Thursday, October 19, 2006

Knock knock. Who’s there? Chuck. Chuck who? Chuck me ball back, it’s landed in yer garden.

Well, I sent my letter off to Chuck Palahniuk yesterday. It ran to just over four pages of A4 once printed at a decent legible point size, and I put a lot of stuff in there, including the sort of things I wouldn't even put on my blog. And it got me thinking...

It's funny that, after a few months of blogging, you build up cyber friendships, and before you know it, you're kind of self-censoring. I don't mean that in a heavy censorship kind of way, but there are certain things that I wouldn't say to my close friends, just as now I wouldn't say to my close blogmates.

I'm not the type to regale people with tales of my sexual prowess, for example. And that's not because I'm not great in the sack (although "great" might be stretching it a bit); it's more that I suspect some of my readers would go, "Ewww, too much information, * (asterisk) dude." Because that is not what my blog is. Other people do that stuff and do it well: Alex and Suze obviously spring to mind. But you go to their blog, and you know that there is a good chance you will read something about them having sex. Does that make any sense?

Anyway, lest you're concerned, I didn't tell Chuck anything about my sex life either. I'm sure he, too, will be breathing a sigh of relief about that! I did go into more detail about certain family situations than I have ever done here, though. But that was kind of subconscious, and before I knew it I'd written way more than I'd intended on the subject.

I don't know where I'm going with this really. But... a question: Have you found that there are certain things you don't want to put in your blog entries? Maybe you're having an affair, but you can't mention it because your other half reads your blog. Or you have an ailment that you'd rather not reveal because you don't want people's sympathy vote. I'm not asking you all to do anonymous comments again, but just in a general sense, do you know where I'm coming from?

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20 Comments:

Blogger Tanya said...

I have a few things about my past I don't put on. Mainly because it's nobody's business, but also because I don't need to reinforce any victim tendancies lying dormant. What was, was.

I'm aware of revealing things and people misunderstanding or perhaps only commenting out of sympathy. I have recently been talking a lot about my dad's illness, and my internal struggle with finding my purpose. Mainly because it's on my mind a lot and I blog what's on my mind more often than not.

Even then, though, I am finding myself censoring or toning down things.

The sex stuff? Well - there's a separate blog for that which no one ever really reads, even though it's public. And I don't put stuff in it that often. Only funny stuff. So far. It's on my blog list.

19 October, 2006 14:17  
Blogger Karen said...

I find that I censor my writing a bit as well, mainly because my brother and sister in law read it. I have thought of doing an "anonymous" blog but then there's really nothing exciting going on in my life at the moment, sex or otherwise so why bother.

19 October, 2006 15:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do I really even need to answer this? ;)

Steve~

19 October, 2006 15:43  
Blogger Camie Vog said...

The only thing I purposely leave out is my real name, and my husbands name.

Sex stuff, I never put it in when it is about my husband. Not because he reads my blog, just because it isn't anyone else's business. Plus, I don't normally enjoy reading about other peoples sex lives...

I do wish I could flame my husbands family more than I do. They suck. Unfortunately, I gave one of their friends my blog addy and they passed it on to them. Loser. I tend to flame them in the comment fields of other blogs.

As for sharing an affair or the like, I did have an affair while married to my EX-husband. The person I was having the affair with is my current husband. If I'd had my blog while it was happening, I would have written about it. I am not ashamed about it at all. It was the best think I have done in my life.

19 October, 2006 15:45  
Blogger Karen said...

Should I know who Chuck Palahniuk is?

19 October, 2006 16:02  
Blogger Suze said...

I think the only level of censorship that I practice it to refrain from writing about negative things.

It may just be me but I like to read upbeat blogs. There is enough crap out there in the real world and I just prefer to keep our's light-hearted.

Also I refrain from revealing anything which may make us too identifiable.

19 October, 2006 16:18  
Blogger Ink Casualty said...

self censoring is a gift from God! Take case in hand, two bottles of scotch = sc off toggle, resulting in TROUBLE...'specially if you mention "affairs". Remeber, SC=good, no SC= trouble

19 October, 2006 17:09  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

i definitely self-censor... mostly because my father reads my blog (which is why i have yet to post pictures of my tattoo -- he'd be horrified to know i have one... the nose ring is hard enough on him)

but then again, i don't really have too much that's scandalous in my life... and i obviously don't hold back on writing about my illness (maybe i should... i don't want to be viewed as the weak sickling who seems to always be begging for sympathy -- i just tend to write about whatever's going on with me)

i think self-censorship is a good thing, to an extent. and i hear you on the blog-mates thing... i find myself telling people about you and red and adam and the others all the time... i feel like i know you all, and i look forward to reading your sites every day and receiving your comments on mine

yay for blogland friendships :)

19 October, 2006 17:34  
Blogger Aidan said...

Yes, there's certainly some self-censorship, or cryptic hinting, seems to me a natural follow-on from knowing a few of your readers beyond these blogging walls...
But also am not one of the most exhibitionist of people, on or offline. Admire and lap up the revelations of those who are... But suppose I find it easier to use blogging as just another, differently superficial surface, than an outpouring of all innards.

20 October, 2006 00:52  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

I don't know what to say. Um, I kind of blog about the same as I do in person. I mean my interests and things I like to read or talk about are the same as if I were in the room with you.

I enjoy heart to heart talks very much, but I don't see a blog as the palce for that or so...but very popular blogs seem to be consistently about deeply personal even private topics. I tend to put more riske or crazier things into scripts or storylines or images ina rt. My life is rather dreamy and not that interesting as in soap opera interesting. I've spent many years and money in therapy to avoid the bent in my daily life and focus it in my art work. Ha ha.

But I can see how refreshing and exihiarating it might be to write a confessional blog. Like the Oprah show you might find a democratic audience who will give you powerful advice or a moral yardstick. I am not much a diarist...but I think there is a solid place in writing for such.

Fuck *, I write about stars and farmers for christs sake. I'm lucky anybody wants to read it!

hmmm....note to self work on erotic confessional post.

Actually, I do write erotic poetry. So I get that out in that way, not so much an inteest in my blog for me.

20 October, 2006 07:47  
Anonymous the cappuccino kid. said...

work stuff. especially videos!
tends to get you into REALLY BIG TROUBLE!

20 October, 2006 10:14  
Blogger Milla said...

Your post is very interesting, and I have been thinking a lot about what you have written here, *.

I know very well what you mean. Not that I am having affairs or the other quarter reads the blog (he doesn't) but to some extent the fact that 'someone', ANY 'someone' reads what I write means I use self-censorship. Maybe because unconsciously I think "what will people think of me if I write this or that?". I don't know. I have played with the idea of password protection so that no one can read what I write, and that would mean that I could feel completely free with my words. Maybe once they make me move to blogbeta (or whatever it is called) I will do that.

20 October, 2006 13:23  
Blogger Shep said...

Dammit * (asterisk) keep your mouth shut! I'll get into terrible trouble! I mean it, change the subject quick...

Heh.

I think we all put on different faces for whatever public we are talking to. We leave bits out, put bits in. It's half the fun. It's not worth getting worked up over.

I'm much more fun in real life, by the way. And can't keep a secret for toffee, either.

20 October, 2006 14:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since my blog is not anonymous, I am a little more cautious, but still honest to a fault. The only thing I consciously avoid writing about in my blog are my dealings with my ex-husband and his new wife. Two reasons I don't: a)they are very litigious people and b) if my kids happen upon it, I don't want them knowing how much disdain I have for their father.

I have considered starting an anonymous blog for just this topic, though, because some of their antics are stunning.

I think most people who know me and read my blog would agree...I am exactly who I write (a spaz).

20 October, 2006 14:55  
Blogger Kate said...

Yes, I know what you mean. There are some things I wouldn't blog about - I never reveal my childrens' names for a start. In the past I have blogged about quite personal matters, (not sex) but without going into specifics, and I may do again, but I wouldn't go in for graphic details. Generally, when I have self-censored it has been more because I wouldn't want to bore anyone than because of any sense of embarassment. I don't lead that exciting a life.

20 October, 2006 18:34  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Thanks guys. I'm kind of glad to see I'm not the only one, as I suspected really. But then I kind of also wondered how many people have told their family members and real-world friends about their blogs. For example, only two of my real-world friends know about this one, and one family member. Frankly, they all seemed underwhelmed and uninterested, so I'm fairly certain none of them ever visits anyway.

21 October, 2006 07:40  
Anonymous mic said...

dont go into stuff 2 much nobody wanna getin a schizo head

21 October, 2006 23:03  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Hey Mic, good to see you here again. Hope all is good with you, buddy.

22 October, 2006 09:38  
Blogger Spangly Princess said...

well, many of my real-life friends & family read my blog, but I self-censor partly from a sense of what is and what isn't appropriate to reveal in a public location anyway. Specially if it involves other people. The other people in my daily life have the right not to appear on the interweb unless properly anonymised, I think. Sex stuff... I haven't but I probably would. I kind of wonder what the people who came to my blog to read about AS Roma make of my emotional crises, though.

23 October, 2006 19:32  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Spangly: Almost no one I know reads my blog, except for Wife obviously. But I treat my blogmates in the way I do real-world friends. If it's likely to make someone go "too much information", then I probably don't put it up!

Football; emotional crises: what's the difference?

26 October, 2006 13:44  

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