28 May 2009

On blogging.

Recently a few friends have been talking about their blogs, if they are going to continue them, what material they want to share, reader reactions, perceptions and whether or not it really is the outlet it was intended to be. Heck, by the looks of it we are losing another MilSpouse blogger too (you probably already know of who I speak). And I can't help but wonder how this all happened... all these questions about what will people think if I write X, maybe I should water it down and write Y, and so on.

I guess I have never really shied away from writing about all of the crappy stuff, mostly because I needed an outlet for these emotions, and I never let myself worry about what other readers thought. I figured if they didn't like it, or thought it too moody or depressing, they could just move on. If they could relate or had something they wanted to share, then pull up a seat and let's talk. Is it fun when someone tells you your opinions are lame? No. Does it make you all fuzzy and warm inside when someone posts a mean or snarky comment? Heck no. Is it a great feeling when someone slanders you on their own blog? Not at all. But also, if someone is willing to behave like that, then I just plain don't care about their opinion. That isn't someone I would ever invite into my life, so just because (s)he may be trolling the interwebz looking for something to take a poke at, I won't let her (or him) stop me from saying what I need to say.

Because after all, regardless of public perception or opinion, this is MY AO, MY blog, MY place to put it all out there. And yes, I am taking that leap because I am putting it out there... literally... rather than journaling or keeping a diary privately. I am welcoming public opinion, but I don't think any of us should have to sugar coat, water down, or hold back on what is going on in our lives just because someone else is reading. I need a place to say that usually in the morning when I get out of the shower and see the message Swiss wrote to me in the steam filled mirror before he left (I ♥ Tucker!) I smile, but today it made me bawl because I can't stand being apart from him, not for this long. I need this place, this blog, because I can't say it at work, I can't say it to someone who doesn't get it, I can't admit how miserable I am sometimes because no one wants to hear that. But if I can vent about it here, somehow I feel better. It isn't always pretty or happy or filled with rainbows & butterflies, but it is real, it is honest and it is what I am feeling.

So I guess the point is that to any of you ladies contemplating stopping for any (or all) of the above reasons... don't do it. Not unless it is what you really want. Say what you need to say, put it out there in all its raw, honest glory, nothing you have to say is trite or harsh or unwelcome- it is YOUR space to say whatever it is you need to say- regardless of what is going on with those around you. And screw anyone who doesn't understand. Because I promise to understand, I promise to listen(read) and I promise to still find you all utterly charming and amazing no matter what you blog about.

The end.


Bette said...

I hate to see anyone leave, but I do understand the self-censoring aspect. I do it myself, since my family reads my blog and does not (in my opinion) need to know how badly I've been handling my life in the past few weeks. And my sweetie's very private, so I try to leave him out of any emotionally baring stuff. So that leaves...my cats. My lawnmower. Something I heard on the radio. Zzzz.

Tucker said...

I hear you... not many of my real-life folks know about my blog so I certainly have some freedom there. And I try not to talk too much about Swiss here, though he dosen't care much.

I totally understand the self censoring- I just think that it should only be done if YOU want to do it, not because someone else's opinion pushed you that way (like a commenter or another blogger).

I have no problem with folks leaving stuff out for personal reasons, I just hate the idea of someone feeling forced into it because the fear of someone not liking what they have to say... does that make sense?

Bette said...

Makes sense. On a selfish level, I hope they all keep speaking their mind. That's what makes life interesting!

Bree said...

I blogged on myspace b/c it was just my circle of friends reading it so it was a comfort zone. Then I realized I'd be moving, my family wants to keep up with me so I started MT. So do I sensor what I say b/c now my family's reading my thoughts? Mostly not. I may leave out the excessive cursing I WANT to type some days but I keep it open & honest. Besides if my family has a problem with what I say they can call me lol!

I would rather read someone's honest opinion & have an adult conversation or disagreement about it. You never know someone else's words might open up a whole new world for you :o) Or vice versa.

Meghan said...

I want to thank you so much and other bloggers at LF for putting yourselves out there. You have really helped (are still helping) me prepare for my first deployment. I know it is a big risk to put yourself out there like that, but you are helping lots of people, I'm sure of it.
Thanks again!

Jenny said...

I was wrangling some of these feelings after my blog (the first one I've ever shared with anyone) got flamed by friends of an ex-friend. Part of me kind of wanted to just throw in the towel or start over someplace else and not share the link. But then I thought, why should I let these douchebaggy trolls take away what's become a really important thing for me? Making myself write a few times a week helps the grown-up part of my brain stay in shape; it gets flabby when 40+ hours of your week are spent with someone under the age of two. So, I deleted the really hateful comments (left a couple of contradictory ones) and just kept posting.

I censor myself a little to protect personal information, but for the most part, I just write what I'm thinking, what happened during my day, or what I want to look back on in a few months, years, or decades. It makes me sad to think that talented writers who have relied on blogging as an outlet are backing down or editing themselves heavily just to please the masses. (Isn't that what writing novels is for?)

Army Duck said...

Great post :-)

You know that I have been toying around with the idea of getting rid of my blog but you are right that I can censor myself if I want to and if people want to keep reading they can.

It's good to know you won't be going any where anytime soon.

Cassandra ;-)

The Army Wife said...

I can definitely relate to this. I lost one friend because of something I wrote (something that, for the record, was said directly to her face, as well, and didn't out who she was). Sometimes, people just can't handle the truth, plain and simple.

And the nasty comments will come NO MATTER WHAT. Whether you write it here, or say it out loud, somebody will always disagree.

If it makes you feel better, though, then do it. That's why I do it, and the people that love me, whether they know me personally or not, will love me anyways.

Much like we all love you :) I promise I will ALWAYS be here to listen!

Tucker said...

Thanks for all the kind words and I am stoked that y'all are going to keep at it too- because this network of ladies has gotten me through SO much and being able to vent to y'all is priceless... because you understand, you know what to say and when to say it and you always listen. So thank YOU for that!

And I love ya too Army Wife... I promise to ALWYAS be here for you too! :)

liberal army wife said...

the trolls - I ignore. responding just puffs them up and makes them feel big and important - they may be, but not to me. Unfortunately, I didn't do that once, and it hurt a lot to watch it go all pearshaped.

most of us self censor - we don't use our real names, and I know I don't put it ALL out there - some of my family read my blog. BUT - as I wrote a long time ago - Its MY BLOG. Don't like it, don't read it. turn into a troll, I'll block you. decide to badmouth me on your own blog - fine by me. I don't need to read it (just need to learn how to UnFollow....) decide to not be my friend - were you really a friend before? probably not. I can be mad at a friend... really mad at afriend, I can disagree vehemently with you, but if you are really a friend, I'll stand by you.

You guys in the milblogosphere here, are my lifeline, my friends, my security blanket, the ones I'll find online at midnight - like last night... I may not post as much as I did before, I may take a long break... but I'm here for the long haul.


Post Tenebras Lux said...

Ha! One of the big reasons I read your page is because you document the "bad" stuff and the bad days. Reading happy-all-the-time milbloggers makes me feel totally inadequate, since bad days are something I do. Thanks for the permission to have a "depressing" blog ;). I'm enjoying yours. . . .

Post Tenebras Lux said...

Not that yours is depressing. It's not. I *meant* I'm enjoying your *blog*.

Tucker said...

Ha ha ha! I knew what you meant PTL! I agree that the happy-all-the-time blogs make me feel inadequate and I didn't want to be like that or put that image out there to other newbies like me. I felt (and still feel) I needed to be honest about the highs and the lows and what this is REALLY like for me. So I am glad you are liking it and that you GET it! :)

And LAW- I am SO glad you are here for the long haul... I would not and could not have gotten to where I am with my sanity in tact without you! You are the best!

Slightly Salty said...

Well said Tuck. Blogging is a great vehicle for getting it all out there.

silver star said...

Blogging is tricky for me. I used to blog about my life and stuff on myspace, then my in-laws found out about me being on there, started reading it and started harassing my husband about the stuff I said. He probably wouldn't even like my Blogger blog if he or his family knew about it. If anyone involved in my real life reads it, they're keeping quiet about it or they haven't figured out that it's me. I don't know a lot of military people in real life, so that probably helps as well. For the most part, I don't care what people know, but my husband does.