In the last week, two different people asked me fearfully if a conversation we were having was going to end up on my blog. One was a virtual stranger and the other a close friend.
I've read about this phenomenon before, mostly trepidation among the children of mommy bloggers. But it's not unique to them. In fact, my vet mentioned to me once that she hoped when people read some of my negative comments about something a veterinarian said or did that people didn't always assume it was her. I just never extrapolated it out to, you know... the entire world.
I don't share personal information about other people on my blog -- names, addresses, what kind of pajamas they wear. Well, sometimes names, if the person is well-known to my readers, like my friend/editor/Pet Connection colleague Gina Spadafori. But yeah, my blogging, here and everywhere else, is full of snippets of conversations, ideas sparked by someone else's experience, and other examples of me turning life into blog fodder.
In some ways, that's my highest compliment: you made me think. You crawled into my brain. You inspired me.
Some of you don't see it that way, especially if you think there's the tiniest chance that you'll be identifiable in what I write, either because I named you or, more usually, because I gave just enough information that mutual friends can figure it out.
It's not that I don't have a life, that I don't experience it independent of its blog-worthiness. It's more about how I see the world, and always have. I remember walking home from school or sitting bored in classes or at church, telling myself stories in my head. Sometimes it was a simple running narrative of what was happening at the moment, and at other times it a form of commentary. Yes, I editorialized at a very young age.
People who don't do this might think it distances you from life, but I don't find that to be true. It makes me pay sharper attention, notice more details, and at the same time lets me perceive things more organically, more as a whole moment, place, or incident.
In fact, I've long thought this way of perceiving the world is exactly what made me a writer.
Which isn't to say I don't care how those of you feel who don't like seeing yourselves turn up in my blog posts, columns, or articles. Of course I care. Why else would I be blogging about it now?