October 8, 2010

Is Your Blog Real?

When I started this blog, it was purely for entertainment value. An outlet for me to express myself about what it's like to wake up every day with the lightning bolt realization that I had tripped into midlife, that nebulous galaxy where Cosmo no longer speaks to you—or you just quit listening.

Midlife is a journey to another solar system where your center of gravity has shifted, your gas dust has expanded, and your dark matter is black-holing your gray matter. You can never time-travel back. You have to find ways to adjust to a new orbit and live the best days of your life, a life which is now impossibly shorter. (Though more liberating cuz there's that "why the hell not?" attitude you acquire after about 45.)

So I set out to write here in my natural voice. But if the fragrant truth be told, it's actually my natural wild child voice. The writing is definitely a reflection of me, but truly more the caricature of me. No apologies. Just saying. In real life, I might think something crass but never say it in mixed company. In real life, I might never expose a vulnerability but to a trusted friend. In real life, I'm the most honest person I know and, well, I actually have class.

Shut up.

Sometimes I'm filled with trepidation when my finger hovers over the PUBLISH button, as if I'm being bad. As if I'm getting away with something.

I guess I just want to know if I'm the only one. Is your blog a candid reflection of the real you? Is it a caricature of the real you for entertainment value? Or are you just blowing stuff out your butt?
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62 comments:

blueviolet said...

Mine is the real me, but it's the me I've kept underneath for a long time. I'm finding that the blog is actually bringing me back out of my shell again and I love that!

Breathe said...

I let time pass before I hit publish on some things. The reality is blogging is a megaphone and you never know who is in the crowd.

I do this with my column even more so. I can't quite be a caustic.

I hope Mr. Damaged Goods is good and gone.

:)

Fred Miller said...

My blog is written in character. That's a challenge, because if you aren't in character when you write, the entire thing can lose focus. If you want to be serious on your blog, you can write a "page." It's under a tab called "Edit Pages" in the "Edit Posts" section. You can place a navigation gadget in your sidebar to direct people to your "pages," and you can tell them that they're more serious than your blog. Last I heard you can have up to ten "pages" in your blogspot blog.

Kristina P. said...

I am basically a charicature too. But that's OK. A blog doesn't have to be this intensely personal look into someone's life. I am a humor writer. And that's what I have made my blog. I think that Snuggies, The Hoff, and unicorns are important too.

Gaelyn said...

My blog is Definitely Real. Although I may not tell All. I love your blog for the frank, or is that Frank, honesty. To hell with "him" if he can't take the heat. Honesty is always best. Don't ever change that part about you. Just keep on being....

ellen abbott said...

Oh it's totally the real me and there's not much I won't write about. there are a few things I haven't written about, things that heavily impacted my life, that I haven't written about because they weren't primarily about me and so I respect the privacy of the person they did happen to. But if it happened to, comes out of me, it's all out there. but I'm that way in real life. The truth blurts out.

The Bug said...

My blog is me - but I didn't want it to be. Or, rather, I wanted it to be the secret me that lurks inside somewhere. But I have family that started reading it (well, yes, I did sabotage myself by telling them about it), so I tone it down somewhat. Sad, I know.

Expat From Hell said...

I once had a friend to told me that our friendship had to come to a close. Reason? He said I had created a false blog persona. That has haunted me for two years. I think of that every time I push the "publish" button. While I believe I am being truthful and real every time I post, I can't help but wonder what kind of "spin" I am putting on my own life's perspective. So, there you go. Very provocative posting FL! EFH

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Mine is the real me with attitude.

Steel Magnolia said...

Me. The real persona. Some facets long hidden. Others way to close to the surface. Still more that are dreams pushing me to action. In actuality it pushes me to be a better me. Lovelier despite the warts which seem to poke their ugly craggy selves above for all to see when I am sure they are hidden. The sweet and sour and zippy tastet of lemons. Cheers!

Suzy said...

My blog - 3/4 real me

Twitter - 3/4 real me

Tumblr - The real me

Eva Gallant said...

My blog is the real me...I think all my family and friends would back me up on this!

Kay said...

definately an aler-ego :) I don't really tell people I write, it's the introvert in me that shys away from judgement and wonder...

One of many faces and roles, here is where that one gets to play.

Snappy Di said...

All of what you said. Sometimes it's me, sometimes not. Mostly it is me, but who cares anyway.

Di

You've Got to Be Kidding Me said...

Aren't we all multifaceted creatures? It's all me, whether flip, serious, sad, over-the-top, naughty or funny. I do find that if someone only blogs from one-note, I tire of their blog. I'm aware that there must be more to this person, and yet I never see it, so there is no connection. I like a complex blogger.

Linda in New Mexico said...

Hey listen, my middle name is Sybil.....so I am who I am on a particular day.
Am I honest...yes,
am I always, totally factual...well embellishment is the spice of life at 60 and
am I authentic....on Olde Baggs yes, on Ye Olde Crone authentic but guarded. My soon to be x SIL would cause so much caca for my daughter if I went into details so.....I don't but he's an ass and that's the name of that tune.

I think that we all have personas that aid us in being entertaining and informative writers. And if I am wrong and deceiving myself, well hell one of my alters did it. The Olde Bagg

gayle said...

My blog is the real me but I would love to do certain posts and can't because certain people read my blog!!

Siren said...

Sometimes it feels like my blog is the only place I'm the real me. Lots of times it's downright painful. I'll write something and then have to run away for days, sometimes longer. I've said stuff there I'd never dream of saying out loud for real.

Not to sound all psychobabbly about it, but I guess I have to admit blogging has been an important part of healing from some weird personal history. I often blog when I want to get words on stuff I can't talk about in real life. Sometimes it's even the first step in a process that leads to talking face-to-face.

Yeah, that totally sounded like psychobabble, ugh.

My story is so freaky, though, people often assume I'm making it up. There's a certain freedom in that for me. In a way it means when I blog, I can be as true to myself as I can possibly stand.

Linda Medrano said...

I think mine is the real me most of the time. I do humor a lot, but sometimes I'm serious too. I think we might be more honest on a blog than we are in real life. Or at least I think I am.

Nana Go-Go said...

It wouldn`t be me if it wasn`t real.

~JarieLyn~ said...

Mine is the real me, except that in real life I tend to cuss a bit more. I do try to keep my cynical side from being released into my writing and/or my photos though. That's the stuff I save for more personal writing.

daisyfae said...

my blog is my voice. i swear A LOT more in person, however. in person, i will try to avoid embarassing others - if i don't know an audience can take both barrels, i self-censor.

i still think you and i could start our own tribe of Mid-Life Party Amazons. we could rule the world. or just have a damn good time farting around!

drollgirl said...

hmmm. i think mine is the real deal. i do have to hold back on some things, much as i do in life. and i don't think i'd ever fess up about my blog to any love interest unless we were pretty far along. humph.

Lisa said...

My blog is me a little revved up sometimes. I've been wrestling with self-censorship lately though and I think it shows.

And you are classy.

Hilary said...

I love the irreverent you.......but it's ok if you don't talk like that in real life.
I tend to soften it up for my blog, which is funny, since you seem to do the opposite.
But yes, my blog is me.....quirky, crazy, passionate, sometimes blowing it out my butt just for fun.
Great post.

Irish Gumbo said...

Yes.

Missy said...

Saddly, it's really me!

Brian Miller said...

mine is pretty much what you get...there are times i hesitate hitting the publish button...

Twenty Four At Heart said...

My blog is me ... but it is an ELEMENT of me. In reality, I don't swear THAT often. However, I *think* swear words all day long and I definitely write them into my posts way more than I say them. My blog is real, but it is a part of me - not the total me.

The Empress said...

My blog is a family blog, they all wanted one.

If I had the time, maybe later: I'll have a blog that's only me.

But, that'll be a sad day, cuz the kids will be gone...*snif* and I have mad crushes on all of them.

LL Cool Joe said...

But what's real? The person on our blog or that same person in real life? I tend to think it's all real, but just different parts of the same person.

Gail said...

Depends on the day...

Ian said...

“The deadliest bullshit is odorless and transparent”

Country Girl said...

Never been here before and came at the suggestion of a friend. So hello there.

I think everyone pauses at some point before hitting the publish button.

For me, on my blog, I only talk about the good in my life so I guess it's not really the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I really wouldn't want to read it if it were. Because the truth of it is depressing.

But it's all real. I may exaggerate slightly for the sake of a laugh, though!

McGillicutty said...

Yes mine is real... to a point. I have found that a lot of people who know me read it now and I can't be totally honest the way I would like to for fear or alienating myself. Not that I have bad things to say just sometimes you have to remember to blog about what you "own".
I'm also a big chicken and don't want people judging me.. I've thought of doing another blog.. annon.. that might be a whole other story.

She Writes said...

I have definitely exposed myself through blogging and my boyfriends... Yikes :). My blog is real and not, but the people who KNOW me know what is me and what is them...

marie said...

So true. "I actually have class" is why I loved this post. I think I'd probably be even less classy on my blog if I didn't know my mom was reading it.

Ami said...

"I guess I just want to know if I'm the only one. Is your blog a candid reflection of the real you? Is it a caricature of the real you for entertainment value? Or are you just blowing stuff out your butt?"

Yes.

Matty said...

Just like you, we all blog for our own reasons. When I first started, I had no idea what a blog was, or how I wanted to use it. I was feeling my way along as I went, taking cues from the other blogs I was reading. As time went on, my blog content took shape. After well over a year now, I would say that my blog fairly represents the real me. To a point. Mine leans more towards humor and family life, and I really don't get into very personal things. I have my views on politics and religion, and other "sensitive" topics, but I don't use my blog for those venues. So I guess you could say that what you see is me......of what I choose to show you.

edifice rex said...

I would say mine is truly the real me, and I actually, unfortunately, do blurt out some things in real life that I also expound on in my blog. I have never understood bloggers who want to present a whole different persona but then I've always said I don't have sense enough to try to be someone else. :)

secret agent woman said...

Definitely not the last one (um, eww). My blog is genuine me, but I don't feel obliged to tell everything. I'm protective of my children, for instance, and wouldn't tell stories they'd find horrifyingly embarrassing. I protect the identities of the players in my life. But it is at times a fairly raw look at my actual life.

Fireblossom said...

My blog is me, to the bone. In "real" life I am a little more reserved, but that is only because every person I encounter doesn't need to know just what I'm thinking. But on my blog, it's all there.

PS--if those endless Cosmo articles about "50 Ways To Drive Him Wild" actually worked, there would be a nation of men walking around with stupid grins all the time.

Vodka and Ground Beef said...

I feel the same way. Vodka and Ground Beef is my ALTER EGO!!!

Great post.

morethananelectrician said...

Mine has kind of evolved in just the opposite direction...which makes mine a mix between fantasy and reality, but I think it is easy for everyone to tell when I am "joke writing" and when I am telling stories of my day.

Maybe I have grown a bit in these last couple of years...or maybe not.

Susan said...

This topic is something I thought about for a long time about before starting my blog. I decided real was the way to go... including my real picture ( I hate having my picture taken)

I have no regrets and in fact I have heard since that the best way to avoid identity theft is to actually own and use it before someone else decides to.

:) Novel concept really....

Susan

Pat said...

Mine is pretty much the real me. In fact, I happened to write a post about that very same Cosmo you have a picture of - the "Untamed Va-ja-jays", and lost a follower, I assuming because of it!

Ann Imig said...

I think it would be so much easier to write a "real me" type of blog...

My voice is definitely me, but I play up my neurosis/spastic/weirdness and keep most of my personal life private.

ModernMom said...

Sometimes my blog is more of me then I care to admit. Sometimes it is the me that wishes I could really be. The care free let loose tell you what I really think me.
Yes, it is authentic, just louder.

Poppy said...

I keep two blogs. One "pretty", one not. I haven't owned up yet, I suppose. Glad I found you though!

Sass said...

Mine is me, but often just the pretty parts I let people see.

Today, though, unfortunately it's me.

*sigh*

tokenblogger said...

I'm an introvert. People never meet the real me.

creative kerfuffle said...

mine is the real me, but w/ more cussing. i cuss more in my head than i do in real life--because frankly saying fuck all the time is sort of frowned upon. i am more open and honest on my blog (because i'm anonymous) than i am in person. i like your blog, even if it is the naughty side of you.

Lori said...

I love your blog and enjoy reading what you write. On my blog, for the most part it's the real me although there is so much I don't share and it does tend to be more serious then what I am in real life. I often hesitate before clicking publish. :)

foxy said...

Mine is the real me... but it's not all that risque or "out there", ya know? I happen to like the blog you and the real you and, yes, if you're trying to censor yourself for a man, then you know he's not the right one.

Gary said...

Good questions. I started my blog for a very specific reason which was to document my journey as an educator. I teach kindergarten in a dual language (American Sign Language and English) school in NYC. Over the years though I have included bits of myself from my personal life but most everything is filtered from a professional lens rather than a deeply personal one.

But as I tell my kids in class, the more you write the better you become. So writing anything will make me a better writer. Still, I feel that same trepidation when it comes time to publish but for a different reason I guess. Typos! :)

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I'm just blowing stuff out my butt.

Actually, I never make anything up. Do I always say what I really think? No. But then again, I don't blog anything that I can't say what I really think. If that makes sense.

meleah rebeccah said...

Is your blog a candid reflection of the real you? Is it a caricature of the real you for entertainment value? Or are you just blowing stuff out your butt?


My blog is the REAL ME. What you read online is exactly what you get in real life.

Nancy said...

Mine is the real me - but a contemplative me. The naughty me doesn't usually play out on my blog. But she's there, believe me.

Sarah Lulu said...

My blog is my most revealing version of myself.

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Mine is the real me, the real to the tenth power me, the raw and essential me, the not always so nice me. But definitely me.

Becky said...

I'm new here, but I'm going to leave my 2 cents worth. My blog is real. I just admitted to spending every other Saturday night in jail since April serving out a 14 day sentence. That took real guts to admit that honestly on line.

Sue said...

Oh what a great question. I'm at the three month mark of blogging and I want to scratch it all and start over. I don't know who the hell I am on there. It started as my voice, but then I started trying to reach a certain audience, please my mother, all kinds of crap. Hard to be genuine when it's all a big experiment.