Monday, 8 February 2010

If Blogging Was Like Keeping A Diary

When it comes to blogging, a lot of the time it takes the form of a quasi-diary entry - only the juicy bits have to be taken out. The problem with that is, the juice bits are obviously the most entertaining parts of any story. The meaty gossip about someone's life makes for the best stories to pass away the time. More often than not people would rather read about those embarrassing moments or the love matches that go into everyday life than just spiels of academia (tell me I'm not alone in this).

I have actually kept a diary since I was 10 years old. This last year it has received minimal amounts of attention from me, I imagine solely because of the amount of writing I do otherwise. Poetry especially meant I didn't need the diary as much anymore, because I could work things out another way. Since starting blogging I've almost deleted diary keeping completely, turning it into this obsolete passage of my childhood. It just means a few thoughts and feelings go untouched because I don't want to share my inner most anxieties with you and I can't always put them into poetry. I guess with time I'll see what the result of this will be on my psyche...

But the thing is, unlike a diary, your blog is a public forum. Anyone can read it and you can't even monitor who these people are. You can't just keep all these secrets hidden in a book under the bed, buried in a box you know nobody will open. People can see what it is you're saying and if you are saying things about the people reading, well - that's a whole other world. I can't just sit here and bitch about people I don't like or proclaim my love for anyone without getting myself into trouble. It seems that is the way it always is for writers. We want to write what we know but have to work out how to get away with doing it. Work out how to do it without telling any secrets you shouldn't have told and make sure you don't destroy any confidences that were left with you.

So how do I propose to go about this? There are things I want to tell you that I know would make for good stories but I'm trapped by my need for self-preservation. Does that make me a bad journalist? Shouldn't I just suck it up and get on with it? Well, hell no. I don't want to jeopardise my personal life just to give it away for the entertainment of strangers.

Instead I plan to write all the things I want to write and just wait. They can lay in waiting for a while and I'll start posting them in the future, maybe next year. When it's less embarrassing or delicate because it was the past. I hope you are all excited about what is to come, but I am sorry to tell you those juicy bits will be a long time coming.


  1. I know many people who blog everything, and simply tick the 'private' box. Guess the idea is that when THEY are reading their blog, it remains a full and complete diary, instead ofhaving something somewhere else. I have at times kept an anonymous blog - public but unattributed to me - but it seems pointless most of the time. But then I guess it was important on those few occassions when I wrote there.

    Recently I've actually seen people tweet things along the lines of "I just unprivated four blogs from 2005 - they don't need to be secrets anymore."

  2. You're right...I'd definitely rather read about the juicy bits.

  3. I always prefer the juicy bits too. I think you should definitely consider sharing those with us with out the year long wait!
    Love stories are always nice. Give us one of those!!

  4. You have soo hit the nail on the head. As I am new to the whole blogging thing I have found this problem early on and like you said have had to create ways of saying things that I want to say, without saying them....(lets hope you get that). I still have my contains many things I wouldnt write on my blog! I like to think my diary keeps me sane and my blog keeps me happy :) xx