wings and things

Why on earth would anybody make their blog private?

on December 7, 2012

I have often wondered this because, almost by definition, a blog is a public thing, isn’t it? When I first began blogging, a bit over a year ago, it didn’t take me long to realize just how public this kind of writing is. Comments from friends and family were encouraging and, like many, I discovered I had a ready-made audience. When people I didn’t know (other bloggers) commented, I was initially astounded but gradually I began to explore their blogs and became accustomed to the reciprocal dynamics.

A week ago, I re-started my romance novel blog. Originally this had contained posts about my life with husband, Anthony, then I decided to incorporate these into this blog and the romance novel blog lay dormant for awhile. Then, suddenly realizing I had an already written draft of a novel for Harlequin Mills and Boon that needed editing, I decided to re-motivate myself to do this editing by blogging it, bit by bit by bit. So far I am halfway through and up to Chapter 6.

BUT, when I got to Chapter 5, I was rather shocked to find that it contained some rather explicit erotic material. It wasn’t pornographic but it was odd to read something that seemed to have been written by somebody else. I was in a quandary, so (not having that many followers on that blog) I asked them what to do and it was suggested that I put an “Adult content” warning on any posts that were risque, so I did, and I posted one of these and hoped for the best. Before doing so, I asked my mother to unsubscribe but I forgot that many people who were already subscribed to the romance novel from way back (when it was autobiographical and PG!) might still be reading it.

My dad, nanna and grandparents are all in Heaven, and have been for some time, but what if Heaven has the internet now? And what if my sisters-in-law see the erotic post and show my brothers for a laugh. What if my previous workmates from the university see it? What if  – OH NO! – what if Ming sees it?

Hence I am about to make the romance novel private for a couple of days until I figure out who is still on the reader list. Yes, I am going to do this right now!

38 responses to “Why on earth would anybody make their blog private?

  1. I’ve wondered about the private-ness of blogs too, but I think it is possible to make it visible to those who you want to see it, using a password perhaps? That way you could still get feedback from followers, but protect it from family members!

  2. bulldogsturf says:

    Well now my interest is up… where is this other blog of yours… I need to go and read what Mills and Boon are going to be publishing…

  3. fgassette says:

    I am new to your blog, but I think that is a decision only you can make. If you decide to keep it public I’m sure your readers will let you know how they feel. A heads up at the beginning of the post may alert the reader to what is to follow.


  4. Haha you worry too much!

  5. Louise G. says:

    I’m with Diana — haha worry worry 🙂 Personally, I think it’s a piece of fiction you’re writing, and whatever you’re writing — it is beautifully crafted, exquisitely expressed and wonderfully interesting to read. So… if people want to judge you — invite them to stand in line, take a number and possibly a nap because the judgment department is on holiday and you’re too busy writing and being to have time to open it up. Of course, if they want to offer their support for your writing, there’s no line-up — offer-up!

    Write on Julie! I for one want to read anything you’ve written.

    • jmgoyder says:

      Yes but do you have access to this other blog (the romance novel)? If not, I will invite you. I’m a little disconcerted by not knowing who has access – and yes I am a worrier!

  6. Colline says:

    The risk with making your blog private is that people may never find you. And isn’t that the wonder of blogging? Finding writers who bring a little something to your day. If people do not like what they read they can always unsubscribe. Another option is to start another blog from scratch – then you will know for sure that the people you are writing for are not those you do not want to offend.

    • jmgoyder says:

      The romance novel is already another blog – I just got a request for access from another blogger so I will play it by ear. You are so kind to give me this advice – I guess it is a bit of a dabble!

  7. FlaHam says:

    Damn, and I wanted to make your novel the 1st romance novel I have ever read. I am sure you will find a way to convey your thoughts without disturbing others. You have been given many good suggestions. I am sure you will shift thru them and find the combination that works for you. But I figured I have read just about everything else you have blogged about, might as well add the novel as well. Take care, Bill

  8. johnedoe says:

    many of “us” who blog are and have been very “damaged” in life. wearing our hearts on our sleeves is a way of being exposed. we have to work up the courage to do so. this is a way of “being hurt” again if comments are “ugly” (as we know that some comments can be) much like a turtle poking his nose back out of his shell, we hurt humans have to see that the coast is somewhat clear, and even then, we must take that chance to go forward. this is not as easy for some as it is for others………….encouragement and discouragement both have the word “courage” in it,……..some don’t yet have the courage,…………then again,….this is just my opinion based on what i have learned about the many humans who i have met in this life,…including myself,…….

  9. ha ha – what a quandary–I like you line that it seems to have been written by someone who is not you –we do surprise ourselves don’t we?

  10. dogdaz says:

    I see nothing wrong with using the blog format to do your writing and only allowing certain people to read and review. It can be kind of wierd for your writer self to open up to the world, but if you are going to publish it will ultimately get there anyway. It is a process, so keep it close to the chest until you are ready to open your arms (so to speak). I absolutely understand as I censor some of my posts because I know the children and coworkers are reading. Best to do what feels safe until you are ready to take the risk and give your words to the universe. Always – your friends at DogDaz

  11. Julie–you can password-protect a post you don’t want just anyone to see.

  12. Northern Narratives says:

    I hope you let us know when this book is published. I know I want to read it 🙂

  13. I wondered about the private blog thing too. What is the point, just keep a diary right? But you have presented this little situation where you might want to choose who you do and do not wish to see your posts, even if it wasn’t for erotic reasons. Maybe you really feel differently about hot button issues and don’t want friends and family and co-workers to know – or whatever the reason. Nice perspective to have on the private blogging world.

    • jmgoyder says:

      I have learned a lot by making the romance novel blog private for time being and just inviting those who I think might like it – bit of a dilemma but fun nonetheless!

  14. Our Mummy is always careful to only let us write about stuff she wouldn’t mind children reading because all the little hoomans and their friends like to read it.

    It’s quite a responsibilty. Congratulations on getting on well with your book though. It can be so hard to put it out there.

    Nibbles, Nutty, Buddy & Basil

  15. Oh my goodness you seriously make me laugh out loud with, what if heaven has internet now! Only you Julie!

  16. You can always remove the posts you don’t want people to read, but then, if you’re preparing a novel, everyone will see it anyway. You WANT people to read it then.

  17. victoriaaphotography says:

    I think that the other point to consider is……how much explicit detail is necessary to the story.

    Personally, I think the best romance and/or erotic literature always leaves a wee bit to the imagination. I’ve watched several erotic films in my time and love the ones that are beautifully crafted, have wonderful settings and leave you guessing (or leave some bits to your imagination).

    Porn is a completely different thing.

    (and Ming is a man now – I’m sure he is quite capable of making decisions about his reading material).

    I don’t really think censorship is up to the writer. Censorship is the responsibility of the reader (or in the case of young people, their parents).

    • jmgoyder says:

      I have been thinking about your comment all day and have decided to go back and alter some of the explicitness of the one post in the romance novel that made me a bit uncomfortable – thank you so much for this Victoria.

  18. For what is worth Jules I echo Victoria’s comments almost verbatim which I was I am referencing her (pray she does not mind) and will not repeat the same words.
    Write your story Jules as you would be expressing it to yourself alone. This is what i, the reader am interested in, how this love affected you both.

    How ironic life is! My own adults daughters are causing me to have this same quandary in my own mind and heart.
    It is an interesting question though about our children reading such personal details, I am dealing with a similar issue concerning my daughters and my life story.
    Just how much do you let them in? Does Ming know about your Love Story? Has he read any of it?
    (I have not as of yet let my girls read any thing to do with my life,, but I have also not gone public)

  19. alina downunder says:

    Thank you, Julie! I’ve never left any comments on your blog(s), just because I felt like I was intruding a bit, but I’ve subscribed and always kept you and your family in my thoughts with warmth and admiration.
    Anyway I meant to write to you about requesting access to your other (now private) blog, just in case you don’t know where I’m coming from: this is me. 🙂


  20. dcwisdom says:

    Julie, I don’t follow your novel blog, but when you’re ready for the big reveal, let me know. I’d like to read a professor’s publication. 🙂

  21. eof737 says:

    Never even knew you had another blog… Go for it! 🙂

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