(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

self-editing.

Curious dilemma about blogging. It seems its roots are in journaling. but not just journaling personal experiences... also sharing those. A natural byproduct then, in my recent experience, is that some of the people you may know and/or write about happen to read the blog.

As a result, I find myself hesitating to broach certain subjects or, worse, telling only part of the story. to avoid hurt feelings. or awkward moments and situations.

I don't feel I have any choice and yet this rather irritates me. I want to be full-on out there with everything I write. But I also detest drama.

It isn't the same experience I've had with other forms of writing where I draw upon my real experiences and acquaintanceships to form characters. I may know a certain character is ... Susie, say ... but I can change her name, maybe some physicality or other description and get away with it. Hell, Susie may even know it is her, but it is different enough that it can be debated.

It would feel disingenuous to alter names, etc. in my blogging about real-time experiences. Which is the tenor of my blog.

So. I feel like maybe as things move more in the past, I can reprise the events and be more open.

In the meantime, I self-edit. and I loathe it. Anyone else feel this pinch? Am I copping out?


(picture from www.gdnctr.com)

13 comments:

Utah Savage said...

As you have noticed, I don't self-censor much, but I do try to protect the privacy of people I write about. If I didn't, I'd probably be friendless. I use made-up names, but the people I'm writing about know who they are in my blog. Last love/first love sometimes thinks I'm writing about him when I'm not, but that's the kind of guy he is--all the men I've ever known and had any feeling for, good or ill, he projects himself onto and wonders if I'm writing directly to him through my blog

La Framéricaine said...

Darling JNRR,

I am sure that you don't love me anymore...

Aside from that, I most definitely compartmentalize within my life experience and only blahg in a way that is guaranteed not to hurt someone else's feelings. Oh my gawd! Did I write that?

I have a few little gimmicks that I am using to support that goal:

--using the moniker La Framéricaine, although many of my new blogging friends know my "real" name.

--also, cleaving to not using other people's "real" names unless they have already set a precedent for that in their own blogs or their comments.

--using the theme/focus of making the transition to France as my point de repère or raison d'être for the blog and respecting that theme while informing with my version of reality.

--using the challenge of feeling blocked, pinched, in some ways to make me write more clearly and concisely.

That written, I will say that I set up 3 blogs simultaneously to cope with my "couple" move to France, my ambivalence about moving to France, and my negativity about moving to France, knowing that someday I might need the other two.

I don't want to mingle my moving blog with my life gestalt, endlessly running, mental narrative. No doubt, more for myself than for others, but we are all in this together in a way, aren't we?

Very interesting subject you chose for today.

Stacey said...

I was thinking about this today, this morning in fact. Yes, I do self-censor so that I will not hurt people or disclose that which is not mine to tell.

I have a very close friend who is dealing with the fall-out of a bed she has made. I really want to talk about my own stress and frustration due to this situation, but to do so would also reveal my deep anger at her for her very significant part in her "big mess." Instead, I watch her play this great big mind-fucking game with another person, all the while claiming that she's not, and she wants out.

So in addition to clapping a lid on it in real life, I also can't use my blog as an outlet. Very frustrating. Poor hubby gets the brunt of it, since he's really the only one who can hear my ranting without getting all butt-hurt.

bah.

La Belette Rouge said...

I so relate to this post. Recently some family friends have discovered my blog and I am aware of their presence whenever I go to write. I hate that! I do edit and I do change names to protect myself and those I love. I don't post pictures of myself or my Woozle. That anonymity gives me greater freedom then if I didn't do that. Yet, I am still aware of the pinch and the discomfort that comes with having to edit.

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

U.S.-trés typique. Men ... (except for RG of course, ha)


LaF-pourquoi? I know I've been remiss this week in my reading and commenting. Je suis desolée! You may be on to something with the multiple blogs. I think I need an 'amour' blog .... ;P

Stacey-next time we talk, spill your guts to me! I miss our harumphing about folks as we do our walks or mojitos!!!!

LBR-well, my pic is all me. but I'm finding relationships ... and potential relationships getting more and more - um - compliqué!

Randal Graves said...

Woo, I'm not on the list of the She-Woman Man-Haters Club! Oh hell, my blog is one giant self-edit even if it's not evident through all the grade Z snark and sports posts. And most of the people that I would write about don't even really read the damn thing. So I channel stuff into my writings that they might. Yes, I am a genius.

So, the actual answer, no, you're not copping out. The line must be tread unless we're true nihilists, and I doubt that any of us are.

Loulou said...

Interesting post today, especially since I've just dealt with a situation over the weekend that is along this subject.
Yes, I definitely self-edit. And sometimes I don't want to, but feel like I have to because too many readers now know who I am.
I was anonymous at first and it allowed great freedom. Ironically, back then I wasn't as willing to be snarky as I am now.
Now I temper my snarkiness.
Unless I'm complaining about French bureaucracy! :)

There are many who will let it all spew out, regardless of how it affects others. I don't think I could ever be like that. I'm not like that in my day to day life, so why would I be that way on my blog.

Looks like you're settling in up there. Has the rain stopped?

Diane said...

I can relate to stacy. Originally I thought blogging would be a great way to vent and let my feelings and emotions out, then I realized that I don't want 99.9% of the people out there to know my true feelings and emotions. I guess I'm to private a person to blog. Unless it is about things that don't really touch me deeply.

Our Juicy Life said...

I always have to edit...I would love to talk about my dislike of a certain child or parent but I can't do that on my blog because if I explained the situation the people I'm talking about would know I'm talking about them and be pretty pissed off, especially since they pay us each month. Or a friend (or so called freind) or event or just things going on in my life, but I can't...or should I say I won't.

It's a fine line, I think maybe you can throw a little in here and there, but then you have to be careful and decide why you are blogging. You really don't want to hurt feelings and words are very strong on a screen.

You're not copping out...you just being cautious, I know you loathe it, but you're a good person.

La Framéricaine said...

I know one young woman who uses the warning sign in Blogger to alert her audience to the fact that "this way lies madness..." but I don't think that really helps because one may still proceed on.

I believe that if one really wanted to dish the dirt with no censorship, one would be wise to have a "by invitation only" blog with access granted to only a few kindred spirits who agreed to experience whatever came up.

Just a thought.

You know, it seems to me that the potential is endless for this tool, in terms of self-expression and self-discovery. Might just have to tweak it a bit to make it into what one needs and wants.

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

RG-yes you have achieved honorary angry female status. lol. so in a round-about-way (just like a woman!) you are saying it IS okay to show the subjects of your writing your work. hmmm.

OJL-well of course that makes sense. can't scare off the customers!

LAF-I considered the BIO approach, but then who would you invite ? I think maybe it should be a block function vs. an invite function.

***************************************************
When I began this whole blogging thing, I didn't consider the possibility of a need for anonymity. On the one hand, I wanted to tell everyone about logistics of accomplishing a move, where I was going, etc. I didn't think so much about post-arrival and the various experiences and feelings associated.

So far, my self-censorship has little to do with anyone in the States and more to do with folks here.

In the famous words of La Belette Rouge:

"Le Sigh."

Randal Graves said...

Honorary Angry Female? Um, yay?

As for showing them, well, maybe. I mean, I disguise stuff as you said, though for one major character, I didn't and this person knows.

What diane said completely resonates for me. Thus, the majority of posts about things that aren't what I'm feeling. And why I'll never show my face on the blog.

Have you thought about a blog that only you know about? It sounds weird, but perhaps have that body of work done, then reveal it in time, when you feel it's right?

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

RG-I've considered it. but I'd miss all of YOU! :-P