~Friday, January 12, 2007

I don't know

I had a post up for about 10 minutes today. Something about it made me feel uneasy so I edited and picked it apart until I jabbed the Delete This Post button.

What I realize a few hours later is that the post was not aimed at other bloggers, like it was intended to be, but rather aimed at myself.

Here is the orginal post as best as I can recreate it:

While catching up on my blog reading today, I learned that it is Blogger's Delurking Week.

What? Since when has comments gained such importance? Think back to why you began your blog -- you had something you wanted to say. When did your little space on the Internet become a popularity contest? When did it stop being about your words? Is blogging even fun for you anymore? What stress that must create.

In the face of Delurking Week, I dare you to post that story you're too afraid to show the Internets instead of worrying what other people have to say.

This afternoon I stared at my Blogger Dashboard. It pretty much reads like this, Draft, Draft, Draft, Post, Draft, Post, Draft, Draft. I am the one who has something to say, but am holding back. I'm not doing it for fear of no one commenting, concerns like that have always bewildered me, but I am holding back for fear of being judged. Not that anyone on here has ever judged me (well current readers, anyway).

Somewhere between beginning the blog to get over moving to a new city for a boyfriend that would change his mind after I was here for two weeks and today, I have created an indentity for myself. I receive e-mails from strangers hoping for advice on their love lives. The thing is, and the thing I don't want to tell them, is I don't know. Just as you e-mail me, I e-mail and IM others. I don't know; I don't have the answers.

I've had things on my mind that I haven't been forthcoming about. I want to seem strong to you. I want to seem put together and brave. But some days, some weeks, I am not.

I don't want Phil to think I'm being a whiny little girl. I don't want Indiana to think I'm not intelligent. I don't want Mez to think I'm any less cool than I already am. I don't want Amber to think that I'm not brave. I don't want Pink Jellybaby to pity me. I don't want General Boy to think that I'm not desirable.

I'm not posting these things for the same reasons I hide from even my best friends when I get upset; I don't want you to think poorly of me. I'm going to finish those posts and I will publish them, but just be careful with me.

I'm feeling vulnerable.


Phil said...

I think we've all had that same conversation with ourselves.

I've deleted a few posts after they've gone up. My original intent or point got lost because I was trying too hard to be amusing. (Laugh at my jokes and I'll love you forever)

I feel as though I can talk about anything on my blog but it's not a diary per se and I haven't experienced the anonymous flame comments yet but I'm sure I will at some stage.

As for you...

Whiny? Never!

A Friend? You betcha!

A Sandal hater? Always!

M said...

I'm not a big drafter. Basically I have no drafts in my dashboard at all (as demonstrated by my crap grammar and spelling). This is not because I'm so courageous or will post anything I think - but more because I'm impulsive and I'm not really all that rehearsed a person anyway. The way I operate is that I wait until I've already posted to edit my thoughts, though. So, same diff really. lol.

I don't really approach the journal as a diary I keep under my pillow though - there's a bit of that in it but it's mostly my stupid thoughts (hence, miscellany). It's true though, that I'm less 'controversial' or 'less personal' than I used to be - some of that was due to a friend finding my journal years ago and some of it was due to not wanting to be judged by commenters on the things I say and think. I have posted things at times that I think 'oh shit this is going to offend someone' (which is never actually my aim in anything!), so I hesitate over it before actually posting it anyway. Funnily enough the only things I stop writing before they're finished are maybe posts about melbourne or whatever. Sometimes I get nervous about them.

Are commenters important? Yes - if they weren't we'd have private journals or lock comments. There are a few commenters out there who are really good friends to me and they see a side to me that I probably don't even show people I know in rl. I feel squishy love for them because they've been there when I feel like shit to try to lift me up out of it and will share little bits of their lives with me. Also, commenters usually open the discussion in a different way and make me think about the 'other side' or at least open it up so that there is a discourse happening about the post. Sometimes I write for a certain opinion because the blog has a bigger variety of people from different perspectives than what my rl friends are. Most of the time the comments are waaaaaay more entertaining than my stupid posts anyway. I think about a lot of them even after I get off the internet.

I don't think everyone always says everything they're really thinking on their blog. Or even if they say they do they're shielding some other part of themselves ie: there are certain things that people refuse to get into a discussion about, or there are other parts of themselves which they refuse to reveal. Nothing is absolute in the blogging world..or any world for that matter.

Anyway, in conclusion to the longest boringest comment in history; yes I do think you're cool :P

AT said...

Keep your chin up

jedimerc said...

I avoid drafing myself unless the post is so voluminous I have to continue later.

Sometimes, I prefer a little diplomacy to cutting loose, and it feels great to take on the issues that bother you without resorting to the average Internet diatribes: using explecitives to get the point across rather than reason. Now, it is true there are some on the Web that are caustic simply because they can be and it is a trip for them.

Most 'flame' comments I have dealt with (and I really don't recall one on my blog, so this has been in other more volatile forums 'cause I am not that controversial :) tend to be irrational and unreasonable and tend to lack in grammar and taste, espousing their own little brands of hate in place of rational debate.

In the end, a blog is what the owner makes of it, comments or no. Ideally, it does make one feel better that we are being read, sure, but for the most part, I write because I cannot do otherwise... everything else is gravy :)

Scorpy said...

I'm with M...I don't draft although sometimes I do sketch out the idea on apad before I start.
I too sometimes worry how my long time readers will react to what I write... and I shouldn't.. It is my blog not thiers. It is you blog not ours..so share away as we aren't going anywhere soon :)

Jen said...

Sarah, there you go taking the words right out of my brain again! We all have the fear of being judged on our posts. But I have come to realize that my regulars won't judge....and those others who do, well they are not worth my time. If readers don't like my posts then there is this handy little button that says Next Blog that is just one click away. Post away girl!!

Vince said...

Here's something most wouldn't dare admit: I've judged you.

At one point I felt like I was a surrogate Adam to you in conversations we had, and I also cringed when you pounced on a date for his weakness. I had to stop reading for a time.

Nonetheless I appreciate your writings on several levels, and I return regularly.

So here I am, utterly irrelevant, and yet somehow a small essential part, just as is almost any reader of almost any blog.

Amber said...


Even in posting that, it shows bravery and strength. Do you think that all of us don't go through that same exact thing? Putting yourself out there on the internet... putting your life; with all that involves - your thoughts, feelings, dreams, hopes, disappointments... it's scary. You ARE vulnerable - it opens you up to criticism, judgment from others - whether it be for yourself or the people in your life. But you're also opening yourself up to making friends for a lifetime... more a type of family who know your deepest, darkest, secrets. They see the real you - because that is what you express. And that's a gift.

I guess all I'm saying is regardless of what you post, no one is going to think of you any different. I read you because I respect you and I love your writing. And regardless of how you feel about yourself some days, doesn't change the facts. Everyone has days of indecision or where they aren't "feeling themselves" - it makes you human. Not any less brave or wonderful.

So post whatever you want and to hell with anyone who doesn't like it. I'll always be a loyal reader :)

adventure boy said...

I had to google what "delurking" means. Now I know.

I write for three reasons:

(1) to deal with things that happen to me, good or bad, like write them off myself, if you can put it that way;

(2) to see what others think;

(3) to be in the spotlight (which I like).

I deliberately chose not to have a visitors counter and I never try to find out who visits my blog. I have to admit I love it when people comment, because it means they've read somethin I wrote and that feels really cool. Like I made an impression.

Sarah said...

Phil- I hate that. When it's better to just delete then to work with your idea. I guess we all have a little writer in us.

M- I'm not usually a drafter either, but something has kept stopping me this week. I hope I am one of the ones you have big squishy love for because I have big squishy love for you!

AT- I will :)

Jedimerc- I was told that I was a whore who sleeps with men too quickly and that's why no one wants to be with me. It was crushing. Absolutely crushing.

Scorpy- I think about y'all's posts and personalities when I'm offline, even if it's fleeting :)

Jen- You really worry about that too? You?! But you're so sweet and smart! Who could judge you?

Vince- I know you have.

I received a lot of criticism for the one post you mentioned, but that's what happened and I keep pretty close to the objective truth on here.

Amber- But, but, but you already have everything figured out by the time you click Publish. It's not like that for me!!

The first 6 months I had this blog, people were telling me who wrong I was. Eh, that blew. So does being called a whore by a reader.

Adventure Boy- I like reading your blog!

Breanne said...

I think everyone knows exactly how you feel, as evident by everyone's comments on this entry! I feel the same way. Back when nobody really read my blog I would be open. Now that most of my friends and family members know, I censor myself. Boo to censoring!

Vince said...

My reaction was revealing about me.

My only consolation is that unlike the majority of people, who judge others without noticing it, I figure it out and shovel guilt upon myself in utter overcompensation.

I don't recommend a change in what you post because of receiving criticism, and it was obvious that you did not post it with a lack of self-awareness.

I just needed to come clean.

Amber said...

Sarah, have you really been reading for the last few months? My entries bounce from subject to subject and most of it just crap that is floating around in my head. Or crap that is floating around about something specific that has happened. Trust me, I DO NOT have it all figured out by the time I click publish. Most of the time, I'm rolling my eyes at myself and thinking what a retarded entry it is. I usually do what Mez does to proof-read: click "view blog in another window" and proof-read it like I was a reader that has issues with punctuation and grammar lol.

That's why I am always incredibly pleased and surprised when anyone comments. :)

Sarah said...

Breanne- Yup, that's exactly what's happened, even though I don't know anyone here in real life. I'm going to try to get back to that. :)

Vince- I'm glad you acknowledge that I knew what I did was wrong. I am going to to have to go back to writings things out because it's beginning to have an adverse affect on me. I hope you stick around :)

Amber- It blows me away when people comment on my blog too. Maybe that's why I don't push for more comments -- I already have low expectations. How's your butt? hehe

pinkjellybaby said...

i think a lot of people are the same honey. i write things on my blog that i can't say to my friends, but i also sit there struggling to think of interesting and engaging things to say. i don't moan when i feel like moaning. all becasue i don't want to have a post with no comments.
i think most of us want validation in some form or other, dont' beat yourself up about it

general_boy said...

Sarah... I would never think that :)

There's no-one out there pointing a gun at our heads saying we have to post. I think most of us have reached that point where our finger hovers above the "post" button and we pull back.

Sometimes I ask myself... "how weird is too weird?", "when does 'quirky' cross the line and become 'neurotic'?". These thoughts might stop me posting something, and I have back pedalled a couple of times, pulling posts after a short while.

If you're worried about being judged as a person, don't be... I'm sure I have just as many, if not more 'quirks' than you! If you're worried about being judged as a writer, then come on down and join the club!

As you get more comfortable you'll maybe take a few more risks, and I hasten to point out one of your more 'riskier' posts was the one that hooked me.

I'll be gentle. GeneralBoyScout's honour. :)

Indiana said...

Falling for the wrong guys and coming in second does make you unintelligent it just means that you let you life be lead from your heart and with hopes and dreams...

...thats not really such a bad way to live, it just means there is a little pain, mixed with a little love...better that than to just exist.

Two Drink Girl said...

So, anyone can write me if they want the answers, 'cause I have them. I have them all... ;-) They aren't the easy ones, but I got em.

Sarah said...

Pinky- I can't imagine you having a post with no comments! :)

General Boy- Seriously, you're like the sanest person on Blogger. I don't know where you're getting this whole "I'm quirky" thing from!

Indy- I'm going to assume you meant *does not.* Otherwise, I'm going to go cry now :)

TDG- Ahem. May I remind you that you never got around to answering your last batch of questions!

Lil said...

"Blogger's Delurking Week"??? - wtf? I totally missed that. LOL

It is a fine line to walk, to write for yourself and/or your readers. It's part of the struggle of a blogger who gets to know their readers over time, especially.

Let it all out, sweetie - we're not going to judge you 1 way or the other. It's about expression, not judgment.



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