t a happy ending in store.)

      ANYway … I think you made an excellent choice by giving in, and I think you make an excellent point about finding a book that was “a much better fir for what [you were] looking to read.” Sometimes, it’s just a matter of timing, right? Sometimes, we just aren’t in the mood for a certain kind of story or style of writing. We can always come back to the abandoned book (as I may do with Changer), but why make ourselves unhappy and ruin what might eventually be a good reading experience by forcing ourselves to endure a book when we’re not in the mood for it?

      Thanks for sharing & adding these thoughts!
      🙂

  11. Extremely well done article and follow-ups on comments on this pesky subject! 😉

    I’d only add this: everything on the internet is ***permanent***. Thus, that is a guiding factor in my own working through of this slice of ‘blogdom.’

    • The permanence is always an important factor to remember, Laura. SO important. Some people don’t seem to grasp that concept, and – sadly – come to regret the oversight later. I know I’m watching my own daughter (who is on the cusp of regular online publishing) like a hawk! 😉

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  12. Pingback: Being On-line | Andrew's View of the Week

  13. This is good stuff! I was deleting things in my mailbox and I’d sent one of your posts to my daughter a couple of years ago. Her reply was — I like the $5 idea. It was about one of your kids being a playwright. I need to go and really reread it, but it made me go backwards and find you, which led me here! Loved this. I tend to write a lot about some of my darker feelings and then try to fluff it up by writing something more up. But I identify with why you tear up thinking about the scene in that show! It’s hard for me to push myself and go participate in all the stuff I’m expected to participate in. A year ago or so, a friend approached me at a baby shower and told me she was happy to see me. I told her the same and then said… “I always feel as if I’m faking it at these things.” And she said, “Di we are all faking it.” I loved her for saying that at just the right moment. We need to be more honest with each other. Why I love your blog and a following!

    • I love your friend for saying that, too. 🙂
      There’s a lot to be said for gently pulling off our masks. Though, as several commenters have pointed out, there are inherent risks, it’s almost always worth it.

      I’m delighted that you shared one of my posts with your daughter. That’s awesome.

      Thanks so much for coming by and for sharing.

  14. Thanks for this openness about the decision-making process we face on what or how much to share of ourselves that highlight the risks as well. Writing feels so much like I am laying my heart open for anyone to see or trample!

    • It can feel like that – a bit dangerous and maybe even foolhardy; but I believe that, eventually, writing will help us find people who want to share the journey with us in a positive and supportive way.

      I hope no one tramples your heart.
      🙂

  15. This is a beautifully written, thoughtful piece with which I am sure many people can identify. It is a strange world alright, the world of online blogging, as I am just discovering myself! You are doing a great job.

    • Thank you so much, Scarlett.
      It IS a strange world, isn’t it? I feel like I’ve always been here, but in reality it’s been less than a decade. Amazing how much of our perspective and way of interacting can change in such a short time. The way the Internet, and blogging and social media in particular, have connected us is pretty amazing. When I was a teenager, this would have seemed like science fiction! 😉

      Glad to have you here. Thanks for the kind words.

  16. I love your articles. And certainly, nobody can possibly understand what it takes to be a faithful and good writer except another writer. Thanks for your raw honesty. 🙂

  17. Obviously, you have hit a nerve among internet writers! So many responses and different reactions! But so little time to read each individual’s navel-gazing, at least that isn’t for me. You have the integrity to share and to acknowledge sharing from your readers, which I admire. However, and to the point, I don’t think that writers should use their audiences as therapists. Blogging lends itself to over-exposure(and hurt feelings) of self/family/issues; perhaps that’s why I keep hesitating to write non-fiction, either on the internet or in memoir.
    Also, about abandoning books–I’m getting better at it as I age. I wrongly pushed myself through MARCH a few years ago, but happily stopped reading TINKER,TAILOR… after about ten chapters. I have pushed through most of WOLF HALL, despite Mantel’s confusing use of the pronoun “he,” and I am glad that I didn’t quit because there is so much in the novel that is great. There is not enough real literature out there, but I keep searching…even among “the classics.” Once, a South Georgia friend said, “There is no excuse for eating a bad watermelon.” I feel the same way about books.

    • “There is no excuse for eating a bad watermelon.” I think that’s going into my mental archive of favorite quotes. Love it.

      I agree that blogging lends itself to over-exposure. That’s why I rarely write about what most would consider my “personal” or “private” life, focusing more on what I would call my “inner” life. That is, I think, an important distinction, particularly when the inner life is couched in a broader context meant to include others rather than exclude them.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and adding to the perspectives!
      🙂

  18. We are all trying to be perfect even though we know we are not.
    Trying to have this perfect life or at least showing that we have a perfect life. The pressure is more than ever. This world is kind of a hypocrite on one hand it screams o be *you*, to be free, to embrace your imperfections but the moment someone tries to do that there they come with their snarky comments and soul crushing looks.

    • There is quite a bit of hypocrisy in play, isn’t there? All those open-minded, encouraging quotes … and then a barrage of judgment sweeps in from stage left and knocks the wind out of you. I am grateful (knock on wood) that apart from some very personal attacks during my divorce and a handful of mom blogs that I wrote for BabyCenter on hot-button issues, I have had few run-ins with the Internet trolls. Still, I hear the stories, and they are not pretty.

      No one is perfect. We’re all just on a journey, and we don’t even really know where we’re going. Silly to pick fights along the way.

      Wishing you online writing free of snark and soul-crushing looks. 🙂

  19. Wow, what an excellent and thought provoking observation of the consciousness of the new progressing world of Social Media and the stresses it can bring. I find myself on social media such as Facebook, seeing how much fun it looks like others are having in their lives, comparing my life to what i see in their pictures and feeling as if my life isn’t ‘exciting’ enough, that I am missing out on something. When i relate that to my blog I also notice how I see others with marvelous things to write about, genius, creative minds and again i compare myself. ” Am i good enough to relay my thoughts, beliefs and emotions out there for other people to see?” I wonder.
    “I write to connect with my own thoughts and emotions, with the world around me, and with other people” I love that quote. It shows me an innate desire that people have to connect with each other, the primal pack instinct, to find those of like mind and congregate. It also reminds me to write for the sake of the joy of writing.
    This really sheds light on the fact that it takes courage to be yourself in the midst of a world of others trying to be themselves as well.
    A great ending quote amongst all this revelation is when you wrote,”Each of us has a voice that deserves to be heard. Tragic or elated, serious or irreverent, cynical or mystical, all our stories deserve to be told.” which is something so important to realize yet so hard to remember, especially for those attempting to newly immerse themselves into the online writing world such as myself.
    Thanks again for your thought provoking post.
    Justin

    • Justin, just reading your generous and insightful comment now while I’m looking back over the most popular posts of 2015. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts so thoroughly & have a very happy New Year!

  20. Thank you for that. It seems to be a fine line between honoring and expressing what is actually uniquely us and how vulnerable it actually makes us… But, by disclosing really who we are, we may be actually owning our power. Still struggling with these questions myself. snakeskinned.com Julie

    • Hello, Julie. My apologies for such a heinously belated response.
      I love the idea that we can “own our power” by disclosing (and, perhaps, more to the point – accepting and loving?) who we really are. That will give me more food for thought.

      TKS much for being here!

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  23. Thanks Jaime. While I probably come across as being fairly open on my blog, I do have boundaries. I have photos of my kids but don’t refer to them by name. I do think you need to be careful about what you put online and should never feel pressured to put more of yourself out there than you feel comfortable with. Some people are quite happy and proud to pose nude, most of us hold back and wouldn’t part with that privacy for anything. You have to be true to yourself xx Rowena

    • I agree that boundaries are important, and they are also a Good Thing as long as we are the ones setting them AND we are setting them for reasons about which we are honest with ourselves. After all, even though we are sharing pieces of ourselves publicly, that in no way obligates us to do so in any particular way. The journey is ours and we are the only ones who decide where it goes.

      Thanks for sharing!
      PS – I’m solidly in the won’t-pose-nude camp, but I don’t begrudge those who choose to bare it all. 😉

  24. Pingback: Weekend Edition, Part Two – Massive Catch Up on Writing and Reading Picks | Live to Write – Write to Live

  25. Don’t worry about feeling like a fraud. Take the opportunity to use your blog to express yourself freely without being constrained to what others may say or think.

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