My life is an open book. I'm all "Hey, here's my opinion and a detailed list of all the atrocities that have happened in my life. What's your name?" I write from that base of disarming honesty wrapped in humour so you actually don't know who I am. When I started writing for the interwebbed people --this month it is 4 years on Blogger, but it was another year before than in another realm -- I didn't think about who would read these words and what impact they would have. I was writing to amuse my friends, myself, and to prove to everyone how clever I am. I'm clever as clever, by the way.
As I've become more well known, and by that I mean every relative and their dog has found my site, I have shied from being really super honest. Mostly because I get worried emails from my father and others who fear I am "this close" to slipping over the edge and "how can they not worry about me when I write things like that?" Sigh. But also because I have realized the effect my writing can have on others in my life. I have to think about what I am writing and how it may expose things about other people that is none of my business -- or at very least, not my story to tell.
I can write all I want about my mother's death and how it changed me, but there were 6 other people in that room who may not appreciate when I bear my grief for the world to see. I can write about the funny and inane things I get angry about, but The Guy may not appreciate my opening our marriage for the sake of my need to be funny. I can write about my own insecurities, but sometimes it leaves me open to attack.
I fear what I write will not be funny enough, smart enough, deep enough. I fear that people will not accept it and I am confused when people don't love me more than they do. So I change my writing to be more or less based on what I think others will want to read.
So, I write and I censor. I search and I ponder. I bend stories to be more amusing than they were or to be more like I wish they could have been. I am brutally honest in one moment and completely full of bear pooh the next. I haven't conquered fear, but I am aware of it. For me, that is half the battle.
Thanks to Schmutzie who bared her soul and encouraged us to do the same.