Em, my web designer, warned me before I started my online diary/ JaneBlog last May that there would be problems with it. She knew I’d get busy, that I might come to resent the time required to update it; she feared I’d write too much that was too personal and not really useful in terms of my writing career. But over the past five, six months I’ve really enjoyed my online diary and I hear frequently from readers that they really like it.
I even hear more from my family because they now know where I am and what I’m doing and they don’t even have to talk to me. They just click on my website and get the latest update. It’s like a never ending Christmas newsletter—and just as personal.
Em was right, though, about the blog being potentially problematic. For example, it’s fun having people that like you, enjoy you, know all about your career and travels, your struggles and successes. But I’ve learned the hard way that not everyone reading the online diary is a friend. Of course not everyone needs to be a friend, but there are definitely people who don’t need to be reading the blog because it does him/her no good, and therefore me no good. There are instances where more info, particularly info of a private nature, is just dangerous. I’ve posted a few blogs where almost immediately I got a sick feeling in my gut, a sense of–not smart, not good decision making at all–but once posted on my site, should I remove? Should I edit? Censor? Delete?
I have deleted parts of posts in the past. I’ve probably done this two times. Once in May and then again earlier this summer (I think it was summer) when I talked about Googling and Blogging. When friends who know me and care about me can’t figure out what I’m saying, I’ll make changes….clarify, tighten. But I won’t get rid of the entire post. It’s well….pointless. I’m here to communicate. These are my thoughts, my opinions, good or bad.
However, when people get on my site, study everything, read the blogs, and determine they know me based on my photos, on my blogs, on my books and excerpts…well, you’re getting a version of me, but you’re not really getting me and based on what you project on me, I’m neither as good as you think, nor as bad. I’m neither as smart nor foolish, charming or selfish. I’m just a person. Someone’s daughter, sister, someone’s friend, someone’s mother.
My books might contain bright bits of me, bursts of inspiration taken from a real event, or a passing conversation, but no book is stolen from life, snatched from reality and frozen into paperback fiction. It doesn’t work that way. Writing doesn’t work that way. I don’t work that way.