One of the very interesting things about blogging is having conversations with people who have read something you wrote. It is always a compliment that someone has read my words but, sometimes, it's a conversation that can be awkward to have.
The piece I wrote recently about being suicidal had a strong response within my friends. I had a few people approach me to talk about it and I had never been so popular for lunch plans at work than I was the 2 weeks following that post. I had friends texting me, and some who were reduced to tears in my presence advising that I was their equivalent of family, and they would be devastated if I were to go.
These conversations are often harder to have than writing and publishing the piece. It's easy to bare your innermost thoughts to strangers, it's far harder to open your mind to your friends. To have someone look into your eyes as you confess these things.
Why is that?
I feel it's a result of the society we live in. We don't show weakness, or unhappiness, except for the socially acceptable kind of being too busy and too stressed. We don't talk about the hard parts of marriage, parenthood, or life in general except to a select few. Yet for some reason we are comfortable broadcasting this information on the internet, not always through blog posts but through Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Instagram.
I have often heard it said that Facebook is where you lie to your friends, and Twitter is where you tell the truth to strangers.
I feel my blog sits somewhere in the middle of friends and strangers, and yet firmly in the truth telling camp.
Every post I write has to be considered from so many points of view. So many different ways to interpret my words, and also by so many people I know. My family, my friends. Family members who wouldn't normally know these things about me are now given unrestricted access to my deepest fears, my innermost ponderings, and the truth about so many aspects of my life I'd never say out loud.
It's an odd thing to have someone approach you and tell you they read something you wrote. Sometimes it can open doors to conversations we should all be having, admissions we should all be making. And the ability to bring down the veil and see things as they truly are.
I love writing. But more than that, I love having people read the things I write.
Have you ever had someone approach you over something you wrote online? Do you like it when people read the things you write? Do you censor yourself online with your audience in mind?