Sunday, 22 April 2012

Blogging, community and authenticity

Image from Geoff

I figure that almost everyone in the Australian blogosphere (at least - it may have gone worldwide) knows about the article last week about 4 of Australia's bloggers.

I'm not going to talk about that. But the controversy has made me ask myself about blogging. Why do we do it?

The majority of comments about last weekends article and its fall out had in common was the camaraderie of the blogging community. That we, as bloggers, are our own community. And the best part is that that community is supportive of each other.

We have seen it time and again. We can probably all name bloggers who have gotten support from the blogging community. And not just in the form of comments but real, tangible support. And being a part of that and witnessing that is such a positive thing.

I don't believe that is the sole reason people blog but I do believe that it is a huge part. It may be a reason so many people enjoy blogging. Me? Some days I'm not sure why i do it. I think mostly to empty my head. I know that was one of the reasons i started. Another was I wanted to get back into the habit of writing.

But I wonder if by not sharing my stuff, the things that have made me into the me I am whether I am cheating myself and you my readers. While the term does get thrown around a lot, does not sharing mean I'm not an authentic blogger? I have pondered this frequently this year. I am afraid.

One good thing came out of the weekend. I read and was moved by a quote from Suzi at Under the Windmills - The words I don’t write are not lies by omission, they are my story to tell -or not- in my own time.

It was when I read that I realized that the bits I give you are snapshots into my life. They are the bits I am willing to share at this point. I have so much stuff that I want to blog - stuff about life, the universe and everything but I worry about over sharing. I worry about putting things on the Internet that I haven't told people who mean a lot to me in real life. Stuff that I worry may change people's opinions of me.

So I'm stuck. I know it's my decision to make. I need to decide if I am willing to share the hard stuff. It's a tough decision. 


Melissa Mitchell said...

I don't think you have to decide anything. It's noone else's business why you blog, or how much you share. You aren't blogging for us.

I am a sharer. But that doesn't mean I have to share everything. And I never share because I feel like I have to.

Sarah said...

I totally agree with Melissa E - share what you are comfortable sharing and no more.

People blog for many different reasons and one is no more valid than another.

If you chose at any point to share the darker or more indepth side of your life then you know there will be support and understanding should you need or want it.

But it's not cheating anyone including yourself if you chose not to.

Suzi had it absolutely right.

Your blog, your space, your choice. x

Renee | About a Bugg said...

I have to agree with the others above me. I think even for the most in-depth blogger, who shares the dark parts of her world, it's still a snap shot, a moment in time.

Blogging is such a personal thing, you only have to share what makes you comfortable, and no more.


Lee said...

It is a fine edged sword at times. I am lucky in that I am a very open person in real life so pretty much everything that is on the blog I would tell you if I bumped into you at the supermarket...and lucky you! Not!!!
There is stuff that I haven't written as I am trying to leave it behind me and move forwards, though at times I really feel like I want people to know the full story.
It's hard as I really understand that compulsion to write/ spill stuff too.

Deb @ home life simplified said...

I share but not everything - i think it is valid to hesitate and decide what is ok to share and what is too personal for each of us. It does not make you any less authentic but makes your blog your own - a space you decide how it plays out as is within your right.

Janine Fitzpatrick said...

I think there are many aspects to how much you share in a blog. Because my children are 15 and 12 and very aware of my blog (some of my eldest daughter's friends read it) it does inhibit what I may say to some extent. Also my boss and work colleagues read it. While at times I feel a little frustrated by being so conscious of who may be reading what I write, at other times I am grateful that it makes me think twice about "over sharing".

I think what you share is completely up to you and nobody has any right to judge anybody for either holding back or sharing it all.

Anna said...

I don't blog everything. Because I don't want to. I think your blog is yours to write whatever you want. But then again, I don't have any real direction either...!!

Leesa said...

I like your blog just the way you are!

I haven't heard about the article about 4 Australian Bloggers? Did something happen??


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