Thursday, May 11th, 2006 • No Comments on Exposed
Zulieka was found out, by her mother-in-law, no less. It’s a familiar story: blogger is discovered blogging by someone who disapproves (boss, parent, the media) and the blogger is not only embarrassed (and sometimes fired), but loses their creative outlet. Sometimes the blogger reappears under a new alias, but who can find them? Certainly not their original audience. It’s like reinventing yourself all over again. Zulieka says she’s not going anywhere, but time will tell. I imagine her unique, uninhibited writing style might take a hit, at least for a little while.
Blogging is a weird, weird writing medium. I’ve been doing it for nearly three years and it still freaks me out a little bit that you can Google my real name and pull up this blog (along with some other interesting links). Should anyone have that easy access to my real life? Should any stranger be able to read about my sleep habits, my publishing rejections, my cramps? On the other hand, I have similar access to other people’s lives, including Zulieka’s, and it doesn’t bother me to read the mundane or intimate details. I would never abuse the privilege, but I’m not so naive to think everyone feels the way I do. Granted, Zulieka has presumably been writing under a pseudonym, which has perhaps enabled her to write more openly and intimately about subjects I avoid with the assumption that no one who really knows her would ever find out. Ahh… but this is the interenet. It’s a brave new world and anyone, anywhere, can be found out if someone is willing to be patient and persistent.
As I’ve mentioned before, everything I write, I write under my real name (unless requested to use a pseudonym by an editor, which happens only occasionally). Everything I write is written with the knowledge that someone reading it may not approve and may judge me harshly. Everything I write is a gamble in putting myself—my real self—out there. The risks vary, of course. Writing a piece of fiction, no matter how explicit, is not the same as revealing my personal beliefs in my blog. Every time someone tells me they’ve discovered my blog, I have a moment of panic: have I written anything about them? Have I written anything that will offend them? Have I written anything I don’t want them to know about?
Going into this little blogging adventure, I knew I’d use my real name. I’ve tried the pseudonym thing with some of my writing and it always felt… wrong, like I was ashamed of what I was writing. It’s not me to hide behind a fake name. It’s not who I am. With that in mind, I’m (almost) always careful about how much I reveal about myself and others. I rarely use this as a forum to vent about people in my life and, on the rare occasion when I do, it’s about someone I’m not particularly close to and I don’t mention names. As for the other worries—I’m sure some of what I write offends some people, including people close to me. I suppose there isn’t much I can do about it except say, love me anyway. Or start your own blog and debate with me. Whatever.
I admire Zulieka’s writing because it is stark and beautiful and often painful in its honesty. She writes about sex, but not in a titillating way; she writes about pregnancy and motherhood, but not in a sentimental way; she writes about life and relationships, but doesn’t dance around the heartbreak and disappointments those things bring. She’s a musician and she writes like it. If you get a chance, read through her archives and you’ll see what I mean:
“It’s frigid outside. Something about it being frigid outside makes me dewy inside. You know, Lara and Yuri in Siberia under the sable furs—that sort of feeling.
Angus is a friendly neighborhood bar-tender, and tender he is, half-Lebanese/half-English with very round green eyes and beautiful tea-coloured skin. Being a bar-tender, he knows all the locals, and is friends with the concierge of an old historic brick hotel across from his bar.”
That little snippet is from Zulieka’s first blog entry on December 13, 2003. I’ve been enamored with her for some time now and I hope she doesn’t vanish into the mist like others whose writing I’ve loved but who disappeared once they were unmasked.