Being A Blogger and Staying Honest
The most common question I am asked by people about my blog, is how do I feel comfortable sharing so much of myself online?
The truthful answer, is that when I started blogging almost three years ago, I only had about 10 readers. So being honest about my thoughts and feelings was never a big issue. As I gained more readers over the years, it’s just something I never changed.
With that said, I guess I do have limits on what I will blog about. I won’t put up anything I would never want my mom or my boss to read. That’s a rule I’ve had since day one. I won’t blog about family members or friends in great detail, that’s their business not ours. I try my best not to disclose my exact locations, keep my last name off (although, it’s no secret what it is), and never ever mention my place of employment.
I will say, that over the years, I have become more aware of my audience. I always blog for myself, but I do try to write in a way that will hopefully interest people. Choose topics that people can gain knowledge from or relate to in some way or another.
My blog has evolved a lot over the years. When I first began blogging about food and exercise almost three years ago, I was admittedly embarrassed by it at times. Would people think I was weird for taking pictures of my food? Actually, yes, a lot of people thought it was silly and ridiculous. But I started to no longer care, because it was important to me.
When I was diagnosed with cancer 12 weeks ago, it would have been easy to say “see ya later.” To take a long break from blogging and focus on the more urgent things at hand. But strangely, it’s become a time when I need to blog the most. Taking the thoughts and emotions that fill me now, organizing them, and writing them for whoever in the world wants to see, is the most therapeutic way I can think of to work through this process.
I think knowing I have an audience out there reading helps me develop these thoughts more than if I was just writing in a journal. Not to mention, I am a strong believer in that a writer is not a writer until they are read (in other words, get published!).
I now have almost three years of blog posts to go through, probably close to 1,000 by now. Little things I’ve done or celebrated over the course of those days. Big things like graduating university, moving, and making big life decisions. It’s all documented, along with whatever I decided to have for breakfast that morning.
Even though the style of this blog has changed, I am more committed to it than ever. I know a lot of people say “I would blog even if no one read!” But I can assure you that is 100% truth coming from me. If there’s one thing I’ve always known about myself, it’s that I’m a person of creativity. From the first homemade journal I started as a 6-year-old, to the journals of poems and songs I wrote through my teenage years, to the blog I started as a university student. Happiness to me is creating something out of nothing, and doing that for a short period of time every day with this blog is one of the things I look forward to every single day.
So I guess if I were to answer, how do I stay so honest? I’m just honest with myself first, so putting it into words and sharing it is never a big stretch. Just don’t ask me to talk about myself in person. That’s when I start to clam up.