A couple of days ago, my mom, a writer herself, made a nice comment on one of my early posts (You can look at it here , yes the post, and my mom’s comment at the bottom). Along with feeling appreciative for a comment (yes, even from my mom! It’s my first comment since starting up this blog this month!), I also found myself feeling a bit uncomfortable.
After all, here’s the title:
“Yikes,” I thought to myself when I first saw it. “What are you doing? Advertising your innermost thoughts on a freaking blog post! You want to tell people you were depressed? Are you crazy?”
Apparently so, Your Honor.
As usual, if I start feeling uncomfortable, I generally want to look at it. So I did.
What I realized is that since those early days of blogging I have often thought of my early blog posts as being uncomfortably “out there.” The Uber-transparent nature of the blog felt like I was constantly falling on my sword, revealing some insecurity or spewing out excessive curse words to establish my freedom of expression. Although writing these posts was exciting, it was also damn scary!
Looking at the post title from yesteryear and thinking of my mom’s comment made me wonder if I have been trying to play it safer on this blog since then. When I started my 365 Day Blogging Project two years ago, I generally tried to maintain a considered, calm (er… safe?) tone of voice. Was I potentially denying what makes this blog unique? (Note: I have never taken down or censored a post once put up. Even if I have sometimes played it safe, risky transparency is in the DNA of this blog!)
Tonight I had a chance to talk to my mom more about that early post. She basically said it was raw and transparent (not her words) and that I used that rawness and brought it somewhere new and uplifting. She quoted Vladimir Nabokov saying that a writer should put their character up a tree…. and throw rocks at him!
That’s what I felt like I was doing with those early posts: I’m the guy up the tree, and I’m the guy throwing rocks at myself!
…And is it possible that I have tried to tame that risk somewhat since then? Certainly so. After all, do I really want to be that uncomfortable???
But then I think of risky transparency that has characterized this blog since day one.
As I wrote on that long-ago post:
I’ve already established that this blog is about being really real, even if some times it feels really dumb. I’m sure that anyone reading this will survive, and if you don’t like it, you can read something else. And it’s not going to kill me for you to read me while I was in a bad mood. Maybe you’ll find it fascinating…. ?Thoughts from my Viciously Depressed Thursday night (Come on in, the Hell-fire’s Warm!)
Maybe I should get used to life up on that tree.
Now about those rocks…