Tuesday, February 7, 2012

blogging with honesty

Hey Paige?  Writing angsty blog posts & then leaving them all to sit in all their mellow dramatic glory in your drafts folder isn't exactly blogging... but whatever... that's beside the point. 

The best writing probably has to thank the words that were not written (or that were deleted in time... or put in the purgatory of a "drafts" folder...).

Blogging can be tricky business - especially when your blog becomes for you a seeking place, a sharing place, a growing place.

It can be tempting to manipulate situations or want to be seen only in a certain light...
It can be tempting to omit the unpleasant - or to dwell blindly on *self*... It can be tempting to be cryptic or vomit a bitter spew of honesty... These are all things i strongly dislike. 

It's such a delicate, tender balance, isn't it? - & there are so many who walk that road so deliberately & inspiringly.
There is so much to learn, isn't there?

It seems crazy to me that i've been blogging these 5 years already... & in that time, i guess there are a few observations that i have found to hold some truth in blogging the tougher stuff, the growing stuff, the tender subjects that have the potential to wound.. or tear down what required a gentle building up and mending...

One thing that i've done in those situations is to imagine someone that i respect and admire holding the opposite view.  This is often very easy for me, since i know so many amazing individuals with differing opinions... i give them a voice in my head... what might they say that is reasonable and true?  How might they respond to the words i've chosen?  What would wound, what would convict, what could i say that would best represent the One i long to be like? Of course, i don't always know what they would say, i'm human and i'll make mistakes - and there are times where people will just plain disagree, but it gives me a more graceful starting point if i try first to understand. 

The second thing that i try to do when i'm faced with uncertainty is to rip a post apart and work on each thought as an individual entity.  i start with the piece that i know to be the most true (with whatever small amount of wisdom that God has given) - and proceed from there. 

The final thing... is probably the most important... i wanna be teachable, correctable.  i've noticed it helps me to receive correction in writing, rather than verbally (*love* challenging, thoughtfully worded comments!)  i find i'm better able to sort out my own feelings to find what is true. i can pray about it & see if there is validity in what someone else is saying to me... (& sometimes, i'll find that it's just an attack & there is no truth - or other times, i'll find that there is truth & i need to respond accordingly).  But regardless, when a rebuke comes - verbally, in writing, by insinuation or accusation, i want my response to be to look inward - not retaliation, but reflection... it's my *goal* :) 

Anyway, a question that someone emailed me ages ago got me thinking on this topic & most of this post has been sitting in my drafts box since then... & then i read a thoughtfully worded blog post on what could be a tougher topic posted awhile ago (ahem... cairo), & i still didn't share, but maybe i will now.

What are your thoughts on blogging with honesty?


Jen said...

First of all there are no rules to blogging and no rules to reading blogs either. I like your blog because it stretches me and makes me think.
I have a friend who blogs strictly daily life sort of stuff. What she made for dinner, what coffee date she had, about her kids' dance recital. I love hers too. Both honest but completely different.
Honesty comes in many forms. But I think overall in blog land there is always a little honesty held back - which is good and bad. If I blogged my real thoughts about a certain person there would be much hurt and something that just should be honestly spoken between God and maybe 'that' person. BUT then there is also a little fakeness in blogland too - putting on fronts....
Not exactly sure what the moral of this is....;)

lovefam6 said...

You know me. I'm all about honesty and transparency with myself and my walk, yet giving grace to others I encounter. I believe honesty is necessary, but it should always be given with the purpose of wanting what's best for them. There's always more than one way to say something, and finding the way of love, truth, and compassion is my goal when writing.

Jen said...

(oops I wasn't saying *you* are being fake...I'm just saying in general...)

Anonymous said...

It seems to be a delicate balance - to say enough but not too much. Also, it helps if you know the person who is blogging. Some of those popular bloggers out there seem to have constant drama on their sites and one begins to wonder how much is honesty and truth and how much is concocted to get clicks to get advertising revenue. If bloggers are actually manipulating people for sympathy, gifts etc. that is not a good thing! (And hoaxes HAVE been exposed in the past). I think most of our blogs are small and not as affected by some of that. Always enjoy reading your posts...

Saskatchewan Cousin

Lesley said...

I think blogging is brave. My husband thinks it is narcissistic. We agree to disagree. I read blogs every night. I am disappointed when my favourite bloggers (like you) have gone days without posting:-) Meanwhile, I have let my own blog sit, unloved and unwritten for many months as I have so many things to write about I can't seem to find a way to start. I think a blog needs an identity. It needs to have a focus. I started out sorting through my feelings about my Dad's death. I then started also sharing some family adventures around Europe. I like to post poetry. However, my blog flounders. I guess I do sometimes too. Maybe I just need to be more honest about who I am. Maybe I should just trust where it comes from.
Your comment: "It can be tempting to manipulate situations or want to be seen only in a certain light..."
WOW. I totally do that all the time. It's what stops me from publishing things. What will so and so think about that. I don't want them not to like me as I think differently than they do. That kind of thing.
I don't want to be like that but at the moment I am not confident in my own writing (and my SELF, I guess) so I second guess a lot.
Anyway, to answer your question, honesty in blogging IS important.

Tanya is my display name said...

I guess if people are blogging they are open in a way that says " I think these things and am willing for you to read them." Otherwise I think it is called journaling. I find giving voice to things is necessary, meaning even if people don't respond I know SOMEBODY heard what I felt and so desperately needed to get out. But counsellors are for that as well. I personally have thought about going under an "ALIAS" so that I may say the things I ACTUALLY feel without fear of hurting, regretting or exposing my process of which I am not ready to be exposed or expose. To me blogging is bravery..and most days I simply do not want to do so much work to teeter taughter on what to say, how to say it. I want to be who I am. And sometimes personaly? I think an Alias is the best way to do that. I shall call myself......???? Isn't it ironic.


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