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All Shook Up

Hello All,

I started this blog two months ago as a way for me to vent and be creative in a completely anonymous space. I never had complete anonymous freedom before, and I’ve found it to be amazing and cathartic beyond all my hopes.

However, I never really thought down the road about what I’d do someday if I ever wanted someone I knew to read this blog. I figured this would be my anonymous playground for years to come. But, as an aspiring published AND PAID writer*…I realized that sooner or later my baby, “Fortyteen Candles,” would have to see the light of day to those who knew me.

Two weeks ago I sent my blog link to two very old friends of mine (not old like ancient, but old as in I knew them back before there was “the internet” old). Anyway, they both read my blog and were completely supportive and wonderful. I felt a great relief that I could start being true to my thoughts and feelings, and also be confident that these were being well-received by an audience that included people who really knew me. I know I haven’t divulged any great secrets here, but I was hoping that I could kind of do that someday. And even better, I wouldn’t have to listen anymore to that obnoxious internal editor who mocks me every time I think I’m about to write.

Fast forward to the modern day…aka two weeks later. I’ve dreaded posting on this blog. I’ve had the internal editor pop up and CENSOR my thoughts on everything I wanted to write about. For every idea I came up with all I would hear is “That’s stupid!” or “Boring!” or “Too personal!” Yuck! This has been like fighting off the flu. I know I have to keep fighting back these negative vibes or my blog will ultimately die.

So today I thought I’d purge all of this out of my system. I’m fighting  back the best way I know how – I’m writing an essay. P.S. This is the essay. I sent my internal editor out to Walmart to try to find something made in the USA, so I know I have some time to work in peace.

My vow is to forget who knows about my blog, and not care who might read it. I still intend to write whatever is on my mind with complete freedom of the WordPress. So, if I come up with a few more essays than I have in the past please realize it is a medical necessity for the health and well-being of “Fortyteen Candles.”

Whew! Thanks for listening. I’m feeling a little stronger now. My blog is feeling a little better, too.

(* more on this another day)

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About Fortyteen Candles

oh, let's see...distinguished Gen-X'er, frustrated writer, suffocating in the confines of a small town that thinks it's a big deal. A few years ago we were home to the second largest Walmart in our state, don-cha-know. Oh, and I was voted "Most New Wave" in my senior high school year book. Actually, that last sentence alone is really everything you need to know about me.

36 responses »

  1. Teresa Cleveland Wendel

    Be brave! Who cares if you alienate your friends and family? Well…maybe you should care…Or you’ll end up like me….

    Reply
  2. Love this post! Been wrestling with this same issue myself lately. “My mom might read this.” Worse yet, “My mother-in-law might read this.”

    Reply
    • I know exactly what you mean! To be anonymous means complete creative freedom! But how do you introduce it to your family/friends down the road? It’s kind of feels like letting them read your diary.

      Reply
  3. One day, I might be brave enough to let a few trusted real-life friends know about my blog. For now, I’d be happy with getting over my fear of letting it all hang out anonymously. (You know, like when you go to a water park with the kids, and get over letting strangers you’ll never encounter again see you in a bathing suit.)

    Reply
  4. Your internal editor and mine must know each other. Maybe we should send them out to coffee together so that we can write what we want in peace.

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  5. in many of the books I read on writing your own memoir–the authors stress that you have to not write to an audience but write the truth – not an easy thing – good for you for editing your inner editor

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  6. Hi Candles,

    I followed you over here after you “followed” my blog. And can I give you some advice? Some words of experience from someone who has been blogging forever. And by that I mean more than 12 months….

    People you know will tune in occasionally. When they’re going to have lunch or dinner with you. Otherwise they don’t. (Unless they are bloggers too. Then all bets are off.)

    This reality gives you a little more freedom to write what you like. Because your writing is great and clever and funny. Enjoy it. Have fun with it.

    So here is my suggestion: write some stuff. Some of it will be great. Some of it won’t be. When you have an off post, as we all do, just do another. And that one will be great. And the more you write, the better your posts will be. Although occasionally one will really suck. But you get over it, as do your readers!

    Reply
    • Hi Elyse. Thank you for your thoughtful comments! I am always happy to hear feedback and advice from other writers.

      Thanks also for putting into perspective the idea that even if people I know realize I have a blog it doesn’t mean they are going over it with a fine toothed comb. I guess that’s my paranoia that can encourage procrastination. I totally agree with you on the importance of continuing on with writing. Even a bad post can be replaced by the next good one.

      Thank you, again for your insights! It is reasuring to know there is such a supportive writing community here on WordPress 🙂

      Reply
      • Bloggers are really the best. It’s a whole group of strangers who open their arms to you! It’s why so many of us keep doing it.

  7. Wow, this really resonated with me, particularly:

    “I started this blog two months ago as a way for me to vent and be creative in a completely anonymous space…and I’ve found it to be amazing and cathartic beyond all my hopes.”

    I had the same intentions.

    And then, I did something similar:

    “Two weeks ago I sent my blog link to two very old friends of mine…they both read my blog and were completely supportive and wonderful. I felt a great relief that // I wouldn’t have to listen anymore to that obnoxious internal editor who mocks me every time I think I’m about to write.”

    And then, I too, started to worry that I might not be able to post about what I really wanted/needed to (akin to the assignments of “The Artist’s Way”–the discipline in morning pages, commitment to write each day, etc.)

    “Fast forward to the modern day…aka two weeks later. I’ve dreaded posting on this blog. I’ve had the internal editor pop up and CENSOR my thoughts on everything I wanted to write about.”

    My solution? I started a blogspot blog that I call my “if I were to run for office” writing (to myself, not officially) — things I wouldn’t be afraid of a potential employer seeing, and I actually now use it sometimes for (safe) writing samples.

    I LIKE THIS MANTRA:

    “My vow is to forget who knows about my blog, and not care who might read it. I still intend to write whatever is on my mind with complete freedom of the WordPress.”

    THANKS FOR THIS!
    my blog if you’re interested: http://imuapress.wordpress.com/

    Reply
  8. You sound just like me! I even grew up in the Land of Walmart.

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  9. Hello fellow Gen Xer … thanks for the follow! Ain’t nothing better then our generation. We TOTALLY rock!

    My words of advice – you gotta go ahead and just jump off the cliff and believe that the parachute will open. If not, it’ll be a hell of a ride on the way down 🙂

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  10. I let a bunch of friends know about mine and now I’m doing the same thing. I’m frozen with my internal editor on over drive!

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    • Since this post I’ve gradually let more and more people I know personally know about the blog. I did this gradually. I’m at the point now of indifference, really. I don’t write for them specifically. I write for an audience on WordPress that I don’t know personally. That kind of takes the stress out. Like when you are doing public speaking they say to look over everyone’s heads and not at anyone in particular. No one knows who you are looking at. I still am anonymous on my blog. I think if I put my real name on it yet I would likely freeze up. At least initially. Keep moving forward with your writing! Good luck:)

      Reply
  11. I have a mixed audience, some who know me and some who don’t. It’s a small audience—the traffic thing has been a slow grow here for me. Officially, I’m anonymous, so I have to censor comments from friends who call me by my name when they compliment me ;). It is tricky. Thanks for the follow!

    Reply
  12. Thank you so much for stopping by catnipoflife and following, otherwise I may not have ever found you! I think all of us bloggers have felt pretty much the same as you. I really did not know what to expect when I entered the blogosphere less than a year ago. I was simply promoting my writing and my books. I don’t write for family and friends. . .I just write! Looking forward to visiting you more as your newest follower:>) The best part is the meeting of awesome blogonites! Cheers!

    Reply
  13. I had a pseudonymous blog for a couple of years before I came out as myself in my current blogs. I enjoyed the freedom of anonymity but wondered if the protection of being unknown kept me from truly speaking as myself. And I’ve always heard writing requires courags and worried I wasn’t showing the courage I should. I’ve run into situation where prickly readers have fueled my internal editor, but, for the most part, I think of sympathetic readers. Picturing the people who support you can be inspiring, and, besides, you have nothing to worry about. Your writing is wonderful.

    Reply
    • Thank you for sharing your own experience with this. It does sound good at first but it does also have limitations. It is hard to be true to who you are if you dont’ put your name on something you write. For me it’s privacy. I don’t think I could be so creative and free if people might actually know who I am. But I’m starting to become less anonymous and telling more of the people in my real life about my blog. Thank you for your supportive comments:)

      Reply
  14. Hey, you sound like you’re living in MY town. But we don’t actually have our OWN Walmart. We have to go to the one two towns over. We have a Dunkin Donuts and TWO Micky Ds, though. But I found a cockroach in with my donuts, so I guess I won’t go there any more. Small town life. Gotta love it. Don’t worry about staying anonymous. Everyone will figure out who you are anyhow. They always do.

    Reply
    • LOL…my friends have been alerted to my blog. TWO McDonalds! Sounds like you live in a booming metropolis! Sorry you don’t have your own Walmart. I’m sure one will spring up there within a few months. Then you’ll have a new writing muse! Thanks for the comments:)

      Reply

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