wings and things

To blog or not to blog….

on March 3, 2013

Blogging presents many of us with private-versus-public predicaments. Some bloggers remain anonymous, some don’t.

Over the last few weeks, I have become more aware of how blogging can be quite risky because, whether you are anonymous or not, if you write something from your heart and someone doesn’t agree, it’s free for all.

Often family or friends may try to admonish you, shut you up, give you advice, even make fun of you. These kinds of responses usually come from people who either don’t understand blogging, or just don’t understand you.

Today I was upset to find that one of my blog friends is feeling compelled to shut her blog down due to family pressure. Her blog’s raw honesty has helped so many of us to understand what grief looks like and I, for one, am not afraid of grief any more.

Self-censorship is every writer’s/blogger’s burden but censorship from others is an affront. If someone tells you to shut up, yell louder!

Mmmm … to blog or not to blog.

95 responses to “To blog or not to blog….

  1. Those that love us–including family, certainly should accept what we have to say.

  2. My father was mad at me for one of my first posts about the contents of their medicine cabinets. But he’s gotten over it. My daughter doesn’t want me blogging about her; she’s convinced future employers will read it and one of my daughter in laws was mildly annoyed about a recent post. I say, continue to blog and not worry!

  3. I know what you mean. There are times when I censor myself because my hubby reads this as does my baby girl. They are not shy about their opinions. I have a seperate blog that I write on and vent and never publish. It just helps to write all the negativity down. I write about me and my thoughts on my blog but whenever I vent about those that I love, I use the other one. The audience can be rough.

  4. Helen says:

    I love reading your blogs Julie. If some people have a problem with what they read its their problem and they can choose not to read. You should do what makes you happy. xx

  5. terry1954 says:

    I truly get this. I have a few times wondered about my own blogging. I hate to hurt others feelings but I love that I can write whatever is in my heart. I never want to hold back. I have had bad comments from family also. But I look at it like this. The ones with hurtful words don’t sink themselves in to my life in the first place, so do they really have a right to voice their negative thoughts? not really………..

  6. Rhonda says:

    Here Here and {Hear} some more! Damned straight Jules. Bloggers blog for several reasons, and whether blogging helps one deal with grief or one deal with depression or is a stepping stone to other things…that’s THEIR business. No one else’s. If some reader is bothered by, annoyed by, offended by, etc….they can feel free to not read. It’s pretty much that simple. I hope your friend hears your words, and feels your support. To blog or not to blog? We each decide. To be free to make our own choice? Damned Straight! gonya Jules…xo

  7. I guess for family and friends to read and to get negative comments from them regarding this is really hard. Maybe a better option for your friend…(maybe mine too, I’m not sure yet) is to make it ‘private’ so she can only accept those she wants to read it…Diane

  8. catchatcaren says:

    blog and she should have told the others to go to hell.

  9. Anonymous says:

    To Blog or not to Blog. Blog on Julie.

  10. To Blog or Not to Blog. Blog on Julie.

  11. lucewriter says:

    What a shame.

  12. I am of 2 minds on this, I would hate to think I was causing somebody I love pain and I also believe in free speech… I got the feeling T did what she felt was the right thing to do at this time and my thoughts and prayers continue to be with her.

  13. disperser says:

    There are a number of ways to handle this . . . .

    At the blog end, one can control who is allowed to comment.

    And the personal end . . . I will be blunt. If someone does not like what I write, how I write it, or where I write it, they are welcome to never have anything to do with me. In fact, I too would welcome it. If it’s family . . . I’ve never ascribed to the idea they hold a special place of consideration over others. Family can be jerks as well, and they then should be treated like other jerks are treated. Not doing so is a disservice to them, as it validates what they are doing, and turn them into even bigger jerks.

    That said, there are a few rules I follow. I don’t write about others, or if I do, I do not mention identifying characteristics. I do believe in the privacy of others. The exception is writing about public officials and their actions. Public, in that case, means exactly that.

    Finally, one can go the way mentioned. Anonymous blogging.

    Aside all that, if someone publishes a public blog, and in that blog expresses opinions, editorials, or suggestions to the public at large, one must expect feedback. They should welcome it, since it means someone is reading the blog. Yes, you will get dissenting opinions. As long as they are reasoned, well-meaning, and respectful, it can help to read other points of view.

    If people who respond to posts violate any of those requirements, feel free to block them. Personally, I like to mercilessly make fun of them until they leave, but that’s just me.

  14. sbcallahan says:

    some people are just afraid you are going to share something they have done and are ashamed of. i too was left with some feelings about this dear woman shutting down her blog. just a few days before her post, another blogger had ended his blog as he felt he was ready to move on and had left the record he wanted to leave for children when they are older. so on one hand there is someone who decided on his own to stop and our friend who stopped due to family pressure.

    there are some things that i would never blog as it would hurt other’s. that is a censorship i am comfortable with. i feel blessed that my family encourages me to write/blog. they trust me to guard their stories that are not their’s not mine.

    i will miss the connection with that blogger, i learned alot about what my own family may experience when i pass. in the end she has to do what is best for her as must we all.

  15. I’ve had a few issues with commenters, mostly my ex in-laws, but hey, that’s what the moderation button is for! I’ve deleted their nasty comments because it’s my personal blog and I do it the way I want. I don’t know about Australia but in the US we have this thing called free speech… πŸ™‚

  16. I’ve thought for quite a while about your question and have decided that there is no right answer to it!

  17. In that case, those same people would not be good comforters because most often it is not that they want you to grieve on a blog; they just want you to not grieve at all andget over it . Times up. Move on. I’m ready; aren’t you. They may not mean to be, but they are callous.

  18. As you know, I work on anonymity. I always ask Dimple’s permission before I blog a post that directly references her, even though her name is never mentioned. Wonderbutt gets no input, however.

  19. Oh, blog, definitely, with an eye on the privacy of others of course. It must be difficult when someone disagrees with personal views in your writing; and every now and then there will be a sour note because that’s life; but on the whole, the reflection I get from writing and sharing is second to none.

  20. Our ability to share our stories with brutal honesty (as you are doing, Julie) about the good, bad and ugly of our individual situations is …. 1) cathartic for ourselves …. 2) enlightening to others who may be facing similar situations ….. we don’t ask anyone to like or dislike what we have to say. These are our stories …. anonymous or not …. I am sorry your friend has felt pressured to stop publishing …. I hope she doesn’t. And thank you, Ms. Julie, for your strength and openness!
    IttyBitty ….

  21. FlaHam says:

    Julie, I for one do not believe in censorship, but I for one will admit that I self censor on a regular basis. Unlike your friend I don’t have the raw courage it takes to sometimes write what is truly on my mind. I hope your friend finds it within herself to keep her blog up, and keep honestly doing posts to it. — Take care, Bill

  22. I try to be pretty careful–I am sure I slip up sometimes–but my intention is never to hurt someone who may read this

  23. marwil says:

    It’s tricky, and my blog isn’t known to family for that reason. It’s not that I think they would judge but it feels safer or maybe easier to write more freely that way. One of my blogging friends were outed and went private, then started a new, anonymous open blog for the same reason as you described here.

  24. Lynda says:

    Personally, I am glad you didn’t go the anonymous route. I would have missed out on meeting you, and several other wonderful people I’ve met through you. My life is richer with you in it, Julie.

  25. JackieP says:

    I’m glad not one family member reads my blogs. Even if they did and didn’t like it I wouldn’t care. It’s MY blog, if they don’t like what they read then don’t read it.

  26. As much as I make fun of my family in my blog, I seldom blog about anything personal, and never any anger or hurt I may feel over things that have happened, but I do share photos and events.

    We all need something different out of our blogs; no one way is the right way.

    Could you suggest to your friend that she sets up an anonymous new blog? She could email the readers she trusts with the details. No one in her family would know about it that way.

  27. janeslog says:

    It’s up to yourself. As long as you don’t put untrue comments about other people in your blog no harm is done.

    However, on contentious issues it may be better to get someone else’s opinion on it first.

  28. mrs fringe says:

    </3 I love reading your blog, and I love blogging. To me, the beauty of a well run blog is honesty. I try to be mindful of what might be harmful or specifically painful to someone I care about, and draw the line there. But if there is honesty, there is some pain.

  29. tootlepedal says:

    Keep writing. I always make my blog as dull as possible so as not to offend anyone so it makes a change to read a good one like yours.

  30. victoriaaphotography says:

    Julie, I agree with Helen.

    If people have a problem with your blog, then its their problem – not yours.

    Having said that, I can think of a couple of posts I wrote many years ago on a forum which were kind of……… revealing about my family’s lack of support when I was having serious health problems, and my words were a little unkind. But that’s how I felt at the time (and those comments of mine were completely accurate). If I had that time over again, maybe I wouldn’t have written those criticisms on a ‘public’ forum (or maybe I would, as it was necessary to vent my anger somewhere and they were relevant to the public discussion at the time).

    One of the things I’ve learnt over the years is that we all have a voice, and we have every right to speak and if people don’t like what we say, then they have every right to respond.

    But I do question the motives behind some of their responses. Do they feel guilty? Are they ashamed of their actions? Do they feel their own privacy has been invaded? We all say (or write) things in anger, which we may later regret. But we may also write the truth……. that some people can’t face.

    Whatever the situation, I DO think that some bloggers go out of their way to be nasty, crude and downright malicious. And if they’re complete strangers, I say ‘Delete, delete, delete’.

    If they’re family or friends, give them a chance to explain their comments or actions and if they can’t or won’t, or are unreasonable in their reply, Delete, Delete, Delete, and give them a wide berth. Sometimes, friendships or relationships run their course too, and when its time to let go and move on, then its time.

    But ultimately, its up to you – its your Blog.

  31. It pisses me off that some people feel they have the right to tell someone else what they can or cannot write about our blogs are often our lifeline they give us a place to vent or to share our excitement over things that are happening in our lives. My family know I blog they don’t get it and yes there have been times when I have upset a family member by posting something they didn’t like but guess what they got over it……………….

  32. cecilia says:

    it is a question we all ponder from time to time, i have been extremely lucky so far not to have had any mean comments really, and we do all support each other really, the bloggers, we are a real and viable community too.. this has been a surprise to me.. have a lovely day! c

  33. Anonymous says:

    Blog on my fellow blogger ❀

  34. adinparadise says:

    II have been toying with the idea of starting a new blog which would remain totally anonymous. I’m sure I would write more than I do.

  35. dcwisdom says:

    I think all bloggers are people who are relatively comfortable in our own skins, just because putting our words, thoughts, feelings, events out there take courage. You’re a courageous woman, Julie, and a fabulous writer. You can choose what to write and what not to write. Write where you’re comfortable, and don’t worry about the naysayers. You have plenty of “friends” out here.
    Hey, we all have family and friends with whom we have a past, but we all need to render grace (and sometimes forgiveness) to each other, because there’s always the possibility for change and for growth. I’m only sorry that others can’t understand that sometimes we need special grace for the difficult times we’re in, no matter their personal feelings about the past. So sorry for them.
    I vote to blog. πŸ™‚

  36. I write under a sort of pseudonym. I did that because I knew I would hold back if I thought people I actually know were reading it. One day I will let them see it. But for now, I do it for me. Shame about your blogging friend who felt she had to close down. I hope that she starts up again soon – anonymously perhaps?

  37. So sorry your friend has been pressured to give up her blog. My family knows I have a blog, but they don’t know where or what I write, or what name I write under. That way I have the freedom to truly speak freely. If didn’t, my writing about my family would be greatly stifled or non existent. I don’t write my blog for my family. I write it for me. That it is read means a lot to me and offers a certain amount of pride, confidence and I truly like touching other people with my writing, if only figuratively. I also appreciate the honesty, humor and humanity so many bloggers share in their writing.

  38. elizabeth says:

    I agree with you 100% Julie. I hope your friend starts up another blog. I just hate it when folk are mean.

  39. Trisha says:

    I’m sorry to hear that someone is feeling censored. I agree with you – yell louder!

  40. bluebee says:

    The majority of my family and friends that know I blog think it’s rather strange but I couldn’t care less…

  41. Judith Post says:

    I’m sorry for your friend. Luckily for me, my family rarely pays attention to what I’m doing. It makes us all happy. She’ll lose her outlet to express herself and hopefully, deal with emotions too deep to tamp down at times.

  42. I’m estranged from my family on both sides. One of the reasons was so that I didn’t have to deal with family pressure. I am myself and belong to only me.

  43. I wrote a story with my grandson, but it was his idea and he wanted to be in a story.
    And I let my daughter (his mom) read and approve of it, before I posted it.
    I also wrote about my father, who passed away.
    But other than that, I stay away from writing about family….for the reasons you state.
    I don’t want to accidentally step on someone’s toes. Not worth it.

    • Oh wait. I do write about some of the interactions that I had with my mom, but she left the world many years ago. She always loved when I wrote stories, so I am sure she would approve. πŸ™‚

  44. I think about this sometimes as I write my novel. Certain family members, I am expecting, will not approve of some sections, but I refuse to censor myself. My book is complete fiction, and not about anyone I know, but some of the subject matter may not be to everyone’s tastes.

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