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On Getting Opinionated

 

…if you’re not worried about the backlash you’ll get from your writing, you’re probably not tackling anything terribly important.-Heretics, Superheroes, and Fighting the Lonely War of the Writer

I can’t tell you how many blog posts I have sitting in ‘drafts’ that I sat down and passionately poured my opinions out in. Yet, when it came time to hit the ‘publish’ button, I just didn’t have the guts to.

Fear. It is an interesting thing. blue twisted pencil

I live in an interestingly, contradictory world. I love to write. I love to connect. I love it when someone actually reads what I have to write. But I am afraid to put my opinions out there for all to possibly criticize. I am afraid you may actually read what I have to write.

What if I write something you don’t like? Or we don’t have the same politics? Or you don’t get my sarcastically, quirky humor?

You may make fun of me. You may leave me nasty comments. You might trash me online. I am OK with that. We probably weren’t meant to be BFF’s anyway.

But what if you are a little crazier than that? And you go digging through all my posts and put together where I live, my social security number and even what color panties I wear on Mondays? That’s creepy, scary and sadly has happened to bloggers. Obviously, I am not OK with that.

Some argue that the moment a blogger hits ‘publish’ they leave themselves open to be treated as a public domain. I can’t really argue that point. I could call my kids “Thing 1″ and “Thing 2″ (just made that up so if you really do that I am not talking about you).  But I am, sadly, not under the impression that anyone with google and 10 minutes couldn’t find out more about me then my own mother knows.

Being a blogger shouldn’t mean giving up your right to privacy, or anonymity, if that is what you want. But, that isn’t the reality-and in my case, I am open about who I am. What I am not overly open about are those opinions. The controversial ones- politics, religion, hot button topics.

Ever have this happen to you as a blogger?

You are innocently sitting at dinner and someone brings up something silly that happened to you years ago? And you can’t for the life of you figure out how this person knows about that….

so you ask. And the response is a shocked, “I read it on your blog, silly” and you say,  “Of course, silly me! I forgot I wrote about that.

but what you are really thinking is, “Holy SHIT! Did I really put that online?? Double HOLY SHIT, what else do these people know about me? CRAP! I hope they didn’t read that one where I was talking about the crazy people we went out to dinner with. Cause that was totally about them. How did they know I blog?  Oh shit. Oh crap.  Think! Think! What else did you say Barb? O M G you are so freaking stupid! You and your stupid big mouth, or big fingers I should say. You need more wine. Now.” Waiter?

No?? Well, of course I haven’t either….. but that is beside the point.

You can see the dilemma. I guess I am not that confident in myself to have my you know my opinions long before we say ‘hello’. But it is something I am working on. Because I want to be able to say “Oh yes, I did write that incredibly smart, funny, and opinionated piece on taxation of upper income Americans” and then be able to have an intelligent, rational conversation with you about it. And, if we don’t agree? I hope it will be OK and we will still be friends. We don’t have to agree on everything, right? We can respect each others opinions and move on. At least now we are passed the uncomfortable small talk.

As long as we agree on what type of wine to order it’s all good in my world.

 

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Comments

  1. Lori says:

    I love the honesty you poured out in your post. I think it’s healthy and common to agree to disagree. What fun would it be if we all thought alike and didn’t have opinions on different things in life? I think you should publish those draft posts and share your opinions.

    • barb says:

      There are quite a few that I am revisiting and will probably publish soon. Writing is so therapeutic and sometimes all I need is to sit down and right something out for it to all make sense. How are things with you? I miss seeing you!

  2. Christine says:

    I so agree with Lori on this one…..we learn from others opinions…it keeps life interesting and we can learn more other others AND ourselves! Please share those draft posts! ;)

    • barb says:

      Thanks for the encouragement. I am going to start weeding through them and see if I even feel the same way I did when I wrote it!

  3. Chris says:

    Ditto what everyone else has said! You know me, opinions don’t scare me. Listening to others’ opinions is how we learn, and how we sharpen our own. SHARE!

  4. Daria says:

    Your timing is perfect because I’ve actually been thinking about these things lately. Why? Well, it seems as though there are actually a few people that read what I write! My mother for example. Yikes, how am I supposed to get my therapeutic griping about the baggage she gave me if she’s reading?

    So, while I originally thought I’d blog as a sort of online diary – that is no longer an option. I also like to share funny things my kids have done, but as you mentioned at lunch the other day – eventually they turn into teenagers and may not want that funny conversation we had about puberty all over the internet.

    So what does that leave me? I can’t talk about my parents. I can’t talk about my kids. I can’t talk about my work (because dang it, some coworkers read some times). What’s left?

    I am not worried about stalkers – because like you – I KNOW anyone can find out anything they want about me by just googling my name. They will easily figure out my address through property records and my phone number is listed, so…what’s there to hide? And, well, I’m just not all that for someone to be that interested!

    But I find that the hot button topics are the really fun ones. The ones that are polarized get really great discussions going and get people excited. Personally I think that’s the fun part – listening, learning and disagreeing (respectfully). How great is it to have this unlimited feedback on thoughts about life?

    Your post is timely, because I’ve been thinking about this and have finally come to the conclusion that it is the personal (yet not about specific people in our real lives) that is the really interesting stuff to read and to write also.

    • barb says:

      “the personal (yet not about specific people in our real lives) that is the really interesting stuff to read and to write also.”

      Great minds think alike?

  5. Carissa says:

    Reading on my phone! Had to switch to mobile version at bottom…not automatic.and I font
    Don’t see a way to make an android app?

    But site looks great in mobile!

    Plus I did read this post. I agree.i don’t put a lot of my real illinois
    opinions out there either.

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