The Awkward Transparency of Writing a Blog

One of the most difficult things about writing a blog is being transparent.

By virtue of writing a blog, my life is on the internet. Stating the obvious, I know. But seriously, it’s weird and self absorbed.  I’m not that important that people actually care what’s going on in my life, yet I write anyway, pretending they do. Ok, according to Google Analytics there are some people who do – the rest are probably my mom and ex-boyfriends.

The part I struggle with the most is exactly how much of my life to put online. Ironically, I share enough on my social media accounts for someone to find out my full name, place of employment, and daily caloric intake. If someone cared enough, they could probably follow me around Boston – but shouldn’t because I carry pepper spray and have a super loud voice while screaming for help and that’s just weird.

When it comes to my blog though, I’m more reserved. I have friends who blog about depression and eating disorders and medical issues and I’m over here writing about choking on hard boiled eggs. This is my space for travel adventures and beer tours and funny stories about my life in Boston. You know, fluff.

While fluff is funny and self deprecation is endearing, it lacks personality. My actual self – my insecurities, my dating life, the fact that I will likely die with law school debt – isn’t on here. Possibly because my ex-husband who loved to censor my writing online. Months after our divorce I received a cease and desist letter from him for referring to him as a douchebag on a quasi-anonymous dating blog I wrote. Not the smartest moment but also not legally actionable since:

  1. Truth is a defense to defamation, and
  2. I never used his name.

I’ve been so worried about putting too much information about myself online that I never considered that the person I was showing was just a shell. When asked what I write about, I point to stories that show pieces of my life instead of a person with feelings who embraces you when you enter the site. And I don’t like that.

I don’t like that my personal brand, for lack of a better term, is merely a series of disjointed events pulled together by an affinity for carbohydrates peppered with complaints about the weather and my old career. So I’m changing that, to the best of my ability, while still maintaining a sense of propriety and protecting the privacy of others.

Divorce made me closed off from others. Ironic because I’m a chronic oversharer, but it made me vulnerable and afraid of these things called feelings. It’s been a while since I’ve really shared myself with people. My job as lawyer left me miserable and embarrassed about having stagnated my career for dreams of love and happiness that turned into a cold pile of crap. So I didn’t write about my feelings or deep thoughts or aspirations for the future. Not anymore.

The past year has been an awakening for me. A change of career and perspective has made me happy and motivated. I’ve even turned into a hugger. Ok, Startup Institute is really to blame for that – those team-building, feeling-cultivating, happiness-making, group-hugging people. They totally killed my tough guy street cred.

And so this is where I find myself now. In this awkward place on my blog, trying to figure out what to say to people who probably haven’t even read this far. If you have, thanks for letting me get that out. Come on, bring it in for a hug.

tinafey hug gif

6 thoughts on “The Awkward Transparency of Writing a Blog

  1. Caitlin says:

    I love that you’re a hugger! And I think that this post is a great first step in opening up on your blog – if that’s what you really want to do, that is. I found that my very first post where I was truly honest got SUCH great feedback that really helped me through what I was going through. And that encouraged me to keep opening up. But it takes time and believe me, my blog used to be just a string of event and restaurant posts with no indication of anything bad potentially going on in my life. As soon as I opened up even a bit though, I was glad I did.

    • Emily says:

      Thanks lady! It’s really hard sometimes to realize that anyone can read what your going through and judge you for that, but by owning it at least we take some control over the situation. I appreciate your encouragement and HUGS!

  2. Jen says:

    Hug away! My arms are open. 🙂
    I know at times it DOES feel weird to post about myself on my blog. I try to share family stuff, books, you know – kind of neutral stuff. When I post about me – I always have to read it a million times and make sure I don’t sound too…you know – full of myself, I guess. BUT – I like reading honest posts from other bloggers about themselves, it’s a great way to get to know that person.
    Hope you keep posting! HUGS to you!!!!

    • Emily says:

      I’m glad I’m not alone in how I feel. It’s so weird to finally start opening up on my blog but better late than never! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and making me feel normal, Jen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *