Friday, April 20, 2012

what should the public know about your personal life?

In the last few months, as I I trolled my list of favorite old-school bloggers, solid, connected facebookers and website-blog writers, I started to see a pattern: 

  • Their kids were growing up, and not doing as many stupid/funny things
  • less talk about what's for dinner and more about Klout ratings
  • travels were less noted for their fun, more for marketing
  • less bloggers are getting book deals
  • their kids were now on the internet themselves, talking about Mom and asking for privacy
  • moms are going back to work, and blogging less
  • families were breaking up
  • divorces were happening or looming
  • the men were leaving the blogging wife
  • re-marriages, and first marriages planned
  • new pets added to households
  • people moving into new houses, or new areas
  • so.... with everyone is growing up... change is bound to happen, right?

Between a comment from a friend and the subject of a recent blog post from a writer I've been reading/blog lurking for years, I began thinking about what I have and have not revealed to the public in the last ten years of an a very connected, online life.

When the kids were young, I never even used their names. Some people don't even know that I'm married. Many women have written to me and mentioned our "similarities." These women are usually in their early thirties and want to discuss "our careers." I don't have the heart to tell them I'm less than a year away from 50, and never really had a career.

Maybe it's time I start 'fessing up. Maybe it's time you heard all the dirty little secrets.

 I know one thing is true in this crazy world... If I am in the middle of a bad thing, you will be way more interested, and bound to comment, than if I am in the middle of a very good thing.

Why is that?

The blogger who moans about her inability to lose weight, or how sick her husband is, or the education problems she incurs with her autistic child, is going to get many more comments and connections that the blogger who lives in a McMansion, travels to Tahiti and complains about her personal trainer being too tough on her, right? Unless of course, you are reading celebrity blogs, then you;d expect that.. and yet, that celebrity will be of so much more appealing the day she admits to locking her keys in the car with the baby in the back seat, or feeling frumpy around Jennifer Aniston.

So, what's the answer? Tell all? Tell only the bad crap and downplay the good? 

 In 2009, Penelope Trunk wrote about the same things on her blog. ( her story is much more intriguing than most bloggers.. I mean, movie-making kind of intriguing).

These bloggers talk about it too, here. And I am still surprised how many think they are really anonymous. Seriously??

I've kept a healthy interest in the hit count and origination of the page loads on my blog/s and sites and pages... and have always thought my followers are both smart, (able to connect the dots... she wrote about running away to Italy for her wedding= she must be married), and also shy or really busy. ( I'll send her a message/text/ FB post about the blog post that I just read, because that comment box is A. too scary B. taking too long to load and C. who reads those comments anyway?)

And now, maybe I should open up a bit more, give back along the way and ok... just like I learned in kindergarten... I'll share.

Here's the answers to a few recently asked questions sent via emails and messages. 
 I'll keep going as long as you keep asking... maybe longer.

First, here's me and my daughter.

  • I am not a southern writer. We ( husband, son, daughter, me) moved to Georgia in 2001 from PA, where we lived for 2 years. ( NH before that, CA before that, NY before that)
  • I just turned 49 in March.
  • I am happily married to a man who loves me unconditionally, and trust me, he should get a medal.
  • My husband and children have never read any of my finished manuscripts or books, and very few of my short stories. They still don't think I'm an "author."
  • I don't have an English degree, or creative writing, or MFA or any 4yr degree.
  • I have three sisters. We rarely speak.
  • I've only been to one funeral my whole life.
  • I've needed glasses since I was 10.

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