Controversial topics and blogging – how much do you censor yourself?

When I started this blog, my intention was to chronicle our adventure of moving away from the city and commercialism and starting a slow life in the countryside.  It has turned out to be so much more for me but I find myself now in a catch-22 situation.  Do I continue in this vein or do I also include my personal feelings and beliefs. I find that I need to blog about these things too to give a more complete picture but I find myself holding back because I have so many people reading this blog who I know in real life.  This in itself should not limit me if I am true to myself and my friends however, as I found when my relationship ended earlier this year, I could not really express myself fully because my ex and his wonderful family are readers of this blog and the last thing I would want to do is offend them so I started to hold things back.  Also, as I progress through this change in my life I find myself investigating my beliefs (both spiritual as well as political) and I would so like to blog about these things but again I think – that some of the things I may want to say could possibly upset some of my family members and friends although when I stopped and analysed this feeling – I would be able to tell them these things in a personal conversation quite easily.  Maybe it is just the thought of opening up my soul to discuss a controversial topic that makes me vulnerable and I don’t like the feeling….

Picture from celestial art.

I guess the answer for me would be to start a totally anonymous blog where I could chat about these topics – but then I feel that I am not being true to my original blog by leaving out the emotional side of my adventures.

A case in point – how do I cope with discussing my relationship status and my adventures back into the dating world (a frightening prospect for me)  as I know my ex-partner and his family and some potential suitors may all read my blog – do I just hold it all back till I am seriously involved with someone – or do I tell of my adventures (which could be hilarious) and offend some of my readers (if it is about them?)  I would love to hear your opinions on this – either as one of my friends or family or as someone who writes a blog who has also found themselves in a similar situation.

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6 thoughts on “Controversial topics and blogging – how much do you censor yourself?

  1. I manage to have an anonymous blog but still I was true to myself, unlike you I started this blog without the intention to reveal myself. I had been doing this since 2003. It was fun reading the past entries laughing at wrong spelled words and the grammar but still it was fun. I didn’t want to edit as it would break the fun of doing it.

    I like reading your blog. You can still be true to yourself.

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  2. I censor myself all the time and I know how you feel.
    I did have a blog where I felt I could be true to me and say whatever I wanted, and so I did. My sister stumbled across it and decided to comment in a very negative manner on one of my blogs about MY feelings on our Mother. She commented under an anonymous name, not knowing I am given her email address.
    Needless to say I deleted that blog, and now feel I have to censor myself even though she doesnt know about this blog!

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  3. I try to be honest in my blog, but I don’t want to offend people. So, if what I need to write about is about someone or several someones that might read my blog, I try to make the entry broader. My entry called Shattered…With Love was about 2 people I work with. However, I know they both read my blog, so I broadened the scope to the world at large, and all the people I work with rather than specifying them in particular.

    That’s about the only way I know to get around the issue of not offending anyone…try to find a way to make your feelings the feelings of everyone reading. While it doesn’t disguise the fact that you feel what you do, it does diffuse the emotions so that (hopefully) those written about don’t feel quite so spotlighted. It takes a bit more thought and work to write that way, but I also find that it makes me analyze the situation that caused the emotional reaction, too. Doing that can usually show me where I might have misstepped just as much as the person I’m upset with did, which gives me a whole different perspective to write from.

    It’s not an easy tightrope to walk. I’m lucky, in as much as I’ve reached a point in my life where I can pretty much say “This is what and who I am–take me or leave me; I don’t care.” and mean it.

    I appreciate your quandry, and as unhelpful as this next statement will seem–only you can really decide how much of yourself to put out there. 😉 However much it is, I (for one) appreciate and enjoy it. So, thanks for your postings, and good luck with your decision.

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  4. I agree with Tasinator- the object should be to discuss the issues or feelings in a broader sense rather than as a chronicle of an event. this gives you a cushion and the people you may write more anonymity.

    I try not to censor myself on my blog, but I really go out of my way not to hurt anyone. It is tricky sometimes. If I have something I really want to say that I’m worried will impact someone, I just talk to them about it. I’ve been kicking around a draft about the loss of love, especially dysfunctional love, which is influenced by my sister and my best friend- both of their bad relationships just ended. I’m just going to tell them what I’m writing about, that of course I won’t name names, and let them read it if they want.

    Either way, what I have to say about it isn’t really “about them.” It’s about my interpretation of a complex issue. That’s what you should focus on if you want to write about dating and politics: your interpretation. That way, even if you reference a real person, it’s not them that you are dissecting.

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  5. I was just about to comment when I read what Tas and Barnyard wrote. This is my approach as well. But your post made me think about it, which I truly appreciate.

    In my words I would say I deliberately expand out from the specifics of a situation and shift my perspective to the Big Picture. The details are typically not necessary to spell out. This helps me to integrate and gain further insights (major reason I blog in the first place!) and share the distilled insights into something that may be useful to others.

    For me, a blog is not the same as a diary, its about sharing the wisdom–the gifts– you glean from your own life’s experience in order to further solidify them for yourself, and at the same time offer them to others.

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