I haven’t written a blog entry in awhile, and it’s been long enough that I’m getting concerned emails from people who are kind enough to want to read what I have to say. In responding to one of those emails it hit me just how much of a problem I’ve created for myself by blogging.
When I came out of the closet as a writer about eight years ago (is that all?) I was well in practice with writing fiction. I was also well-versed in the typical authorial trick of not letting the truth get in the way of a good story and therefore embroidering upon my own mundane life to make it more interesting than it seemed to me at the time. Then blogs came along and I told myself I could add blogging to my writing rota under one condition.
I had to be completely honest. No gilding the facts to make my life shiny. No “but it would’ve been funnier if I’d said this clever retort, so I will write it that way after the fact” types of recounting. The blog is the space where I try to do what is perhaps the most difficult task for any writer…make your own life sound interesting without retouching the facts. If I write it here, it’s the unvarnished truth.*
At first it was difficult. Surely there was nothing I could do that was interesting in its own right. Then I gradually realised that people are entertained in all corners of the world now. Even hold music has been redesigned to entertain. But not everyone is honest about who they are and what’s happening in their head. And so I figured if I just did that…said what was real, warts and all…it might not be interesting but at least it would be different. In doing that I found that I could be a better person, a more confident person and that indeed much of the world had the same wrestling with self in the wee small hours and great yawning chasms of doubt that I did.
The blog is my place for unfettered honesty.
Right now there is a major health issue going on (no, it isn’t cancer) with me that I am not ready to talk about. It’s affecting me on several levels. I’ve been through the Kubler Ross five stages, bouncing between denial and anger and acceptance like a pinball. I’ve been trying to sit on the self-loathing beast that rares up. But I’m definitely not ready to talk about it, to tell people all about it in exquisite detail. And I don’t know if I ever will be.
And keeping that to myself, having that one room where I won’t go, has made it very hard to sit down to write a blog entry. How do I be honest in my space for honesty if I won’t publicly speak about the one thing that overrides all my thoughts these days? I can’t really. But then again, my soul is getting constipated with the silence. So I’m writing to explain that for awhile at least these blog entries will be white water, pouring out and churning ’round the rock of the thing I won’t write about yet.
How’s that for being honest about not being forthcoming?
*(For what it’s worth, that has spilled over into FB as well. If it’s autobiographical on there, it’s true. Even the conversational blurbs I occasionally post are word for word.)