What to Say, How to Say It

by Ginger on May 3, 2013

in Becoming Myself, Blogging & Social Media

I just wrote this whole other post. It was good too! It was thoughtful, and well written, and I even had appropriate metaphors and stuff. I linked to articles and other blog posts. It was about me, but in a way that maybe you would relate to it!

And then I got done, and reread it, and went, “welp, that’s BOUND to get taken the wrong way.”

Which is why you’re reading this right now instead.

As I said on Twitter, I’m not a good enough writer to clarify my point, and if I think someone I know and love is going to get their feelings hurt over something I write, and I can’t clarify it enough to justify it TO ME? I’m not going to post it. I don’t really care about random internet peoples getting upset, but my family? My friends? Those who are near and dear to me? I DO care about them. Which is part of why I’m sure I’ll never be a (hahahahaha) famous blogger, and part of why I know I don’t blog as often as I used to.

I don’t know how exactly to reconcile the part of me that wants to say things with the part of me that doesn’t want to upset people/hurt their feelings/deal with fallout. I mean, not that I have THAT much to say that’s controversial, but I have been legitimately surprised by some of the things that have upset people, so now I feel very much like, ” I clearly have NO IDEA.” I used to say that I only put stuff on the blog that I would say in front of my grandmother, mom and boss. And that’s still true. But somehow some of that stuff, though in MY eyes nothing to get worked up over, still hurt someone’s feelings. So I feel like anything and everything is up for questioning. I know a lot of this has to do with my people pleasing/put others first/worry about everyone else side, but at the same time, this blog isn’t more important than my relationships, so I feel like there IS a balancing act. But I also know this is a big big part of why I don’t blog more, and if part of my goal this month is to bring my words back, then maybe trying to figure this out will help.

So if you’re a blogger, how do YOU deal with it? Do you just power through and say “my blog, my space, everyone else eff off?” Or do you self censor on the big stuff, and let the rest of the chips fall where they may? Or do you just write stuff you “know” is safe?

A Morning Grouch May 3, 2013 at 9:25 pm

I think you brought up the good point that your family and friends are reading. I think this is why so many bloggers end up getting a second blog that is totally anonymous, so they can say what they want. I JUST started saying things that are more meaningful to me (after a year and a half of blogging), and I must say, it has felt quite good to say “fuck it” to whatever other people think and just write what i want – it’s cathartic. So far, I’m keeping my original blog but if i get to a point where i don’t feel i can/want to, i’ll start a second one.

Ginger May 4, 2013 at 12:28 pm

You know what’s funny, I tried the anonymous thing, and I just couldn’t hack it. It seemed like so much work to keep the lives separate. Of course, now there are days I’d LOVE to be anonymous, for just these reasons.

Tragic Sandwich May 4, 2013 at 10:54 am

My family doesn’t really know that I blog, and I don’t really write about them. It’s hard, because there are things I’d like to talk about and get other perspectives on, but the risk of hurt feelings is greater than I feel the value to me would be.

Ginger May 4, 2013 at 12:31 pm

The weird thing (to me) is that most of what I’m talking about isn’t ABOUT family, so much as it’s about topics that could be sensitive to the family, if that makes sense. I pretty much try not to write about other people, except as it’s about my experiences, and even then I have a pretty firm idea in my head that it’s not my right to tell other people’s stories. So it’s trying to figure out how/whether to write about topics that I know could be sensitive.

DDKlingonGirl May 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Hi. I write on similar topics a lot. I have less of a problem with what I write on the blog and more a problem with what I don’t express in real life. There is too much I feel like I don’t stand up for or against because I don’t want to have to argue or defend it. But I am trying to get what I believe and what I say more aligned, both on the blog and in real life.

Keep up the good work. We’ll find that balance!

San May 4, 2013 at 8:31 pm

I can very much relate to that. Very much. It’s hard to be straight-forward and honest, when you don’t know how people take your opinion. Unless you’re saying something outright mean or hurtful, I am usually very tolerant of other people’s attitudes and opinions, but I totally know what you mean… how do you say something in a way that NOBODY can take it personally/the wrong way/get offended? HARD, very hard.

Lex May 5, 2013 at 9:54 pm

My family and friends know that I have a blog, but I don’t think any of them visit regularly unless I specifically link a post on Facebook. You would think that would make it a bit easier to write about certain topics/stories/whatever, but I still find myself re-wording or scrapping posts entirely because I don’t want to rub anyone the wrong way.

Buuuuuuuuuut, I can’t help thinking that having to tiptoe around my own blog kind of defeats the purpose of having that space that I created specifically for the purpose of writing and carrying on about things that I normally can’t. So, I have resolved to censor myself less. It probably won’t be as easy as it sounds, but I have to try. :/

nonsequiturchica May 6, 2013 at 9:37 am

This is why it is so nice to be an anonymous blogger. 🙂

Audrey May 6, 2013 at 11:31 am

I saw a general rule on a blog one (I think it was Zoot’s blog?) that, if you’re writing about someone, always assume they will read it, and choose your words accordingly.

That thought gets applied to pretty much everything I write, whether I’m writing about someone or about something that affects/is connected to someone I know. As a result, I write about a lot of “safe” topics, because I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, hurt anyone’s feelings, etc. I agree that it’s my blog/twitter/facebook and therefore my space to write what I want. But what I want, most of all, is not to cause unnecessary drama in my life. It’s pretty simple to avoid it by keeping things light when I write, so that’s what I do.

Kim May 7, 2013 at 9:42 am

I didn’t intent for my family to read my blog, but they do. Thanks, internet. When I realized they were reading it, I basically made them agree to a verbal contract saying that they can read what I write & they can leave comments, but they cannot opine on my choice of subject matter, bad language, or exaggerated binge drinking. I was 32 at the time & I’m 37 now & it’s honestly not been a problem. Maybe I’m lucky & have normal-ish family members. But I also write what I write regardless. I’ve actually had more trouble with potential employers. I’ve literally had to do a word search for “drunk” & “motherfucker” before interviews & delete words/posts.

I’m rambling. Girl, just own it. This is your space. Write what you want. In the end, I always love people more for being who they are than for being who they think I want them to be.

Shasta May 7, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Looks like I’m on the opposite side of the comment fence, but I’d say that if you’re concerned about hurting feelings, then don’t even venture into problem territory. Yes, there’s truth to the idea that it’s your blog, you can say what you want, who cares what others think, etc, etc, but you also have to pick your battles unless you’re a devil-may-care kinda chick (and something tells me you’re not). Husband and I podcast, and while we’re upfront about some things, other topics are avoided purely because we don’t want to have to defend ourselves. Also, we don’t want to smear the reputations of people we know. If it’s bad enough to elicit hurt feelings, sounds like it needs to say between you and someone you trust that wont hate you for it.

Jess May 13, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Often, I do the same. So often. I’ll write something, and its so good. Except to someone, it’ll be personal. And even though it shouldn’t be, and even though its my blog, and even though I’m very straightforward, I don’t post.

Hurting someone else isn’t my right to free speech.

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