feel like know that I haven’t written much of substance here lately that isn’t a weekly post, but with the long summer days being filled with vacations, work, friends, and sleep training, I just haven’t had the chance…or truly, I haven’t made this space my priority, and I feel like that’s okay. However, I miss really thinking about my writing, delving into issues that are important to me, and investing time and heart and soul into a post (not to mention I miss the interactions and input I receive from you all), so I’m hoping to get back to it soon.
(As a side note, I do not consider myself to be a great writer by any means, but this space has been so therapeutic for me over the years – truly my cheap version of therapy – so that is the part of writing that I miss!)
At any rate, Kelle Hampton @ Enjoying the Small Things wrote a post last week that was simply answering FAQs from her readers. She is not a TTC blogger whatsoever – I actually started following her because of her incredible birth story about her daughter Nella (who was born with Down syndrome), and I continued to follow her journey because of her gorgeous pictures of her daughters. I often skim her posts now days, but I do remember reading last fall that she had just suffered a miscarriage, and I was overjoyed to read just recently that she is expecting their 3rd child. At any rate (sorry, I totally got off subject there), one of the questions she responded to was regarding how she handles blogging about her personal life with such truth and integrity — especially knowing that her next door neighbor can then read about it. I absolutely loved her response (emphasis mine):
This is a great question. While the Internet and blogging present wonderful sharing and connecting opportunities, it also means your words can be seen by anyone, and they are permanent. Everyone has a different comfort level, and you need to remain true to yourself and what feels good to you. I maintain a certain level of respect on my blog and will never use it to defame someone’s character or hurt someone. If I ever question “Will I regret writing this?,” I think long and hard about why I’m asking myself that question. I have shared personal stories that may cause judgment, but that happens in real life too. The people whose feelings I care most about embrace me for who I am. Whenever we write about our lives–on a blog, in a book, in an e-mail–we are sharing a piece of ourselves. A piece. By selecting which pieces to share, do we run the risk that people will assume things that aren’t true or misinterpret our words? Absolutely. When I write publicly, I think about what I’m choosing to write about, what good will come of my writing, and how my words will affect others. And if I feel good about those choices, I write on.
Isn’t that great?
When I started this blog in 2009, a couple of months into my writing, I made the mistake of writing about my feelings about a former friend of mine and our incredibly tumultuous friendship. I was anonymous about her in my post, and I felt (at the time) that it was an honest post about how those who are closest to us can often hurt us the worst, but even though none of my IRL friends/family read this blog back then and I was thinking of this blog as a safe space to vent about her, I realize now that it was wrong of me. Unbeknownst to me, that former friend had been googling me, and since my blog was still tied to my regular email address back then, she had been secretly reading my blog, and she instantly knew that the post was about her. She was mad. Livid. Beyond upset with me.
At the time, I reacted with anger of my own.
How dare she violate my private space? (nevermind I had posted it on the world wide web).
How dare she troll the internet to find out information about my life? (nevermind it was a good lesson about being careful about what information you share on the internet – be it through blogging or a simple Amazon review)
How dare she get mad that I anonymously wrote about my feelings about an event that included her? (nevermind that if IRL friends/family ever read the blog someday [which they do now] it would be easily identifiable as being about her)
I guess my point is this… I’ve learned from it. I try really hard to not blog in a way that could “defame someone’s character or hurt someone.” That’s not to say that I don’t still screw up at times. A couple of months ago I wrote about my frustrations about an IRL friend of mine who got pregnant with #2 w/o trying (and who sadly lost the baby in her 2nd m/c). I honestly had forgotten that she reads my blog (sorry hon!), and of course the instant she read the post, she rightfully called me out on writing about her. Thank God she was okay with it – she knows what I have gone through, and she knows that I wasn’t mad with her, just frustrated with the situation, but it was a great reminder of the power of our words and how we should always think long and hard about what we put out there in the universe (aka, the world wide web). Whether you think there is a chance of the person reading it or not, I love Kelle’s philosophy that I quoted before:
If I ever question “Will I regret writing this?,” I think long and hard about why I’m asking myself that question… When I write publicly, I think about what I’m choosing to write about, what good will come of my writing, and how my words will affect others. And if I feel good about those choices, I write on.