Why I don’t blog raw anymore

by Veronica on February 18, 2011

in Blogging

This isn’t a reflection on anyone else, and what they choose to do with their blog. This is my story and why I don’t – can’t – blog raw.


People who have been reading here for a long time might have noticed that my writing changed around 2 years ago. From writing posts in an hour and publishing immediately, I started waiting to detail events, writing things out weeks later, or not at all. A window closed and while I railed against it in the beginning, now it just feels like normality.

My grandmother died. I can’t say those words out loud to anyone, normally, but I can write them, sometimes. My grandmother died and that changed how I live my life and how I blog about it.

The consensus, from some people appears to be that she was just my grandmother and that it ought to not affect me that much. After all, surely it can’t have been that bad?

Leaving aside pain Olympics and discussions of who had it worse because of who they lost and what their relationship was with that person, losing my grandmother changed everything.

Nan spent 12 months dying, slowly. Watching someone die slowly in stages is about as heartbreaking as it sounds. Watching them go from dying but still living, to dying and not caring, in under a fortnight, well, you learn to live in the cusp of an indrawn breath, taking each moment as it comes.

I made my grandmother cry, in the last few months, by writing about what was happening to her. But it wasn’t me, exactly that made her cry, it was you guys. The commenters – the people who can only respond to my words and not the situation. You were the ones who upset her, watching her death in your comments was more than she could handle at that point.

That was my first lesson in blogging raw and why I shouldn’t do it here. I moderated my tone and closed comments occasionally. After all, what was my pain when compared with hers? She knew she was going to die and leave us to deal with that. That can’t be easy on a person.

My second lesson in blogging raw came shortly after her death, when I still couldn’t breathe for the pain in my chest. An ill timed rant about Mum and I four days after her funeral, from a family member, left me throwing up all night with stress and grief. No one wants to read vitriol about themselves, especially when coming from someone who is also grieving and grieving hard. Again, the response was not necessarily to do with what I wrote, but what commenters took away from my post and said themselves. Having a total stranger tell someone that ‘they can go fuck themselves’ is not well received by anyone.

Months later, there was an apology, but in those months, I learned to be careful what I wrote about. Not blogging raw left me with less of my life being shared. I was incredibly aware of what I was sharing, who was reading it and how it would be taken. What was started by my grandmother’s pain, was finished by a family members anger.

And I know that you’ll say that this is my space and that I can say what I want and write what I want and others don’t have to read it, but reality doesn’t work like that. Telling other family not to read something that was upsetting them here was akin to not poking at a sore tooth. You know it’s going to hurt, but you can’t keep your tongue away from it.

I’ve been blogging for a long time. I have learned that sometimes the repercussions to the written word is swift and totally unexpected. I have learned what I can and cannot deal with in this space.

I don’t blog raw anymore. Raw is dangerous, for me, because I never know who is reading. The thing is, what I say here and how it is taken by someone who may have a problem with me, they are two different things. Some people can’t understand why we’d share our feelings here, and they can’t understand that it is only a slice of our reality that we’re sharing.

Life is ugly. My life is ugly sometimes, in ways that I don’t talk about anymore. Ways that I can’t talk about anymore.

Too many people read and I have to ask myself, is the fallout worth it?

For me, I decided that it wasn’t.

Some things, they take 2 years to work out of my system and allow me to write about them. Some things may never come out. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Who knows, maybe you’ll hear about that in another 2 years.

Laura February 18, 2011 at 8:31 pm

I learnt this lesson pretty early on in my blogger life πŸ™‚

It was not so much MY feelings but the response of the comments when I blogged about my ex-husband. It was my release – I tried very hard to not name call and attack him but rather his actions but the comments from people who cared were negative and personal attacks on him – he did not take it well and obviously attacked me and not them!

So I have learnt to tone down my feelings or to not sure them at all!

It is my blog, it is my space and they are my feelings but unless I close all comments and go private – the reactions will always belong to the www!

Veronica February 18, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Sounds like we had almost identical experiences.

James February 18, 2011 at 8:31 pm

I recently closed down 99% of my blog for similar reasons. Very different circumstances than yours, but I don’t blog raw anymore, either. I recently tried to, but I had to be so vague that the experience wasn’t as cathartic as it used to be. Makes me almost want to just give it up. Strange, feeling that way, as I’ve been blogging for over a decade now and I really don’t know what I’d do without it.

Veronica February 18, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I found that I am talking about “things” as opposed to “stuff” more. “Stuff” has the potential to bring other people and their experience into it, whereas “things” can be fairly unemotional.

Lucy February 18, 2011 at 8:32 pm

I have been thinking a lot about this recently. I have taken down a few of my raw posts, for fear of recrimination from family members.

I write raw. That helps me. The writing is the therapy. The writing helps me untangle my emotions and my head. The publishing of pain or the subsequent comments doesn’t really help me. Publishing raw has the potential to get complicated, for me. But it doesn’t stop me writing.

So I write raw. And I keep that writing on my private blog. For the time being, at any rate.

Thanks Veronica. As you say, mo one wants to read vitriol.

Veronica February 18, 2011 at 8:44 pm

It was your post on Nuffnang that started me thinking about it actually. The catalyst!

I write raw sometimes too. Mostly I speak to Mum instead. None of my raw gets published, because it isn’t worth the repercussions, from anyone. I’m also more careful about what topics I pick nowadays. It doesn’t stop all of the issues, but it does stop some.

Lucy February 18, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Since I wrote that post for Nuffnang, I realise how many hits I have on the really raw posts I have written about alcoholism and suicide. Huge. Hence I took them down.

I am torn between wondering if one persons experience can help others; and “shit, this is my families dirty laundry I am airing here” – little folk (and older siblings) have every right to be pissed off and hurt by me writing my rawness out as their history.

It is such a tricky one. Raw emotion and evocative (and sometimes painful) memories are addictive to read. The genre of misery memoirs are testament to that. But for me personally, I realise I shouldn’t make my family history the equivilent to a blog soapie.

That said, I wrote raw today and cried my heart out at releasing some wonderful positive memories via my keyboard. I am going to take a punt that I can’t hurt with those recollections of the past, and hit publish on them…

Veronica February 18, 2011 at 9:01 pm

People do find things like that addictive. Is the the car crash mentality, we can’t look away? Poke the sore tooth, does it still hurt?

I had to work out where my stories stopped and other people’s started, which bits I was able to share easily and which I have to leave in my head. It’s a tightrope walk sometimes.

I’m really glad you *get* what I’m saying here too.

Madmother February 18, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Really powerful post. And you make a lot of sense. People take their own experiences and spin it into the written word, your written words, and this can totally change what you were trying to convey in the first place.

Veronica February 18, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Yes and sometimes it’s shocking at what was read into a post that wasn’t meant to be there.

Dorothy February 18, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Must be tough. I was just debating the other day whether I should tell my parents about my blog. Maybe they know. I don’t know. I don’t know how they’d feel about what I write. None of my IRL friends read my blog. They’re just not into all this online stuff, or rather not into reading about real lives/opinions. Some may read the occasional post, but generally my blog is read by strangers and not that many of them, anyway.

However, I can so totally imagine what it would be like if it was read by a wide circle of family and friends. Things would be taken personally, out of context and to suit individuals’ agendas.

I’m glad you’re comfortable with how you’re writing. I really enjoy your blog, no, I really enjoy your writing. You have a way with words that often eludes me in my writing. Keep doing what you’re doing, change as you need to, that’s what growing is all about.

Veronica February 18, 2011 at 8:45 pm

It was tough in the beginning I think, now it’s normal for me, to write this way, instead of that, if you know what I mean.

I’m glad you like my blog πŸ™‚

Frogpondsrock February 18, 2011 at 8:47 pm

I have a lot of very raw posts in my drafts folder and I reckon that is where they will stay. The act of writing is generally enough to get the words out of my head.
You have spoken for both of us in this post, first child of my heart. I love you x

Veronica February 18, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Yes, me too. Lots of drafts.

Frogpondsrock February 18, 2011 at 9:05 pm

*Cough you were supposed to say I love you too Mum Cough*

river February 18, 2011 at 8:52 pm

This is one reason why I try to keep my family out of my blog.

I’m hoping that none of my comments have ever hurt you, if I do say something upsetting, please let me know, because I sure wouldn’t do it on purpose.

Veronica February 18, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Keeping family out of blogs, is however, lots easier said than done sometimes. Which can be hard.

You’ve never upset me.

Frogpondsrock February 18, 2011 at 9:06 pm

you have never upset me either River πŸ™‚

BendyGirl February 18, 2011 at 8:53 pm

My writing has changed too as my blog has become linked with my real identity. It can be hard because I think for us starting blogging was a cathartic process and now some of what felt like a safe space to explore our feelings has become something else. Not something better or worse, just different. Brilliant post Von. Thinking of you as always BG Xx

Veronica February 18, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I think this is where it comes back to blogging being an evolution. I agree though, it’s different now.

Frogpondsrock February 18, 2011 at 9:04 pm

That was the hardest part for me as well BG, when Mum was dying in Palliative care I gave everyone my blog address as a way of sharing information quickly without having to spend hours on the phone repeating myself to a zillion callers.

I went from a semi anonymous blog to a very public blog overnight. It took some getting used to, that’s for sure.

now I am very comfortable with my blog being public property and write accordingly.

Belinda February 18, 2011 at 8:53 pm

I think I’m reaching a fork in the road in regards to raw vs censored at the moment with my blog and its leading to a bad case of bloggers block.

There’s lots of things I want to say and get out but alot of family members are now reading my blog and so I feel I’m self-censoring more and as a result I’m all clogged up. It will work itself out I guess, if I just keep at it but sometimes I miss just wacking something out there that noone IRL will ever read.

Veronica February 18, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Mine ended up as bad bloggers block too, it felt like my mouth was (figuratively) stuffed with socks and I couldn’t speak.

If you do get over the hump though, be assured, things do get different. Maybe not easier, or better, but different. Sometimes different is okay.

mama mogantosh February 18, 2011 at 8:55 pm

You do express yourself beautifully Veronica.

I think about having an anonymous blog, just for that reason. But I like your Mums thoughts too – the drafts folder can be a cathartic place. Just beware the accidental finger-slip…

Veronica February 18, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Why thank you! Lovely compliments coming from you, considering your posts about your kids make me crack up.

Sharnee February 18, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Yes I understand what you’re saying and I agree.
I can barely even BLOG anymore (don’t know why really, too scared to be too raw, not that anything really is raw for me). Also my mum has my blog address not that I am scared to write what I want, I find I do always think “what is she going to think….”.

Sometimes I feel that when I HAVE blogged something raw and personal, it’s felt so right at the time (I mean getting it out is half the problem – ok, this is starting to sound like I’m talking about bad constipation! Apologies) but the next day I am often left feeling a bit vulnerable and naked. And I don’t particular like that feeling.

Anyway, rambling. I agree!

Veronica February 18, 2011 at 9:16 pm

I tend to feel vunerable until some comments come in and I can assure myself that people got what I was saying and that I’m not going to spend the whole comment section clarifying what I meant.

Having to think ‘what would Mum think’ is sometimes good for me!

Su Chin February 18, 2011 at 9:23 pm

I know how you feel. I’ve got other blogs, raw-er than what you see. I’m incognito when it comes to blogging. I hide it from every person I know IRL. Bloggers I meet, well, they’ve come to know me..but they don’t know my past.

Nowadays, I’ve been writing a sanitised version, which isn’t very good for my soul.

Veronica February 18, 2011 at 10:32 pm

My writing blog is more raw than this one, but more emotion raw, not detail raw. It’s hard balancing this blogging thing, isn’t it?

Jodie at Mummy Mayhem February 18, 2011 at 10:40 pm

There’s certain situations I would LOVE to blog about, but I won’t because I know it would upset people. I think that’s ok, though. I think it’s great that people can blog raw, but we’re all different and we all have our limitations. Each to their own.

My priest actually reads my blog, and I think some would hate that, but I really like it, because it gives me a certain moral compass with stuff. But he’s all for expressing. He reads Lori’s blog for eg, and thinks it’s great that she’s getting it out.

Great post again, V. x

Veronica February 18, 2011 at 10:49 pm

I used to wish that I could blog about certain situations, but now, I think it would take way too much energy to cover the back story.

My grandmother used to read – although prior to her cancer she hadn’t taken objection to anything I wrote, but I knew she was reading. I think if you just assume that whoever/whatever you’re talking about will find your blog, then that’s a pretty safe place to start from. Nothing here on the Internet is ever truly anonymous, as much as we’d like it to be.

Megan February 19, 2011 at 12:56 am

I understand completely. I haven’t written raw in a long time either. I know (at least to my knowledge)that no one IRL reads my blog but still it is out there and they could find it so I tend to be careful about what I write so that I don’t hurt anyone. My parents refuse to read my blog they don’t want to know so if I have a post I want them to see I have to print it out for them so at time I wish my mom read my blog but I am also glad that see doesn’t at other times.

Veronica February 19, 2011 at 10:04 am

I think too that is what gets forgotten sometimes, even by me. If it’s on the net, anyone can find it.

Marylin February 19, 2011 at 1:26 am

I’ve definitely grown and changed with my blogging since I started, as I have as a person in that time too. At first you think well, no one is going to read this tiny piece of me on the internet, then after a while it gets more noticed, and it gets out.
I like to think I have the right balance on my blog. I know that my parents and friends read it (as anyone on facebook can), so I do censor myself more than I used to. Then again, I do the same in real life mostly now too. Some things are only meant to be thought, not said. Know what I mean?

Veronica February 19, 2011 at 10:05 am

Balance is exactly what I strive for. And yep, I know exactly what you mean, with some things only meant to be thought.

Happy Elf Mom February 19, 2011 at 1:41 am

Well, around the same time I blogged about how my parents never really wanted to see our family and how hurtful that was that they’d stay away for years but have lotsa time for cruises and seeing family in Massachusetts and California, etc. (which is further away than Missouri from Florida let me tell you). My parents were hurt and furious and most of the family doesn’t speak to me any more including cousins, cousins married in, etc.

What was never addressed is the fact that my feelings were valid, and whatever “wrong” happened because I shared it publicly (under a pseudonym no less) I feel is overshadowed by the fact that at no point was I apologized to, or even told that it’s not true, we really love you, sorry you felt that way… ANYTHING like that. It was all “look what you did to your mother.”

Veronica February 19, 2011 at 10:07 am

I think that was the hardest thing for me too – no one was able to see that I had a valid point and that my feelings were real. It was all about them and their reaction to me. It’s hard isn’t it? Even harder when it’s meant to be people who should love you.

George Biron February 19, 2011 at 7:53 am

You write so beautifully,

May be time for something bigger than a blog.

Veronica February 19, 2011 at 10:08 am

Why thankyou!

life in a pink fibro February 19, 2011 at 8:17 am

Great post Veronica. We can all write raw, all the time, if we want to – but who says it must be published on the internet to be real? People have been keeping journals for centuries for just such this reason. One lesson I learned very early on with writing is that just because we can say something (eruditely, poetically, beautifully, whatever) doesn’t mean we should. It can be a harsh lesson, as you point out.

Veronica February 19, 2011 at 10:09 am

Yep, I write raw sometimes and then put it away where I can’t publish it. Microsoft word is my friend.

Kathy February 19, 2011 at 8:31 am

Oh, this rings so true to me! In my case it wasn’t so much a matter of other people being hurt by either what I wrote or by comments, but of me being hurt by commenters and by readers who knew me IRL and took it upon themselves to make sweeping judgements about my life based on what I blogged.

In the end, I closed my main blog down to be private (subscription-only) and I control the reader list pretty damn tightly so I have one space where I can write somewhat raw (although even there, I do self-censor to some extent). I also created a new blog to be my public space, where I post things that I’m happy for the whole world to read, and where I am exceedingly careful not to post anything that could be misconstrued as hurtful to people I know IRL, or anything that contains information about my family or me that I wouldn’t be happy for anyone to know. My Mum, my SIL, other mums at school, people at our church, all read that blog, and I’m cool with that.

That public blog’s not a fake, either – those posts, mostly about education / policy, children’s play, book reviews, craft, and slice-of-life amusements the kids get up to, are real, genuine, and a definite part of my life. There’s just not all there is to me.

Veronica February 19, 2011 at 10:11 am

Oh, aren’t the sweeping judgements SO MUCH FUN? Ugh.

Caz February 19, 2011 at 8:32 am

I think you are very wise Veronica. I’m even a bit careful about what I post about my girls – because I don’t want anything dug about them in the future that would be embarrassing or hurtful in the incorrect hands. As you say it’s all a personal thing and you have to choose what suits you. Fabulous post – love posts that make me think about things. Good job you πŸ™‚

Veronica February 19, 2011 at 10:12 am

Yep, I’m having to walk that line too, not wanting things about Amy found when she is older.

And thanks! I like making people think.

edenland February 19, 2011 at 9:57 am

Love this.

I think it comes down to how self-aware a person is. Of their own situation, where they are in their life and the world. I write ridiculously raw, inappropriate posts. Yet I focus on myself; I don’t want to embarress or shame anyone else. Since my blog was in the newspaper last year, a lot of “real life” people read. Which is odd. I just pretend I still have a handful of readers. It’s the only way I can still blog.

Veronica February 19, 2011 at 10:14 am

I couldn’t do the raw stuff, even when it involved just me and how I was coping, because of the sweeping judgments made about me and the people who think they know how I should be doing things. It wasn’t worth the stress from the gossiping anymore. I write my emotion raw on the other blog, where I can be vague about things mostly.

I’m glad you still blog. xx

Tanya February 19, 2011 at 10:58 am

I can see where you are coming from. It’s very hard to decided where the line is when it comes to different issues, and where to stop.

I think you’ve found the right balance of censoring enough of your life to protect those you love. But saying that, you taught me to be raw and I have actually been very raw over the past few weeks and have felt better about it! I have kept the details of my relationships censored though, until I feel it is appropriate to talk about them so I guess I am censoring too.

If it’s worth anything, I love your mummyblogging posts and posts about the house and garden the most. πŸ™‚

Veronica February 20, 2011 at 9:34 am

The balance is what I’ve been striving for and writing “reality” is easier if I can remove the anger/hurt/grief from it before I do it. I’m more likely to be fair to other people then.

Wacky Lisa February 19, 2011 at 11:50 am

While I admire and respect bloggers who are open I just can’t do it anymore.
I was open once. Back in the days of DearDiary I was very open. A therapist accused me of attention seeking. I’m not sure I 100% buy that but her words really bothered me and I quit sharing.
Varying experiences since have meant that I don’t really share personal stuff in my writing. I’ll talk about things I’ve learned yes but not about how I feel nor what’s going on for me. I do realize that I’m cutting myself off from possible support but right now I just can’t bring myself to really be myself online.
I had been thinking I was the only one…

Veronica February 20, 2011 at 9:39 am

A therapist accused you of attention seeking?! And they wonder why those of us with chronic illness have issues with trusting medical professionals.

Kristy February 19, 2011 at 1:20 pm

You are right to always be aware of your audience. It is not just us out here, who you do not know. Those who love you and who you love are reading as well. I’m sure sometimes though it is a way to communicate, in a sort of way, to the ones you love.

Veronica February 20, 2011 at 10:35 am

It definitely is, sometimes I can write things that I have trouble talking about. I know my MIL likes reading for this fact, she gets a good insight into ME, without the issues I have talking about myself coming to the front.

achelois February 19, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Blogging is a weird thing to me. Like nowadays, up until a few weeks ago I would always read each and every comment and then comment myself. Now I find myself commenting and coming back later to read the comments. I think because I was influencing myself on what others had said. So now I try to comment on my initial response to a post rather than be influenced by so many opinions.

I thought when I started blogging that I would tell all. But I don’t, sometimes I want to but still don’t. Not so much because of the whole internet privacy thing and people finding out I blog as mine is annonymous. For all I know family or friends may know I blog but respect my feeling that I prefer not to use my real name.

The holding back thing comes about in part because I feel that if I told some of the stuff that I want to but hold back on, the saying of it may send me in to some sort of emotional freefall. Mindful as well that sometimes if someone else is feeling down the addition of my tumultuous mind may well just be too much that day.

I think in a way Veronica you are just like everyone else, learning every day not just about blogging, but about life in general.

My grandmother died many years ago I know I have said this before but her death affected me more than anything else has ever done. If you had not talked as you did some of my lost emotions would not have come to the surface again so that I could remember that which my mind had chosen to forget. Because it was all too painful. So whilst you may not choose again to be raw in that way because of the fallout, I will never be able to thank you enough for telling it how it was. Looking in more than one direction when one blogs can help, whilst on the one hand some of what you wrote may not have been best placed it helped a stranger to come to terms with stuff than needed to be dealt with. I am not saying the one cancels out the other just that if you feel like writing it just do it. Not in a hang the consequences way more so that you don’t become stilted and guarded. Sometimes its not what we write its the way we write it. So if writing not so raw suits you better thats fine too. I think the fact that you do think about what you write and its possible consequences mean you are getting to know yourself better and that can only be a good thing.

As long as it comes naturally and you enjoy it. I find the blogs that are too contrived, embarrasing reads, so they aren’t in my reader. Yours is in my reader and long may it be so. I tend to think that because all things internet are so instant its not a bad thing to think of posts a little like a letter. Before I hit the publish button I try to remember to ask myself would I go to the post office get a stamp and put it in the letter box.

You are right somethings are better left unsaid. In hindsight i would have done and said some things differently in my life, but I wouldn’t have learnt that had I not done them in the first place. Life’s rich tapestry I guess.


Veronica February 20, 2011 at 10:36 am

I am glad it helped you, God knows your comments about your grandmother helped me, a lot – knowing that someone else out there understood my hurt and pain, it helped a lot.

Dakota February 19, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Hi V, thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

I havent started online blogging yet for exactly this reason.
I’m finding the line between authentic expression and subjects of interest.
I’ve decided (in my preparations) to keep the journaling of unmediated experiences to paper, knowing, as you have discovered, that unprocessed experiences can invite more pain than it’s worth.
Like first drafts of anything, such writing is best reserved for down-the-track-self-reflection, or very small tightnit groups–purely for the preservation of the material itself, knowing it is the unhinged part of the writing process and therefore always subject to the proccess of further reflection and a re-write.
Not all experiences are to be shared either.
Writing is our tool and that’s how we process the psychology of ourselves but self-preservation still has to be exercised.

To me raw blogging is the equivalent of online-journaling. When we journal (in diaries) we dont expect those close to us to read it and we’d be horrified if they did. And then there’s strangers reading it and passing potential cruel judgement.
How many times have we read over our own pages and cringed at what we’d written, or not even remembered we’d written it cause it was in a state of unhinged emotion at the time (and therefore feelings always subject to change).

Anything potentially loaded I ask myself now, ‘what it my motivation for publishing this?’ (if the likelihood is going to be severe, real backlash).

I’m in the practice of being authentic but self-preserving (these days) after learning some hard lessons along these very lines you describe. Committing things to paper in a public forum and the www is, once submitted, difficult to retract from if we ever need to. It can be relationship/political/career suicide.

And no-one deserves abuse such as you described when writing about your grandmother and your grief.

While writing/expression is indeed a wonderful catalyst and sometimes having people respond rawly might be just what we need to hear—however if public reply is not what we need then I exercise the right to not publish.
So there’s journaling, and then there’s blogging is how I have put this to myself.

So good for you for coming to your realisation and new practice.
It will serve you well.
And it serves us readers well for the sharing.
thank you.
πŸ™‚ Dakota

Veronica February 20, 2011 at 10:42 am

I’m glad you like the post.

I agree, there is a huge difference between what I put out here and what I used to write in my diaries (I can’t even read my old diaries, they are cringeworthy) and what I’d probably write in my diaries if I was still keeping one.

Fiona February 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Back in 2001, I wrote very raw, but noone I knew had my URL, it was LJ and diaryland. It was different.

Veronica February 20, 2011 at 10:45 am

From looking back, it was different, less open and easily found.

Watershedd February 20, 2011 at 9:26 am

I’ve always used pen name to blog. As far as I know, none of my family know the URL of my blog, although a number know I have one. I do not share it with them, because my family is large, scattered and things wind up being Chinese whispers if I don’t speak to each one personally. I love my extended family very much, but I’ve been geographically and digitally remote from them to establish and maintain my independence and sense of self.

I’m concerned that what I publish can be found by employers or others who know those close to me. I am cautious to shield parts of my life and sometimes, I write cryptically as a result. Sometimes I don’t write at all. When emotions are high, I generally write poetry, but not all of it can be published immediately. There are items that are in my folder that will never be share on my blog … perhaps ina book someday a long, long way off.

The problem with blogging raw as I see it, is that people feel they lose face by being portrayed in what may be a negative light. When we write such stuff, it’s often nothing more than venting feelings to release pressure, to ease pain. I’ve always taken the approach that I should speak to the source of my distress personally (when I can do so civilly … I’m still stewing two weeks after an incident now … I get to the offence causer eventually). If cannot speak to the person personally, I feel I probably shouldn’t publish identifying information for the rest of the world to share. But I understand why other’s do blog raw and I make no judgement on them. I just don’t want the fallout later in my own life. It’s a pity we can’t express ourselves openly and have others hear the pain, acknowledge it and try to manage it. It’s so much easier to feel incensed than to deal with the issues.

Veronica February 20, 2011 at 10:53 am

I like your reasoning – if you can’t talk to the person who is causing the issue, then why blog about it? Very sensible!

Devi February 21, 2011 at 6:59 pm

This was very helpful to read, thank you Veronica.
I started blogging in 2000. Back when blogging meant writing your own HTML.
I wrote a happy blog, which still exists, one for sharing the fun things with my very spread out family.
I have a new “happy blog” for the fun of writing and sharong and being part of the community.
I also write a no-holds-barred blog, which was amazing for working through many issues I was facing. When the issue was resolved, I deleted it. I am onto my 7th “raw blog”. Only one person has access to it. I need this outlet and I need it to be private, but for some reason, I need it to be “potentially public” as well. As if I am telling the world and feeling my reaction to that, before telling (or hiding it from) my world.
It’s sad you lost a place to work through your pain, but I relate to your stance on this issue.

Devi February 21, 2011 at 6:59 pm

This was very helpful to read, thank you Veronica.
I started blogging in 2000. Back when blogging meant writing your own HTML.
I wrote a happy blog, which still exists, one for sharing the fun things with my very spread out family.
I have a new “happy blog” for the fun of writing and sharing and being part of the community.
I also write a no-holds-barred blog, which was amazing for working through many issues I was facing. When the issue was resolved, I deleted it. I am onto my 7th “raw blog”. Only one person has access to it. I need this outlet and I need it to be private, but for some reason, I need it to be “potentially public” as well. As if I am telling the world and feeling my reaction to that, before telling (or hiding it from) my world.
It’s sad you lost a place to work through your pain, but I relate to your stance on this issue.

Miss Ash February 23, 2011 at 3:23 am

I think every blogger ends up at these crossroads.

I wrote something once and my brother found it a year later and refused to speak with me for six months. I wish I’d never associated it with my name or given it to people I know. Too late now, though, unless i’m willing to start over… which i’m not.

Although I won’t write entirely raw, there are ways to work around it. Like guest posts! It challenges me as a writer; and I think i’ve become a better writer because of it.

Michele May 12, 2011 at 11:52 am

to me the issue is “whos story is this”

What impact – who will it hurt?

If if it public or private – if writing out something helps/is therapeutic then do it but on a private/closed blog if it is not your story to tell, if others are identified, can be hurt or feel you have betrayed their right to privacy

Its not clear cut and black and white tho hey

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