You’re So Vain, You Probably Think This Blog Is About You…

There’s a new epidemic out there and it’s sweeping our blogosphere (or, okay, maybe just my little corner of the blogosphere!). Fellow writers, how many times have you wanted to blog about a particular topic but you were afraid someone might read too much into it, so you scrapped the idea entirely?

This is a problem that I like to call blog apprehension. Because I blog about very personal topics (relationships, friendships and college life itself) without name-dropping or getting into specifics, my posts may leave a lot of room for interpretation for those who know me. I’m extremely fortunate to have such supportive friends in my real life who regularly read my blog and give me feedback, but in the two years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve had my share of “Is this post about me?” and “It’s obvious you were writing about ____ and ____,” which are comments that can be very difficult to answer.

The truth is, my blog posts are inspired by a variety of different things: personal experiences, casual observations, people I’ve met,  random passages in books, what have you. Sometimes I’ll reference a specific friend for his/her own personal amusement, but for the most part, my blog is not a diary of my daily life or the lives of my friends. Instead, it is a place for me to discuss my own beliefs about certain subjects and to hopefully provide some advice to my readers in areas that are relevant to them. Still, I receive the occasional “This post was totally about [insert personal event/relationship/friendship here],” and it can make it a little more difficult to write.

Because of this, I have had to explain to boyfriends in the past that “no, this post about relationships isn’t about you,” and that I refuse to blog about a relationship while I’m in it. I don’t believe in broadcasting your personal life all over the Internet, and I feel that blogging about a current significant other just adds pressure to the relationship. Similarly, for the longest time, I’d been working on a post about the concept of opening yourself up to failure and rejection, but when I finally was ready to finish writing it, I went through a breakup. The post had nothing to do with my breakup, but I was terrified to publish it because I was afraid that the readers who knew me would assume I was writing solely about that.

In the end, I decided to stop worrying about that and just let people interpret things the way they wanted to. But what I would like my readers to take away from this is that chances are, I’m not writing specifically about you. I’m writing about a human experience that may apply to you, but it’s not exclusive to you. I may be inspired by you, but I may also be inspired by ten other people. I don’t write to air people’s dirty laundry or complain/gloat about the people in my life (if I did, I would get a Tumblr!) — instead, I write in the hope of understanding the world a little more, and to share what I learn with everyone else.

But yeah, that one post I wrote a while back was definitely about you. :)

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4 comments

  1. I want to say this is a natural phase of blogging, but I don’t want to you to think you’re just like everyone else or that I’m belittling you. Because I’m trying to be comforting. I, for some reason, skipped that phase kind of accidentally and paid for it later (and blogged about that) when a friend got mad that I went straight to my blog to talk about how we’d drifted. To be fair, I was not coded at all in suggesting that it was about us, our relationship, etc. But since then, it’s become a thing with my close friends that I’ll inevitably blog about some moment – they ask sometimes (not in a bitter way, but in an oh-Kaleigh-we-know-you-will way). I think you figure out on your own what you feel OK writing about and what you don’t. For me, that line is sometimes blurry, but often I think about who I’m helping or empowering or reassuring and then it doesn’t seem so blurry.

    1. I think you’re right that it’s only natural that our personal lives and blogs will intersect at some point. A lot of my closest friends get it, but some of my friends who read it but don’t know me quite as well are more likely to read into it. I also agree that it’s hard to find that balance but important to remember that the posts are going to help others :) thanks for commenting!

  2. Just me again… Soaking up all the awesomeness that is your blog : ) Gimme a break… I’ve got 2 years to catch up on : )

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