Yesterday, I mentioned that I’m considering making personal posts password-protected. Since then, there have been quite a lot of questions and concerns from readers, so I would like to clarify a bit.
First, not ALL posts will be password-protected. For example, generic, newsy-type posts will not be, however posts that I consider to be very personal will be, both for privacy reasons, and to protect my freedom as a writer. I had many reasons for starting this blog in 2008, but mainly I wanted to blog because I was lonely. Social media sites like Facebook were not yet mainstream, and I spent all of my time sitting in the house with little kids. While I adored them then, and I adore them now, I’m still an adult in need of adult interaction. I have a brain – it was turning to oatmeal. I have a degree in journalism yet I never wrote, and I need writing because it’s therapeutic for me. I also sometimes need to bounce things off other people, which is why I’ve written about personal issues here, instead of in a private diary. A private diary is just me ranting and rambling, but writing here is a conversation…or at least it used to be.
Blogging has changed. We should all be honest with ourselves about this. People don’t want to comment on blogs anymore – I get that. Most of the comments I receive are generally posted on Facebook, which is fine with me. Except….of the many hundreds of people who read this blog regularly, there is only a very small group of people who actually take the time to communicate with me in any way. So, blogging doesn’t feel like a relationship anymore. It’s just me sharing a lot of really personal stuff with strangers…and that feels weird and uncomfortable. I don’t want to do it anymore. I know that some people are shy about reaching out, and I understand that, and some find me intimidating and have admitted as much (I don’t get it…maybe because I’m so mouthy? I think I’m the least intimidating person in the world, but people feel what they feel). I also know that some people read my blog simply because they’re nosy or voyeuristic, or because they have a problem with me for whatever reason, and they’re looking for fuel for their fire. I do not wish to assist them in this regard.
Further, as my blog became more popular, and I was interviewed for web sites and newspapers and stuff, people in my “real life” became aware that I was blogging. So naturally they checked it out, because curiosity and all that, but this severely limits what I can write about. Think about it…do you want your neighbors, friends, and family to know your every thought and feeling? Probably not. We all have things that we wish to share with specific people, for feedback, or commiseration, or just to vent, but we would never in a million years tell our parents those things. Or our in-laws. Or our children. Am I right?
So that’s where I’m at right now. I want the freedom to write what I want, but like any good writer, I know my audience…and this is why certain posts need to be password-protected. I also know the people who genuinely care about us. I know their names because they have taken the time to build a relationship with me. They’ve commented, emailed, mailed me stuff, messaged me on Facebook. I know them, and these are the people who will receive the password to unlock posts that look like this:
These people know who they are, and they should feel comfortable requesting the password. If you find yourself thinking, “Nothing she writes would be worth the hassle of requesting a password,” well…exactly. You’ve proven my point, exactly. If this is how you feel, you shouldn’t be reading my personal posts anyway.
Those without the password will still see the titles of these posts…but they will not be able to unlock them. I don’t anticipate that there will be tons of posts like this, but when I feel the need to write, with brutal honesty (as my husband calls it) and without feeling like I’m in a fishbowl, or that certain people are using my words as gossip fodder, then at least I’ll be able to do so.[print-me/]