Hi!  Um… Do I Know You?

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2005 • 8 Comments on Hi!  Um… Do I Know You?

As the days slip by and I realize how long it’s been since I wrote here, I start to feel guilty.  Why?  I don’t know.  Guilty because I’m disappointing my few loyal readers?  That seems terribly… self-absorbed.  As if y’all are sitting there, hitting “refresh” and waiting breathlessly for my newest thoughts to magically appear on the screen.  I know that’s ridiculous and yet I still feel guilty.  I write for myself, but I appreciate all the comments and e-mails and suggestions and recommendations I get from people who read my ramblings, whether they’ve known me for years or just dropped in for the first time, looking for that infamous Ryan Reynolds picture I had to take down to keep from upsetting my hosting service.  So even though I know no one is losing sleep wondering where I am and when I’ll write something new, I also realize this is an open exchange and if I want that feedback—and I do—I need to give you something to which you can respond.

I read other people’s blogs for years, even before they were called “blogs” (or “weblogs,” to be more exact), before I decided to write my own.  Some of what I’ve read has influenced my own approach to blogging.  I’ve agreed with Mary Anne’s thoughts on teaching and living transparently;  I’ve applauded Heather’s desire to live authentically; and, most recently, I’ve considered Rachel’s problems with setting boundaries with her blog.  It’s a strange thing to write like this, where anyone in the world can read my feelings and thoughts.  I have found my own comfort zone here with what I share and what I keep to myself.  I think I’ve only once taken down something I’ve written and that was because I revealed more information than I was comfortable with sharing—about someone else, not about myself. 

I know there are people—people who know me—who read this blog and never tell me they’ve read it.  That used to bother me, but I’ve made my peace with it.  Still, it means they know more about me than I know about them.  That’s true of every stranger who drops in, but in an entirely different way.  The people closest to me probably aren’t often surprised by anything they read here because they know me and I’ve already shared my thoughts/experiences with them.  However, if I’m not particularly close to you, if we are only casual acquaintances, you’re getting more of me than you would normally get.  A larger slice of the pie, so to speak.  More of my thoughts, more of my personality.  More of me.  That seems… unfair.  A little like an invasion of privacy, though this is as public as it gets.  The irony isn’t lost on me, believe me.

I don’t know what real fame is like, but I imagine it’s similar to the disconcerting feeling of having someone I don’t know very well ask me—or worse, ask someone close to me—about something I’ve written here.  I try not to let it affect how and what I write, but still… it’s something that keeps me from being as transparent and authentic as I would like to be.

Posted by Kristina in Life
  • Anonymous says:

    What you’ve written is very true and as always, very honest. You recognize and acknowledge the irony and contradiction that applies to your thoughts and the cost or consequence to your chosen freedom of expression. You’ve touched on this before, in other postings, though not as eloquently or with as much intimacy. I think you also realize, without being self absorbed, that people are interested in your thoughts and comments about most anything you choose to share. Like the fame you mention, this can be a compliment…..or a burden. People come here for different reasons, just as they tend to gravitate to a certain type of book or movie or way of life. The reasons may not be clear or even logical to the reader or the writer. Maybe this is a learning experience for some or a place of reason and trust. Maybe it’s a connection to another time or a voice that can’t be heard except through you. Maybe it’s a stop off to the rest of the day, like that cup of coffee you cherish or need in order to make sense of what comes next. Maybe you provide a smile or give someone reason to pause and re-evaluate a choice or contemplate a decision. Or maybe people come purely for entertainment purposes, for no other reason that to see what you’re up to these days. The truth is, while you may feel as if this is one sided, the impact you have on others may be more significant than you think. With that in mind, the burden, if there is one, may infulence what you write. Then again, realizing how important and refreshing a transparent and authentic voice can be, you may realize there are no limits to the infuences and possibilities you might experince. With that in mind, and the continuing power of words, your slice of the pie will always be greater and more rewarding than you may ever know or understand. There are times here, when you’re more authentic and transparent than you care to be. It’s when you’re at your best. You shouldn’t pull back from that. It’s too important.

  • Carter says:

    This is something every writer must face, bloggers especially.  Everything you writer reveals something of you.  Caitlin R. Kiernan gives out very little real biographical information because she says she’s in everything she writers.

    Giving out personal information in public can be dangerous, and all of us have to decide where to build our boundaries on that.  I tend to be a lot more open than most people, mostly because I’m too old and ornery to give much of a damn anymore.  This is who I am.

    I always hope something I say has a positive effect on somebody, but I also accept that I’ll never know.  All I can do is put myself out there and let people make of me what they will.

    Very well said, Kristina.  Thank you.

  • Jeremy says:

    My blogging issues are more about not wanting to be attached to my words.  I use my blog as a psychiatrist.  I spill my deepest darkest comments about my life and the people in it.  If it were found and read by the people in my life it would be disasterous.  It would be like telling everyone exactly what I thought about them.

    I’d be seen as truly evil.  Well and I am, but that’s not the point.

  • Carrie says:

    For me, I think I struggle with this issue because I wear so many different masks. You try not to, but it happens. Different to your father than to your best friend than to your co-worker. You want to balance all of those in one place and its very hard. But I am sure you can do it. smile

  • Kristina says:

    Anonymous: Important to whom?  To me?  Is transparency and authenticity really so important in this venue?

    Carter:  I liked what you said about putting yourself out there.  I know what you mean.

    Jeremy:  Heh.  You’re not evil.  Maybe half-evil.

    Carrie:  Very interesting about wearing different masks.  I really try not to, but I am sometimes more conscious of certain people reading my blog.  It helps that I don’t have children or a close relationship with my parents—either of which might influence how of much of myself I put out there.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think you answered the question yourself about whether authenticity and transparency is important. At the end of your post you said that you try not to let it affect you but it prevents you from being that way. If it didn’t bother you or if you didn’t feel it was important, would you have mentioned it? I think it’s as important as you feel it should be….as much as anyone who writes or posts feels it should be. I suppose it depends on your purpose, what you’re trying to say or accomplish. Maybe that changes from day to day, though I think you’re pretty consistent. In general, it’s an individual thing. For you, I think it’s something you obviously struggle with on and off. If it wasn’t important, there would be no struggle, no question, no doubt, no reflection. Only you writing as you like to write. If it’s important to you, it matters. If it isn’t, well……..you know..smile As Carrie said, sometimes people wear different masks in life and in writing. I think you’ve been shedding yours slowly, in different ways, as evidenced by your admission in class about writing erotica and open discussions of sexuality and power. Where you shed your mask and how it’s relfected in your writing eventually ties together, doesn’t it? At least here, and there. And who knows where else?..smile

  • SilverMoon says:

    Hi Kristina,
    I’m here via Amy’s blog “Living Poetry” and have read your comments elsewhere around the blogosphere knowing I wanted to visit your blog.

    I read several posts here tonight, all worthy of further comment, but I’m in a time crunch so I’ll reply only here, for now. Your open and courageous post reached into the soft velvety vulnerablity of my own artistic fragility with hands of of understanding like a chemical sparks coarsing through my veins.

    I feel this way about my poetry and prose (that isn’t everyday “routine” what I consider non-literary prose), and about my paintings and photography out there, exposed for all the world, yet I crave honest feedback and delight in the exchange from reading comments and visiting others’ blogs.

    I’ve found I can easily be “more authentic” for work that has been published or exhibited in artshows. I think that’s because I’ve already taken the steps to put myself out there, in all the bare honesty that accompanies such decisions. Otherwise, it sure affects which writings I post.

    I,too, set boundaries, but wish I didn’t need to. I admire those who are free spirits, but I’m aware that the net is not truly anonymous…
    The blog link here is a blog begun after Amy Grier linked me on her blog several months ago. (There my penname is “Green-Eyed Lady” (GEL) and the blog is “Good Vibrations” (http://www.Green-EyedLady.blogspot.com) Hyphen is important or it’s not my blog!

    I began the blog linked here above a few months ago, with much more emphasis on my writings. I will be combining the two blogs with links, categories coding in becauase they usually contain different posts. ( The current post is the same b/c of professional deadlines.)The Silken Threads site gave me a quick and easy way to create categories without delving more into html coding and therefore keep my writings more organized. My comments are usually *much* shorter. I should have looked for your email first, but need to run.

I'm a writer, editor, blogger, mama, wife and coffee lover.

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