Where is your line?

Over the years of blogging on a number of sites reaching varying audiences, I’ve been challenged with the question many bloggers have; “What, if anything is too personal to write about?”

My late husband didn’t like me to ever mention him or events around our family life which involved him, so I generally respected this; the closest I may have come was to write observations of a more general view on a topic or theme. But apart from that, not much was sacred.

I have more blogs than I would like to admit, some are kept more up to date than others, and some specifically for a purpose and left to stew for a time. I write under a few names, given the breadth of genres and audiences I have reached in the past. My reasoning siting my wish to market a certain brand of writing under one name and another under another, not wanting to water down or dilute the other should there be misunderstandings in the future. I know I am not alone with this reasoning as I have friends who may publish academic papers or articles under one name and fantasy or erotica (for example) under another.

Under these different blogs, I have shared some pretty personal things, my fears, guilt-ridden decisions, my doubts and my meltdowns. Although I have a thin line separating business and personal, its certainly not as strong, or defined as many others. Who I am, where I have come from, my experiences and all the nobly bits in-between is such a big part of my writing, that its difficult to separate. I do understand that this thought process doesn’t work for everyone and in no way am I suggesting that all writers need to be transparent with every meltdown they have, nor to hide every emotion they experience.

Where is “The Line”

I think I have hit mine, given the traumatic events from last year. I suddenly was unable to write – anything. It has taken me 9 months to feel confident enough to write articles, much less blog posts detailing emotions. Writing fiction seems a distant dream for me at the moment, as I struggle to deal with the raw emotions bubbling to the surface every day.

I’ve seen and read others blog and write about their experiences, whilst not exactly the same as mine, similarly horrific, and similarly heart breaking. I honour their bravery and had always thought I’d be the one to continue blogging and sharing myself; yet faced with the events from last year, I am unable to process and write about them on a private level, much less share it publicly.

I’ve been approached a number of times by various people suggesting that if I wrote my story, it would not only help others and help me in my healing process, but would stand the chance of being one of those great chic lit books many of us dream about publishing. I have no doubt it would break the hearts of readers as they journeyed though the character’s landscape; but I cannot begin to write it. I have hit my line… and I am as surprised as anyone to realise that I had a line.

I would suggest that the line is a personal thing, that there is no hard and fast rule as to what or where it is.  Trust your intuition as to discovering what and what it is and share only what you feel comfortable with.

Clarity and Connection

One of the beautiful things about blogging is the immediacy of connection with readers. Although writing has an intimacy, blogging, coupled with its networking ability provides feedback and best of all clarity

Writing will always be a part of who I am, and I understand that by expressing oneself through text comes strength and wisdom. I just wish I could flick to the end of the book and see if it all turns out ok.

Do you have a line? What or where is your line?  Do you share everything?  What the most weird or deeply personal thing you’ve ever shared on your blog or site with your readers?

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4 thoughts on “Where is your line?

  1. The post before my current one on my blog was written with anger and posted before I thought it through. While it dealt with ADHD and was written semi-coherently, it made me realize where my own line is.
    I will share the funny things that happen to myself and my family, will share victories and achievements but of the battles I don’t or can’t win, I will keep them quiet from now on. Everyone has their problems. Nobody wants to read someone else’s unless it will inspire them. But that’s just my opinion. 🙂

  2. I have a tendency to share personal stuff only when I can spin it in a funny way. Occasionally I may go off on some other tangent or rant or something where I share my political views or share something that frustrates me… but largely I try to keep it light in my non-fiction (blogging). If there’s something going on in my life that I can fit into a work of fiction, though, I will sneak it into a character’s comments or behaviors. That adds the benefit of giving me “plausible deniability” if someone involved in the real life scenario catches onto it.

  3. Seeing that my current blog (like you, have a few on the back burner) is mostly stories about my past, I get pretty personal in my writing of those posts. I’m even bold enough to use the real names of the people from my past. I do, however, leave off the last names and because I use my married name, chances are that most people don’t know who I’m writing about. Still, I share very little about my family. After all, they’re going to know because they know me so well.

  4. My line is toed in the sand but sand changes with the tides, and so I built a wall that crumbles. Here is my secret: I write about myself and those I know (love, hate, can’t figure out,) but I change names, details, locations, gender, ages, time periods, and disguise everyone. They are all guilty as angels and I’m no better.
    Good wishes to you, Annie, and to your family.

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