Having a weblog is kind of weird. It changes how you look at your life and what you do in your life. As you participate in various activities, or as funny and stupid things happen to you, you find yourself stepping back and taking a look at what’s happening. You become a third person observing your own life. You evaluate what’s happening and think “should I post that on my weblog?”
I minored in creative writing in college and I had a similar feeling during that time as well. Everything I did, or saw could be used in a short story, poem or song that I was writing at the time.
I remember the first day in my first short story course. The professor said, “If you took this class because you like to read, you need to drop this class now. This course will change how you look at what you read.” In a nutshell, he was saying that we were going to peek behind the curtain and find out all the “tricks of the trade.” Once you’ve done that, it’s almost impossible to go back and blindly enjoy a good book. One of changes that the professor said would happen is that we’d develop this 3rd person perspective on our lives and that’s exactly what happened. It’s been awhile since I had that perspective, but its back with a vengeance since I started this weblog.
If I make an ass out of myself, my first thought is not on the embarrassment of the moment, but rather if I should write about it on the weblog. 🙂 Some might call it a coping technique, but it’s really not. I still feel the embarrassment 100%, but there’s an additional perspective standing in the wings that sees the humor in it as well. It’s not always present in the exact moment, but it’s not far behind. There is one remarkable difference between writing a weblog and that of creative fiction writing – it’s personal. With short stories, you could always change names to protect the guilty, but with a weblog it’s all you. That, in and of itself, should be enough of a difference, but there’s one more little gem that is not immediately apparent – you never know who’s reading it.
This became quickly apparent last week when Kerry Woo at PalmGear mentioned something from my weblog and that he enjoyed reading it. Although I was flattered that he was reading it, it also made me stop and think. “What have I been writing about?” “Is there something stupid that I’ve said recently?” The sudden pang of panic came from the fact that here was a professional relationship that had a personal aspect that I wasn’t aware of. When you’re a small company you’re always trying to appear bigger than you really are, so my professional persona tries to portray that. However, on my weblog, I’m commenting on the reality that I’m trying to grow and going into details that I would never go into with a client, much less a potential client. All of a sudden, my 3rd person perspective got an editor. :O
It’s not that I have deep dark secrets, or that I want to vent things that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face, but you have to admit that being 100% honest isn’t the easiest thing to do. I had a great 4th of July weekend, but how much of it should I share?
I could write about the good food and fellowship of having Holly’s folks in town. That would be easy to do, but what about the fact that I’m so very sore from all the work Holly’s Dad (James) did on Saturday? Would that make look like a wimp in James’ eyes? I didn’t really talk about it while he was here. I tried to look like the strong husband providing for his daughter.
Or what about my vocal performance on Sunday where I pretty much sucked? Do I talk about the contributing factors that helped my “suck factor”? Maybe someone from my choir reads this thing and might take offense to what I might say. Granted, most of the blame for my lackluster performance lies in my own hands, but I may not come across that way. You know what I mean?
Is this a real dilemma that I’m wrestling with? No, not really. In the end, I’m going to do what I want to do, lay it all out there and let the chips fall where they may. I’m not that modest and my mouth is quite familiar with the taste of my shoe, so I don’t see things changing on this weblog at all. It’s just one of those things that make you go “hmmmmmm” and in my case, make me want to share it with the world. LOL
Writing a personal weblog is letting anyone and everyone peek behind whatever curtains you have in your life. Any of your relationships could take a peek and that may change how you think of yourself, or how you think other people think about you. It’s a bit like finding out that although you’re the emperor of your own domain, you have no clothes. When you find that your relationships are stronger as a result of it, it’s a very empowering experience. I don’t think there’s anything quite like being yourself and having others accept you just as you are.
Hey bro, I’m a fellow emporor with no clothes then I suppose? 🙂
But i agree… you do start thinking in 3rd person and editing events as if they might appear on a weblog. Odd but really interesting. Maybe that’s what I like so much about weblogs… you get a somewhat censored view from the writer.
Keep up the great posts my fellow blog-traveller.
We love ya anyway Mike!
“Great post,” Craig said, wondering why he was suddenly writing in 3rd person.
Mike, I get very tired (probably more than you) when Judie makes me work in her flower beds. I understand, and I don’t think you are WIMPY!!!!!!
Now you have Gracie to help you dig the beds. By the way, I thought the terrace was very nice and I’m not sure I could structure a like one. REST UP, YOU CAN FINISH THE TERRACE WHEN I VISIT AGAIN.