an open door

Back in September last year, I wrote that, hypothetically, given a year left to live, I would like to share my blog more. I must admit that, since then, I haven’t shared it to any great extent, but at least I’ve shared it more than I used to (which was practically not at all).

It’s kind of hard, though, going from pretending like my blog doesn’t exist, and not really having a solid answer for those times when people ask me what on earth I do with my spare time, to actually telling people I have a blog. I find that, of the few times I have shared this part of me with friends, that I tend to try to slip it casually into the conversation. It’s almost as if I’m hoping people won’t give it a second thought, but secretly I’m relishing the fact that people I know in real life have any sort of interest in the random things that I’m writing here. 

A few weeks ago, I made the decision to share my blog with a dear friend (I’m calling her that not because I believe she will read this, but because I do hold her in that regard; and also so you can understand that I even hesitate to share my blog with close friends). Her response was so heartening that I finally built up the courage to share my blog with three other work friends, and one other who used to work here but no longer does.

(Side note: Is it just me, or is the word “disheartening” used a lot more than the word “heartening”? Why is that? Why don’t people talk about heartening things more often?)

The positive responses I have received have been more heartening still, and I’d like to thank this first dear friend for (indirectly) instilling enough courage in me to share my blog further. (I do write this because I believe she will read it.) However, I actually do not wish that I had shared my blog earlier (or do I..?), and I have no immediate intention to continue showing more people just yet. You see, I’m pretty shy about my blog, and I’m not great at self-promotion. There are also a number of other reservations I have about sharing my blog:

  • Not many people I know have any interest in blogs. Not many people I know seem to have an interest in reading or writing in general, and this makes me think that people wouldn’t bother reading my blog. (However, I do sometimes look at people – friends and strangers – and wonder if they could be a blogger too. After all, probably no one suspected I had a blog before I told them.)
  • I’ve had previous experiences of sharing my blog with others, where they either didn’t really give a response at all, or they read a few posts, and maybe followed for a while, but then forgot about it altogether within a couple of weeks. But I know not to be offended or disappointed by this – I just assume that reading blogs is not a normal part of their routine, and it is inevitable that they stop following along at some point.
  • Similarly, I reckon a lot of people I know wouldn’t find my blog interesting enough to actually read it. Usually, when I share my blog with a friend, I have a particular post in mind that they might be interested in. Outside of that… well… who knows…
  • I am a little afraid of people knowing more about me than I know about them.
  • Some part of me believes that not sharing my blog kind of forces me to tell people things. I have this vague memory of several years ago (when I was still in uni), when I was talking to a friend, and they asked me about something; but, instead of just answering them properly like a normal person would, I referred them to my blog in which I had already written a post addressing their question. In my defence, I was probably too busy or too tired, and/or the matter was quite trivial. Still, I should hope that I’m not defined by my blog.
  • Speaking of the relatively distant past, some of the stuff I wrote back then is so amateurish and nonsensical that it is quite embarrassing, I don’t know if I want to give people access to so much of my past. Granted, some of the stuff I write now is still amateurish and nonsensical, but I find it slightly less embarrassing.
  • Knowing who my readers are in real life kind of adds a bit more pressure on me to write well.

Of course, all this is not to say that I do not value the various people from around the world who have visited my blog, and left comments and “likes”; but I’m sure you’ll agree that real life friendships take precedent over online ones. Also, with those I do not know in real life, I can still maintain some illusion of anonymity.

It does make me happy to no end that my friends have responded so positively and so encouragingly to the whole thing, but I have no plans, at present, to let more people into my online home. If more make the discovery without my directing them here, then they are, of course, still welcome to come, browse, and stay as long as they like.

6 thoughts on “an open door

  1. Funnily enough, I forget people I know read my blog and I am always amazed when they seem to know things I distinctly remember not having told them. Sue and I emailed it to everyone we know when we first started and then left it alone. If somebody asks, I will volunteer information (it’s also linked to our FB pages) and if somebody shows real interest, I will talk more but I don’t want people I know to feel a pressure to read it. All in all, it’s the connections we made with complete strangers that have been more rewarding.

    • Yeah, the connections with strangers (from all over the world, too!) is definitely one of the most rewarding and amazing aspects of blogging.
      And, yes, I also understand that feeling of not wanting others to feel pressure to read my blog. I’ll generally avoid mentioning my blog among friends, and, if I do, I generally won’t give them the link unless they persist in asking (or unless I secretly wanted to share it with them anyway haha)

  2. I don’t tell people either but I do advertise my blog in my community sometimes (on bulletin boards and a few places online, passively, like I’m on a list of community bloggers). I’ve gotten better at self-promotion but like you I still have reticence. I don’t assume people will be interested, even if I would like it if they were.

    • I wrote this post a while ago, but I just skimmed through it now, and most of it is still true. I don’t think I ever considered sharing my blog on bulletin boards etc. Has that helped you develop your readership/ blogging community?

      • Um, no, not really…. which is weird because if *I* saw someone advertise their blog on a bulletin board (and it wasn’t devoted to a subject I knew I’d have no interest in) I’d at least check it out. (So far) strangers read my blog more than people who know me do which is not how I thought it would be.

        • Yeah, I reckon I’d be the same with checking out other blogs, but then I’m also a bit hesitant to read more blogs coz I hardly have enough time to read the ones I already follow…
          But it is funny how people are so interested in the lives of strangers. (I suppose I have to count myself in said group of people though since I follow a lot of blogs written by people I’ve never met)

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