Monday, 6 October 2014

Blogging - and the real me

The other day, Chuck Wendig posted about why and how he blogs over on terribleminds. He'd effectively been accused of putting on a false front in writing his blog the way he does, so Chuck was setting the record straight. You can read the post here, but be warned - he doesn't hold back on the language.

It got me thinking, though. How much of my blog shows the real me? How much of it is constructed as a writer trying to connect with her readership? And do I, subconsciously or not, change how I write my blog posts to serve a particular purpose?

I'd like to think that the way I write is how I'd speak to you if we met in the flesh. Friends and family who have known the real me for years say that's the case, which is why they enjoy dropping by to see what I've got to say; 'It's just like listening to you,' they tell me.

When you put yourself online, you are open to judgement and ridicule on the one hand, and to public interest on the other. (Although Squidge's Scribbles only generates a teeny-weeny bit of public interest - I get tens of hits per day rather than hundreds or thousands!) You can't take any of it back, either - once it's out there, it's out there, to be used and abused by anyone with access to the world wide web. It's a scary prospect.

So I try to be interesting and honest in my blog. I never intentionally go out of my way to be controversial (though some blogs seem to thrive on that!). I always ask before posting photos of, or writing about, other people. I share aspects of my life that I'm happy sharing, and keep a lot more private - not everyone wants to be in the public eye, and there are some things I might not want you to know! But it seems to be enough for you who are reading...because you keep coming back.

Is it the real me, though? In the same way that I am a different Katherine Hetzel when I'm being a mum, a daughter, a wife, a sister, a Christian, a writing group member, a supermarket shopper...Add to that list all the other 'faces' I show to the world. Yet here, I am Squidge - the short author who tells tall tales.

For those who only know this internet version of Katherine Hetzel, I wonder what you'd think if ever we met? Have I built up a persona here that you would recognise and feel at ease with in the flesh, or would you be disappointed with what you were faced with?

All I know is that, to quote Chuck:

"This is it.
This is me.
I hope you like it.
If you don’t, that’s okay.
But this is still gonna be it, and this is still gonna be me."