How comfortable are you parting the curtain so that readers can take a glimpse of your real self behind the blog?
I came across this interesting post by Andrew G.R. of the Blog Herald. He asked his readers: how much of yourself do you reveal on your blog? He said he was a private person by day, but at night he found himself opening up to reveal some personal details about his life. Andrew asked himself if this was an awakening of sorts, but he himself observed, “I find the roots of some of my strongest content have their seeds planted in areas I don’t want to share with complete strangers.”
As I reader, I find it interesting to find rare glimpses into the personal lives of people I read about in the net. Much as I love the ease of writing and originality of Chris Brogan’s posts on the social media and his inputs on blogging, I don’t feel a disconnect whenever he strays off topic. He wrote a Christmas post with a video of his dad and sons and I found it endearing, giving me an intimate and seemingly complete picture of what could have been just another online persona.
Closer to home, SELaplana who writes about making money online occasionally posts personal stories. His early hardships as a blog author is a riveting story of grit and perseverance. When he started blogging, he endured the hassle of commuting to a nearby town in order to post to his blog. He’s the first to admit he had a poor command of English, but he kept at it in spite of kibitzers who insulted his awkward writing. He did not buckle under the insults. Today, he may still not win the Pulitzer prize for writing, but he writes well enough to put him at the top of his game.
Writing a personal blog is a stage wherein we find ourselves in various stages of undress. It comes with the territory.
Some authors lay it all on the line on their blogs. In my book, Heather tops the list. She pokes fun at everything, most especially the Mormons in her family. It’s a scary act and she pulls it off well.
In Annarchy, Ann wrote a time line of Christmas celebrations. It’s a post filled with melancholy, family rituals, shared pain and joys – what she calls gravitas in her life. As readers we felt amazed at the adroit handling of the delicate swirls of emotions involved. Spare, but feline enough to leap and tear at your heart strings.
In my case, it’s an ongoing process. Much as I’m a very private person in real life, I find myself relaxed and easygoing online. Even taking comfort in small talk, sometimes even alluding to a painful incident in the past. I can’t play the clown as well as Jhez does and still retain credibility. Gosh, even if I were as accomplished as he is, I’d still balk at revealing in a year-end report a million pesos earned from blogging . Because I don’t want the BIR beating down my door. And complete strangers suddenly claiming we share the same bloodline. I’m more like Ambo who left a comment here that he nearly made it as a priest. Or like Viviene who took a ridiculous story in her life and wove it to make a powerful post on babysitting for American kids. We are Hansel and Gretel of the blogosphere, leaving meaningful trail of bread crumbs for people to figure out. One blogging day at a time.
Maybe it’s not the blog per se nor the internet and its social media that account for this phenomenon. It’s the nature of writing itself. In every post, in every article, and even in simple conversations we make, we leave a personal imprint of who we really are as a person. A bold statement to the world. Or a quiet gesture implying a deep need to be heard and validated.
As a reader or blog author, let me ask – how much skin do you show? At what point do you draw the curtain and shut the window to your life?