May 19, 2012

Rhino-like skin…


(my little signed copy of Marieke’s book)

I wrestle with the idea that if I had my time again Id make my blog a private one. I wouldnt be sending links off to my family (hi mum!), Id keep my name away from it and Id use it as a record of my own thoughts and feelings without worrying how it’d be interpreted.

I listened to a session at a Writers Festival this week on the art of memoir. The art of sharing your inner most thoughts for people to read, dissect and comment on. A bit like blogging but with money and book launches and nice dresses (I have a thing for Marieke Hardy’s outfits). One of the questions that came up was the challenge of the overshare – the illusion that in sharing stories some think you can get closer to others but those stories (well as far as I see it) are only one piece of a person. One piece of a big fat juicy pie. People can choose what they write, how they write it just as the reader can choose how they take the written word and how much it resonates with them.

Some days I feel like Ill run out of stuff to talk about on my blog, that I dont have any more stories that Im prepared to give away, or realistically I dont really think anyone would be interested in reading them. Dont get me wrong Im not asking for people to say ‘please dont stop writing…I will fall over if you do’ (because lets face it I know you all would!), but I know that everyone has their own stories – everyone has a rich tapestry that makes up their lives and the sharing of another is just a drop in that ocean.

The thing is I love that ocean. I love the interconnectedness of sharing, of hearing how other people are going, of watching people develop rhino like skins in response to the world dealing them waaaaay too much stuff. It can dangerous to  put all those stories out them all out there because you might not get invited back to a family function any time soon but not sharing would also be a sad state of affairs.

I like that my mum texts me when something Ive written sits nicely with her, I like that my Dad keeps telling me to print out my blog and stick it in a book to show my kids when they get older. Its my story, from my perspective. I have other little secret ones but their for the novel that Ill write and use a nom de plume and then get rich and then have to out myself for a chance of a second book deal and an invite to talk on Sunrise.

What boundaries do you think people should put in place when sharing their stories, do you like reading memoir??

Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. 1. I love memoirs probably more than any other type of book (and that is saying something!) because I love getting little (or big!) insights into other people’s lives and I love hearing people’s story as told by them.

    2. How much to share? Well everyone has a different line I think but the one I stick to is to ensure I am only telling my own story and if others creep into the frame, I don’t share more than I know they would like me to. My husband for instance LOVES me talking about him on my blog, but would HUGELY disapprove of me talking about say, our sex life.

    • I also think, with the last point, that if you write something and you are unsure if its a little too OTT then let it sit in the drafts folder for a while and then decide to publish. Its one thing to want to write but another to do it to the detriment of others (although this arvo while walking with a bunch of friends talking about relationships after kids I though ‘what a great blog post’!)

  2. I feel I walk close to the due sometimes, I have my parameters, I try and stick to them. But isn’t interesting how some people think they know whats going on in your life because you may blog about it, as if by reading it negates the need to actually pick up the phone for a natter. One friend recently commented (in real life) that she wasn’t sure what was going on with me as I was being vague in my blog. Sorry folks, if you want to know exactly whats going on in my world, you need to go to the source, not just the blog. And sex will never feature in my blog, apart from when sexual favours have been promised on the spot for say, removal of vermin for example. Like a weeks worth.

    • Yes…some people call out to me “I liked todays blog” and then say nothing else…or strangely worse they don’t mention anything and then talk to me online. Blogging is a one way conversation somedays – I don’t have a comment crazy site, I still like seeing people in real life.

  3. I absolutely love to read memoirs, and always have several on the go. I love the insights held within them and the trueness of the writing. But I share your concerns about how much to give away. I give away a LOT online, and I have done for many years, but I’m not sure whether it’s “right”.

    The lack of privacy doesn’t bother me as much as the vast and aggressive opinions from people who aren’t actually part of my life – but I’ve invited those by being so open with my life, and they’re almost certainly outweighed by all the wonderful people I’ve come to know and (sadly, for them) lean on as a result of my blog and other writing.

    • Thanks Anna…nice to see you here!

      I find that I can cope with the whole overshare on my blog but I struggle when I get published on online sites – its crushing when people make comment about your life. I get the whole ‘why put yourself out there’ but I stupidly expect that everyone is similar to those in my inner circle, it must be a full time job for some people to act like an ass! x

      • Totally. Throwing your grief or your struggle or your shortcomings out on the wind and then watching people pick them to pieces is enough to break your soul completely. But there are those people who will hold your hand and give you a milkshake too, and I find that on the whole they balance it out.


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Mental health