Air's outta the tires

I'm feeling pretty deflated this morning. I offended a person in my life with something I wrote about in this blog. (I'm not gonna say who or what). Looking back I could see how the flip, offhand tone that I used when writing about something important to them was hurtful and I feel really bad about it. It was certainly not intentionally written that way - as I tend to be a blurter. And I did what I could to make amends.

But the conversation was exhausting and
it opened up the question, should I have kept this blog anonymous? I like to tell funny stories and I was proud to share my blog with everyone I knew. But the more I write, the more I realize I have other stories tell. Some of which would fan the flames of conflict in my life. Some of which would be seen as drawing battle lines.

The conflict also makes my dreams of writing a book feel a little smaller. I was entertaining the idea of writing a funny/sad memoir but I don't think I considered how much work that would bring into my personal life. And I don't welcome work these days, I want happiness, contentment and joy and that's pretty much about it. But the way I write, blurty/funny is gonna stir the pot. Part of me wants to shut down Mom O Matic and move to a blog with a new zip code. Maybe keep this one up just for The Future MILFs. I guess starting a second blog is an option, just more work. Got to think on this one.

How do you handle writing about personal stuff on your non-anon blogs?

28 comments:

Kelly O said...

I'm feeling you, man. I never post anything that I think might offend friends or family, and in a way it makes me sad. Like, this little memoir of my life in a particular place and time, boring and personal as it is, it's still white-washed.

Steve at the Hygiene Chronicles had a good idea: swapping stories.

jakelliesmom said...

Honestly, I don't. I feel like anything I post to my blog has to be okay for public consumption - whether it is my mom, my dentist or my kid's teachers (not that all of them read, but they could, and my mom does).

That said, I've toyed with writing a Blog B, a second place to write about the more sensitive, delicate, personal things where people wouldn't have to know its me. But because feedback means something to me, I know I'd tell people, then it wouldn't be anonymous anymore.

It's a tough place. I feel like my blogging would be improved if I were more honest and got into some of my deeper stuff, but I'm just not willing to go there publicly.

No solution, just some empathy.

Kelly said...

I had the same issue this week and had to take a post down. I've tried setting up a private blog, but I can barely keep the two I've got going going. So I ended up deleting the private one.

I don't know what to do. I think you can't please everybody all of the time, so just do what you need to do. I sure would miss your hilarity!lol

Angelina said...

No way. I just wrote about this exact same thing on my blog today.

I am in constant conflict with the need to be honest, to tell the truth of things AS I SEE IT (total awareness that my way of seeing things is not universal but personal). I have already gotten into hot water over this one. I've made an enemy that I can never make into a friend. Not that I want to actually, and there's the truth of it.

I don't enjoy hurting people, I would never write anything to purposely offend or cause pain to other people, but I don't live in a vacuum and the only thing of value that I have to give is my point of view which inevitably involves other people and cannot always be sunshine and light.

I'm not sure how to navigate this one either. I've thought about having an annonymous blog as well. Just like I used to constantly think about having a pen name. But in the end, I guess I know that I can never live quietly enough for the people in my life to not know every detail of my life.

So then I am left with having to realize that as a writer, if I'm going to be serious about it, I am just going to have to live with these glitches. These risks inherent in telling our stories. I had quite a dust up in my own family over this issue. I basically told them all that I love them and have no intention to hurt any of them, but that I must write what needs to be said, and sometimes I'm going to write things they won't like, but the one thing I have been clear about for most of my life is that I have to write.

I have to write.

And I am not a writer of children's happy fuzzy stories.

So when you come up with the ultimate solution to this conundrum, for god's sake, share it will you?!!

canarygirl said...

Well, my blog isn't about personal stuff, but I have to say that I love the way you write. You cannot please all people all the time, and I honestly don't feel like we should have to. We need to be who we are...I'm not promoting being intentionally offensive (though even that sometimes is ok with me lmao), or hurtful (that is never ok with me)...but sometimes people take things in ways that we did not intend them. It's a bummer, but it's not the end of the world. Keep writing, Lotta. You know I'll be reading. :)

mommiebear2 said...

I am totally with you on this one. I regret now sharing my blog with some, because it prevents me from being totally honest all the time. Not that I am making things up - just leaving out this or that or just not writing about something altogether. I think this is one reason I truly love that mommyconfession blog. :)

Mama en Fuego said...

I completely understand and can relate. I only recently shut down my original blog because it was totally anon, and I felt sneaky keeping a blog that the people I love didn't know about.

Liv said...

I have not been doing this very long, but the way i see it, this whole world of blogging is about getting the opportunity to be real, and blurty in some cases. It is like an open journal to the world, and I think as much as you have to be cautious of what you write, the people around you have to understand that it is like therapy in some cases. You, here, have the chance to get your thoughts and stories out into the abyss. You have that right. I feel like in your stories so many people find the comfort in knowing that there is someone else out there who has the same thoughts and successes and shortcomings. So though there may be times when people get hurt, but there are far more times where people are being healed. I hope everything works out, and I hope you find a solution that is exactly right for you.

Wendy said...

I have the same problem. There are tons of things I want to write about, but cant. Although, I didnt make my blog public with the people I knew. My husband did that for me and I remind him of it every chance I get.

Just a little favor, if you do start another blog send me (at least) an email. I dont know you, but I cant go without a little Lotta. :)

jbugg said...

ok, so you know I had to go and scan through the last week or two to see what you might have said that might have offended someone...even though you are not telling! I think the people in your life need to realize, this is not about THEM this is about YOU. You are not telling their story, you are telling yours and they just play a small part. But by telling your story, you keep yourself healthy and sane(er?) If they love you, they know you are a blurter etc, but they should at least respect that these are YOUR feelings/opinions etc. I think the comment in your "shame slam" about people not paying as much attention to you as you build in your head-applies to this other person as well. This blog is about you and people read it for your take/emotions/events etc. the rest is scenery.

Of course, easy for me to say-I don't have a blog.

I will say, if you go, You will be missed. But do what feels best to YOU- I don't think you have done that enough in your life...

Jen said...

I'm sure I've probaby put my foot in my mouth on my blog although no one has ever said anything.

Your blog is funny enough that anything people take the wrong way "could" have been tongue in cheek. I love your blog & I wouldn't change a thing.

Ali said...

I haven't given my blog address to anyone I know. Yet my blog is still as boring as all get out because I fear them finding it anyway - they'd have to join the dots to find it and I seriously doubt that they think I'm interesting enough to do that!

Ali - frequent reader, found you via Sandy's blog

Judi` said...

Hey there Lotta.... I see what you changed and just wanted to tell ya that you shouldn't feel guilty over what someone did to you. Especially on such a special day where you were to be the center of attention. My Mom always, always said that "if you get mad, it's because you know you were wrong". To me, and it's just me, I think you pointing out what he/she/it did to you made them take a look at themselves and I don't think they liked it too much. Perhaps, instead of lashing out at you...... he/she/it should apologize. Instead of you being the one that apologizes. About everything. Just a thought!

Lady Tramaine said...

That is the the issue I have now - so far I haven't told anyone about my blog. I really enjoy reading yours so I hope that you continue. And I hope you come up with a good solution. For the time being, I am going to keep quiet about mine.

mcewen said...

A close pal of mine has an 'invitation only' blog for her personal stuff. [I'd never heard of such a thing before but it seems to work]
Best wishes

Anonymous said...

lotta
you are a brave person and funny on certain days (you aren't trying to be funny ALL the time and i wanted to acknowledge that)--a VERY good writer. as far as your issue/question goes, you will have to decide for yourself what your blog is. is it a place for you to show off your humor chops? a way to make a little extra cash? a place for you to go for a reality check? a place for you to create a reality that is interesting for you? all of these things? i read what you wrote and thought of dooce.com. heather armstrong made a choice and commitment to be open about her life & share things that curl her family's hair for the sake of being honest (and making money, good for her! she makes a living from her website now, did you know?). not to say that you should make the same choice at all--just that only you can say what your blog is and is for. if certain people don't like it, you can invite them not to read it. it's YOUR space and you can make the choices about how you want to fill it. difficult choices, but you get the freedom to choose. and of course you will live with the consequences--good or bad--of those choices you make. good luck to you.

Lotta said...

All your comments are wonderful, thanks for sharing such insightful thoughts on all this.

I'll have to think on it some more.

Slackermommy said...

My life is such an open book that I don't think about it much. I'm sure some of my friends probably think "Damn girl, I didn't know you were so messed up."

Rapunzel said...

I shut down my blog once because of nasty comments from a "former friend." I only kept it down for a day though because I realized how much I missed the writing, the sharing, the bit of creativity I get from it. I do keep it anonymous but there are several people in my "real life" who read it, know it's me. I try to keep that in mind and not post anything too personal but it's a fine line there.

Good luck with whatever decision you make but, please, keep writing.

Little Monkies said...

To my knowledge, only a couple of friends know about my blog and I love and trust those people. My husband does not know about it, to my knowledge, and would probably be really horrified by it. I have to have a place to vent my frustrations, though, and in the absence of close friends nearby, I rely on this outlet. I should probably just buck up and talk about these things, or enlist a great therapist again, but I haven't yet.

It's very difficult, but I think writing is an important part of your life and you need the outlet. BTW, if you move, you had *better* send me your forwarding address!

lildb said...

it's such a catch-22, ain't it?

*sigh*

yerdoingitwrong said...

I hear ya. I'm thinking of a blog B just so I can avoid the what if of hurting someone, but still get it off my chest.

Happy Mother's day to you tomorrow, girl. Enjoy your special day!

Margaret said...

Very few people I know in real life know I have a blog. I will often send people tid-bits I write by copying the text. I once wrote something about Mark that I thought was sweet and he took it way out of context. I had to delete it he was so angry.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

As a teacher, I struggle with this often. There are a lot of things I don't post or quickly delete for fear of students or parents discovering my blog. Don't get me wrong, I don't write about bad stuff....just adult stuff..stuff I wouldn't necessarily share with my own or someone else's children.

I also have friends and family that read my blog...it does inhibit me from sharing certain things.....

I am usually much more candid on comments and emails I send to people.

What if we did guest posting on other people's blogs and posted about more sensitive things?

Just a thought.

Happy Mother's Day!

Paige said...

I avoid a lot of personal stuff in my blog because family, friends and colleagues (unfortunately, if you google my byline, my blog comes up) read it. So I don't write about things unless I can do it from a place of love (which is what Hollis Gillespie recommends), or unless I can do it without being certain beyond a reasonable doubt that I will offend the subject of my post. If I can't be certain, I either avoid it altogether or find another way of writing about the sensitive topic that meets my carthartic needs without pissing someone off.

Lotta said...

All of your comments have made me feel so much better. I really like the idea of not writing about it till you can do it with love. At least not publicly. One of my favorite authors is David Sedaris and his family is nuttier than mine. But you can tell how much he adores them on every page. His self deprecating style lends a lot to that.

So thanks all. I'm gonna keep a private diary for all the "it's all your fault MOTHER!" type crap and then keep trying to put up the honest but (I hope) kind stuff here.

QueenieB said...

I've told very, very few people irl about my blog. Even Big Daddy doesn't really read it much because sometimes he can't handle the truth. I feel like I keep enough of my identity hidden by my blog that chances are low someone in my family is going to stumble across it and know it's me-and I'll take the consequences if that happens. But I need a place to bitch about the asshattery my family can be responsible for, more than I need for them to know about the blog, which they would probably think is stupid and a waste of time anyway, and why don't I just get a job already?

So yeah. I try to keep to a minimum what I think might embarrass Big Daddy, and other than that, I kind of let it flow.

kimberly sherrod said...

You are seriously funny and a great writer. I like it that you are honest. (My husband has squashed a boob when rolling over too- I just don't blog that knowing it ain't gonna be as funny as Lotta.) My Son reads my blog and so I have to curb any bitter sarcasm over his Father and our marriage so I understand what ya mean. I say write your book! Use ficticious names and be happy that you will not only purge the negative but make other people laugh right along with you! Be who it is you say you are.I cut that out of a magazine 15 years ago. Be Brave. Be Fucking Fearless. It is your Life. Your Blog. Your Adventure. They don't have to read it. It isn't fair when they use your outlet as a weapon against you. Maybe you need to be honest with them and say hey- IT's My Blog and go get your own- I dunno. I think it is easier said than done but I write about what's in my heart sometimes and it truly helps to purge. Other times I just keep my mouth shut and pretend its all rainbows and unicorns. I wouldn't sacrifice this blog though I would make a seret, private vent blog. Never settle for less than you deserve. You can have it all. You are strong and brave. Write the Book. Lose the weight. Make people Laugh. Go on a book tour. Rock it!This is your LIFE. Make it what you want it to be. How'z that for encouragement?