I have a problem. I don’t know how to blog.
Sure, I’ve faithfully kept a LiveJournal account since 2002. Back then, I used to party a lot and sometimes post pictures of my cleavage. That’s… not really a thing I do anymore. I’ve moved on from the “look at my boobies!” stage.
Kind of. I did post a picture of my best friend wearing my bra as a hat on LJ just yesterday.
The thing is, LiveJournal provides the illusion of security. I can make “friends only” posts about the stupid things I used to do in my twenties or the awkwardly-written sex scene someone asked me to beta-read, or even the deep-seated issues I have with my parents—all without the worry that my boss or my second cousin twice removed is going to see them.
With a blog, though, it’s different. With a blog, you’re putting yourself out there for all the world to see. I don’t want to talk about my disordered eating or my trauma issues or the crappy things that happened at my old job. I didn’t even want to type that last sentence. It’s all too private.
That’s not the only problem, either. It’s all too boring.
What woman in her twenties or thirties hasn’t starved herself before? And who hasn’t been abused or had a few run-ins with rape culture?
Everyone can relate to experiences like these—but that’s the problem. Everyone’s already posted about them a million times over, and if I’m going to do it, too, I’d better have something special. I’d better go deep. I don’t want to go deep—not in public.
That doesn’t leave me with a lot of options.
Instead, I blog about this book I’m working on. It’s in its second draft and it might be finished someday. I blog about my characters and how sometimes they’re more real than I am. I blog about my revision process and the stupid mistakes I make--the way I fix them--the books I read and how they inspire me.
I’ve even developed a tiny following by writing about those things! But I can’t help but feel I’m holding back. I write about those things because they’re safe, when I could be offering a piece of myself for all to see. When I take off my writer hat, I’m stumped. What is there about me, the regular me, that’s interesting and unique? What would people want to read about that I’d be willing to share? Baking? I used to be good at it—I was kind of known for it. But I don’t have much time for it now. My kid? Except that my parenting tips would be really dumb. 95% of my ability to be a good parent revolves around the fact that my son’s in daycare all week and still sleeps 15 hours or so a day on the weekend. The other 5% is Yo Gabba Gabba. Cooking? Do I even know how to cook?
Maybe I’m not destined to be a blogger after all. Or maybe I just need to suck it up and do what I told one of my friends to do yesterday: rip the damn Band-Aid off. Because who’s really normal inside?
I say I can’t do go too deep because I’m worried about losing my day job. Paying the bills is kind of important, you know? But I’ll post some pretty disturbing fiction in places anyone could find—as long as they looked hard enough. Hell, I might even publish that hot mess someday. So what is it I’m really worried about? What is it that I’m so afraid of?
I don’t know how to answer that. Part of me fears retribution from my family, but what can they do to me now? I’ve cut all contact with them, and they’ve done their best to convince everyone they know that I’m insane. That’s mostly okay with me, because I own my crazy—it’s mine and mine alone. And if that’s too boring, what will I write about then?
Who is Sarah?
I'm a person who writes a thing called Cliffton. I have purple hair, a day job as a programmer, and a lovely husband. We have a son who's every bit as stubborn as I am, and a million times more awesome.
Check her out! aplacethatdoesnotexist.