Sunday, September 17, 2006

Talking Point

I'm thinking something over in my mind, chewing on it, wrestling with it, and still not sure what I think about it.

Blogging is an interesting form of self-expression because it's like a journal, but without the privacy. I love that it's a forum that is interactive and that allows people to respond. But I'm wondering: How do you other bloggers decide what is appropriate for you to post?

I recently wrote a post that I decided not to put on my blog called "Finding My Political Voice". So far, I haven't written anything about politics on this blog. Partly because I don't generally care for political debates. Partly because I tend to hold political views that don't typically sync with the circles I run in. Partly because I fear that by expressing my thoughts about politics, I might somehow offend my readers and lose any sphere of influence I might have otherwise had through this site.

I realize that it's a little paradoxical, considering that part of the reason I started this blog was to have a "place for me to openly express myself, free from the judgement of my inner critic." I still battle the critcal voice inside when I write, but what I'm thinking more about in this case is the judgement of my readers.

So I'm curious to know how you make such decisions on your blogs. Do you throw all caution to the wind and post whatever you want? Do you consider your readership? What factors do you take into consideration?

10 comments:

Autumn's Mom said...

I am more like you Tracy. I usually don't even comment when someone else posts about politics for fear of backlass or embarrassment. There is a lot of stuff I think about posting, but don't. I guess I need some more blog self esteem.

Cherry said...

I'd be interested in your post on "Finding My Politcal Voice". That is something that I'm currently experiencing with and would love to hear your story, but you are the only one that can determine if you are comfortable with opening up that part of you.

For me, sometimes I filter to keep it safe, sometimes I just write but still keep in mind that others are reading and sometimes I don't feel like sharing. I wish that I could just write. I wish that I could just live without worrying what other people think. But I can't.

Maya's Granny said...

Tracy,
Part of my reson for having a blog is to be able to say whatever I want politically without driving my friends nuts. However, I am not motivated to do a totally political blog; I admire some of the ones that are out there, but that's not me. Me is some politics, some personal, some poetry, some prose -- getting to say whatever I want about anything I want.

I do remember that anyone could someday read my blog. So, I try not to say things that might hurt feelings (for instance, I have a relative who'se mother I think was spoiled and abusive and totally without merit, and I won't say that on my blog because I don't want her child to be hurt) of private persons. Since Maya might read it, I try not to use words that would distress her -- I hold back on saying that some men think that just because they have a white tallywacker it makes them special (using the clinical name).

Other than that, I say what I think and I'm ready to correct if someone can show me I was poorly informed of the facts. Not that they think the facts are different than I've quoted, but if they can show me so I can see it too.

Jilly said...

Hi Tracy,

Remember what DeDe used to say? "Right or wrong, have an opinion." As I wrote to Cherry, if you have an opinion why not share it? It's all in the way you share it. Can't wait to read about your political voice...

Ally Bean said...

I follow the Buddhist principle of what to say: Is it kind? Is it true? Is it useful? Then I can talk about whatever topic I want in a way that is okay by me.

[I read this in a magazine once and liked it so I cut it out. I'm assuming it is really a Buddhist principle.]

J said...

I try not to write about things that will hurt people I know. That's about it. I try not to worry too much about people not agreeing with me politically, or whatever. I try to think of myself as open minded, meaning that even if I don't agree with what someone writes, that doesn't mean I'm going to be mean to them, or stop reading.

I think it's best to use your best judgement. How's that for useless advice?

Jenn said...

If it wasn't for the fact that my husband, parents, in laws, friends and relatives read my blog, I'd write anything. Although I'm pretty sure my dad and my mother in law don't want to hear me talk about sex, ya know? I wish I could though sometimes, if it happens to be what's going through my head, ya know?

I know some of my readers do not share my political veiws, but I feel like as long as I don't write about it ALL the time and make it a political blog, they should be ablke to respect my decition (without agreeing) and not be offended. And so far, that is exactly what has happened.

Jenn said...

Oh, and I wanted Janelle to win big brother. =\
She did win 25k from a veiwers choice award. *shrug*

Tracy said...

Thanks to all of you for your comments. I appreciate your feedback!

Erica said...

Hi Tracy -- you probably won't remember me, especially because I was about twelve the last time I saw you, I'm Susan G.'s daughter. :-)

Your mom sent my mom your blog a couple of months ago, and I just started reading. This post really caught my eye, because I just did the same thing on my blog. Wrote a political post, and then didn't make it public. My parents saw it up on the screen and asked why I'd not posted it, and I said almost word for word what you did here.

"... because I fear that by expressing my thoughts about politics, I might somehow offend my readers and lose any sphere of influence I might have otherwise had through this site."

I decided not to for that reason, and I think it was a good idea in my case because who cares what I think about politics anyway? I haven't built any credibility in that forum at all.

Anyway, that's my two cents. I really like your blog, and laughed at the story about the booger and the fly. :-) Sounds just like something that I'd do.