Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Blog Dangerously

I was surprised when I read through all the comments from the post "What Do You Want From Me?" and there were so many comments from people weighing whether or not it would be better to blog anonymously.

Most were finding that, when you put your name on your blog, depending on who knows about it, you might not have the same freedom to scream, cry, rant, be petty, freak out or confess to eating a whole box of Ding Dongs after laying into a coworker, friend, mother or boyfriend.

It seemed a lot of you were "editing" yourselves as you wrote. It becomes convenient to be the happy, best, most upbeat version of yourself if you know someone is reading. How can they judge you when your life is so happy/perfect/awesome/neat/tidy/not full of Ding Dongs?

But with that, certainly, comes the price of falling farther and farther away from the person you truly are, and more importantly, farther away from your purpose to blog.

Someone got all up in my Twitter last week about being "authentic" and that she thought I would find a deeper honesty if I didn't blog anonymously. And I was like, "What the fuck, are you kidding me"? She's kidding me, right? Because I could not be more honest. (Okay, I could be. But right now, I could not be more honest.) (I'm at Level 9 honesty, BTW, that's pretty frickin' good.)

There seems to be a judgement over what is or isn't authentic or brave or real. Here's the thing and I mean it. If this girl wants to put her name to her blog and she can write with 100% honesty, do it. That's great. But she might also be being honest about her favorite recipes or her new weight loss program (not that those aren't great topics to blog about). But those subjects don't have collateral damage.

I blog about super private things. It is not feasible for me to be a comedy writer and go to a meeting at a Network and then be completely thrown when an executive asks about this blog which his assistant found when they Googled my name and as my ears start to tighten, and the sweat profusely comes and all I can think about is mother-sickness-grief-kidney transplant-breakups-murder-holy shit how am I going to take this blazer back to Bloomingdales now that I'm sweating like a mother fucker-court cases-funerals.

Meeting bombed. Agent angry. Career doomed. Bills not paid. Dogs not fed. Me, eaten by dogs in the middle of the night.

That's not going to be good for anybody.

More importantly, I have a family. Let's say, I put my name to this blog, how freely could I blog about my Mom's nervous breakdown? Because that makes guys wanna date you and people want to hire you. (And for new readers, let's be kind about my Mom, her breakdown was just after the trial for the person who killed my cousin.)

So forget how it would affect me - me, now being clearly BALLS out AUTHENTIC & REAL & BRAVE for putting my name on my blog, while my mother, a therapist, loses her job because she had a nervous breakdown.

Unemployed, boyfriend-less with family not speaking to me. Good times.

I started writing this blog for so many million reasons. It was really to have a stare down contest with the second year anniversary of my cousin's death and try to do that with not only some dignity and grace but with some god damn life in me. I was daring myself to... just DO MORE with my life than just feeling bad about it.

I feel sad that these are not conversations I felt like I could have with friends. I haven't really been raised to be very open or emotional with the people I love. And yes, I'd like to change all that, yadda yadda - but the fact is, when I was 12 and my Dad had months to live if he didn't get a heart transplant (he did), it was journaling that saved me. That I could write down every fear, worry, guilt, regret, sick to my stomach thought about what the outcome might be. Even as I was split up to live with another family for a year while this surgery happened, that journal, ANONYMOUS, kept me tethered, focused, free to purge and then walk away and have some remnants of a normal little girl life.

So that's why I blog anonymously. And it can still be dangerously, as one blogger put. It's not easy, either, just because it's anonymous. It's still a force not to move back, not to rewrite, not to reread. Just lay it down. Make it bare.

It's a personal choice. It's different for everyone. This just happens to be mine. Putting your emotions into words, to me, is the brave part... not putting your name to it.

I'd love to hear of you agree, disagree or if it's making you rethink changing your blog to one that's written anonymously.