I was recently asked the question, “How personal should a blog be?”
Which is silly, when you think about it. A blog should be just as personal as you want it to be, no more, no less.
If you want to hide your identity while blogging, great! If you want to post a breastfeeding photo, great! If you want to only share pictures of your cat doing mundane things…erm…great!
My favorite part of blogging is that I’m in charge. I choose what I write. No editor is watching over me. If I don’t like a topic or it’s not working out. OK then. Done!
Blogging is a creative outlet for me, one in which I watch myself evolve as a human being and a writer. At the best of times it’s great fun and at the worst of times it’s great frustrating.
You can do that when you blog.
Other things you can do? Control what’s out there.
I don’t blog every part of my life (obviously), but there are certain parts I’m especially cautious about.
As a single girl very much in the middle of my dating years I’m careful about what I post about dating. I don’t mention names. I try not to talk about whomever I’m currently dating. I also try not to criticize who I date.
Dating is terrible. The absolute, absolute, absolute worst. I don’t need to mess it up further with careless blogging.
Then there’s family stuff. I have a nephew! He’s the cutest thing, really so so Denning. He’s not on the blog.
I am a religious person. I go to church. I have strong beliefs.
I follow some bloggers who beautifully write about their spirituality, and so far that hasn’t been me. Honestly, I just blog whatever is on my mind that day. Sometimes it turns out, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it’s silly. Sometimes it’s serious.
Maybe some time it will be religious.
And then there’s negativity. I just don’t believe most conflicts should be solved over the internet. If I don’t like something, this is most likely not the place for me to talk about it. My very favorite post on the topic is from the lovely Laura and she says it better than I could: Why put all that negative energy out there on the Internet if it isn’t necessary?
So, so exactly.
Which leads us, of course, to the next obvious question, how personal is this here blog of mine?
I’ve thought about this a lot and even reached out to family and friends who know me well looking for answers.
Most everyone said that this blog captures me quite well. They can hear my voice in it. They can picture me saying things. I never make them feel uncomfortable.
Then Hilary, in a burst of eloquence, swooped in and topped everyone:
I think your blog is extremely personal mainly because it’s created and written by you, and sharing writing about your life is one of the most intimate acts you can do. However, there’s so much more to you than your blog: your “bad” hair days, low times that aren’t redeemed with beautiful phrasing, up times that can’t be captured with words. But there’s also the Jill that I don’t know, the one that maybe you don’t either, the one that’s constantly being discovered. In many ways I think she’s the star of the blog. How much more personal can you get than that?
**Moment where you can applaud Hilary and send her emails/breakfast food pictures/Golden Girls quotes telling her how brilliant she is**
But honestly, isn’t that beautiful?
I think that’s the universal struggle with words, with anything that tries to capture life. I have times that can’t be redeemed with beautiful phrasing. I have moments that even the greatest words can’t do justice.
And I have parts of my life I keep completely separate from this blog.
So I guess in answer to all of the thoughts that have been swirling in my head for the past few weeks and the question, “How personal is your blog, exactly?” all I have to say is…
It’s about as personal as you can get.
And then not so personal at all.