One of my ongoing preoccupations concerning blogging is the divisions between the public, personal and private sphere. When I started blogging in February 2001, I decided that I would not write an intensely private blog nor a confessional blog. I would not write about my work, about my family or friends nor about my personal life. Sometimes I admittedly stray close to the line, but I always make sure I feel comfortable with the idea that total strangers will read what I write. Nowadays I feel comfortable sharing pictures of myself or mentioning my live-in boyfriend, but it was not always so. The lines are not etched in stone, but can be moved slightly depending upon circumstance.
The first big shift happened in 2005 when my then literary blog attracted the attention of a mentally ill man who managed to track down my real name and address through clever net detective work. He proceeded to stalk me in the physical world as well as bombard me with attention online. I learned that no matter how hard I tried, I could not stop him from reading "clues" where I had intended none. The man mistook my personal blog voice for the actual private woman. It felt like a violation - but once the stalking had been resolved (thank you, Copenhagen police), I began to reassess blogging and what I wanted to achieve. Looking back, I began to let my guards down the following months and (coincidence or not?) a long-term online friendship blossomed into a long-term romantic relationship still going strong.
Fourth Edition blurs the lines even more. I suppose it belongs to the "craft blogs" section of the blogosphere, but I also write about matters that were once strictly off-limits. Many of my regular readers know me in "real life" which is a new sensation. I post pictures, whine about really wanting a dog and I share what I create. It feels quite intimate, you know. However, I have come to realise that whilst some barriers have fallen, others have sprung up. Because the lines between my blog persona and Me have become almost invisible, I feel much more responsible for what I write. I also feel intensely protective about my innermost thoughts and experiences. I used to think: "I need to blog this" whenever I experienced something. Nowadays I think: "how can I blog this?" I hope you can spot the subtle difference.
I am reflecting upon this because I read so many courageous blogs written by people who feel brave enough to share themselves and their experiences with others. I have stories I wish I felt okay writing about, but since I can no longer hide behind (relative) anonymity, I feel extremely uncomfortable with the idea. To be honest, I sometimes wonder if I can go on blogging (although I would miss it if I were to pull the plug) because of the conflation between my self and my blog persona.
So I post pictures of socks.
Thank you for reading - some of you have been along for the ride for almost a decade - and hopefully I will soon figure out how to blog once more.