Navigating My Blog Equals Enough Bachelor Already!

Easy E in the SLC -- Copyright
Easy E in the SLC — Copyright

Guess what? After two long and lonely months, my camera is back. Woohoo! It is taking much better pictures, as long as I continually remember to adjust the exposure compensation.

I know. I know, I have had the Bachelor fluff piece up for days. And actually anyone who thinks I am turning into a big airhead (and are airheads really that bad anyway?), please know that I posted a personal piece after theBachelor Post, only to take it down a few short hours later. Why? Well, I felt like my Personal Piece was immediately misinterpreted. I realized that as much as I could try to clarify it, I still would be misunderstood.

Truth be told, I am guessing most of what I write here is never completely understood and, seriously, observing how my words are received is one of the things I enjoy about writing. But last Friday, when I posted something new, my Personal Post after my Bachelor Post, I was not in a place where I wanted to be misunderstood. (Kind of boring really).

Once again, I have been doing a lot of thinking about why I blog. I also realize that as much as I want to write about my kids or my bad mood, or my marriage problems, I have to remember that I have an audience.  (Oh these new communication frontiers are hard to navigate, aren’t they?) And some of the people who read are also people I interact with on a daily basis. Recently, I have become acutely aware of how my words here influence how people perceive me and my family. Most of the time, that is a good thing, but somedays when I am feeling pissy and just want to vent, I realize that I need to count to ten and tread lightly. Why? Because not only do my words affect others’ perceptions of me, but they affect peoples’ perceptions of my kids. And what kind of parent am I if I write something that adversely affects how people treat my children? My self-censoring concerns are not new and I have written about them many times.

Additionally and on a somewhat lighter note, sometimes it is really hard to keep the intensity up day-to-day. I love the occasional break from my deep thoughts and simple pleasures of poking fun at Orrin Hatch or The Bachelor.

[from DAVE] In Beth’s defense, it’s hard to deliver the deep, introspective posts day in and day out. (Well, in my own experiences anyway.) And it’s actually a little harder when people criticize what you choose to write about. It puts the pressure on to “perform” for your “audience”.

Still, most days, I am over the moon with gratitude for the opportunities and experiences this website gives me. Even when someone posts a silly or less-informed comment, I am happy for these unique circumstances to see a tiny tiny pice of the world through someone else’s eyes.

Now, what to do.


31 thoughts on “Navigating My Blog Equals Enough Bachelor Already!

  1. Beth,
    I loved the Bachelor post. As someone without a lot of girlfriends locally to dish about this type of thing with, it makes me smile to see someone talking about it online. It gives me the opportunity to talk with other commenters about what they were thinking along the same lines. There are always going to be people who don’t like something you do. Whenever I see posts like S’s, I think, “Non illigitamus carborundum” which is Latin for, “Don’t let the bastar*s grind you down.” I have this little quote up in my writing space, and it has gotten me through some bad moments. Keep writing – I really value what you have to say. 🙂

  2. MsShad, You are awesome, but I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I really couldn’t care less about a silly comment on my website. It’s the real-world effects that have me perplexed. And as far as the real-world effects go, it is because they affect my kids. And I would have to disagree with you when it comes to my children: I will take down posts.

  3. I was wondering where the post went but figured that was what happened. I’ve learned the hard way about writing without counting to ten. Numerous times.

    I hope you can find the balance soon.

  4. Every time I wish I could use my real name on my blog, a post like this one brings me back to reality. The fact is, I have no desire to answer to everyone I meet as to why I wrote what I wrote on my blog.

    I guess I just don’t understand why anyone would criticize what you choose to write about on your own blog. Bloggers who write what they think their audience wants to read just aren’t as successful as the ones who write about whatever happens to be on their hearts at the time. One of the great things about your blog is that you are so honest about your feelings and what’s your mind, and for someone to criticize your choice of topic is just irritating. I guess I worry that too many comments like that might somehow convince you to temper your writing to suit them, rather than yourself.

  5. There is so much I want to say about this post.

    First? I think I am the one who leaves silly and uninformed comments. Because I can’t ever think of anything witty to say. I hope that’s ok.

    Second? I wrote a post about how I censor myself a lot lately and avoid writing anything serious now because people will twist it and misunderstand it and make it about THEM, when, really, it’s all about me. I hate that I censor myself, but, I also hate being misunderstood.

    Third? I LAUGHED when I read the little aside in caps. I did the EXACT same thing today. I started my post at 9 am, but didn’t finish til the afternoon and I too, had to make sure to put that into the post, so people would understand why “The flow” of the post wasn’t quite right.

    Fourth? There is no fourth. I should have stopped at “first”.


  6. I think that most bloggers at one point or another have run into this issue. I know I have, and I’ve removed my share of posts. I have created an anonymous blog with one of the free blog hosts where I do my more personal venting. I have removed our last name from my blog and I now use my son’s middle name because I’d really hate for one of his classmates to google his name and find my blog.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is I totally understand.

  7. This is your space. You should stop letting others have such power over what you write here. I know there is a certain level of self censorship that we all need though because the Internet doesn’t need to know everything. Love to read anything you write about, whether it be deep or not!

  8. Enough Bachelor already! AMEN

    I don’t have a profound comment to make but rather one of admiration. Beth, this photo of your adorable boys is amazing. You are so talented with a camera as well as on paper. I am with the commenters when I say that I will read anything you post.

  9. My first reaction (without counting to 10) is “don’t let anyone make you feel like you have to censor yourself…blah, blah, blah.” Which, of course, is total bullshit. When it comes to your real life and especially that of your children, absolutely you must do what you feel is best. That’s when the blogging thing comes into perspective. That’s when you “carry a heavy delete key and learn when the fuck to use it” as Cecily said.

    God knows I have!

  10. I type faster than I hand-write, and have been so “conditioned” to blog about outrage, outrageous moments, I go for the laughs, whatever, it’s hard to curtail typing about Highly! Flammable! Things! Instead, I have several word documents on my computer at home (my personal favorite is titled “F**K You Judy” written in anger with my mom, and several notes in one of my email accounts, and all those files contain words I would never want to publish & share – at least with my (very small) audience, because sometimes the act of just saying something out loud, or writing it down, explodes it into the possibility for a million different interpretations, and you only meant it the one way. Or you meant it in the worst way, but you’re not a horrible person, and yet once it’s out there, it’s as though a backpack tumbled off a cliff & you grab for it & flail & it still falls anyway.
    Having grown up in a very small town, I also understand the assumption of other people’s business that happens, and it’s maddening when you want to define your boundaries & other people are crossing them because of an assumed propriety. Maddening!
    Is this a long-winded way of saying I understand? 😉

  11. Hi there,
    I read your Personal Piece when it was up and could relate with it. And that made me feel a little empowered. But regardless of if it’s a personal piece or something funny Kyle and Eli said/did…”Crazy Us” isn’t in my bookmarks so I can judge you. It’s in there because I like your writing, dammit! 😉

  12. i think it’s a growth process we all go through- when blogging, or posting on message boards and realizing what we say sometimes has consequences and affects other people. but then you find peace within and tell them to fuck off. lol

  13. What a great picture!

    As for the other stuff, you’ll find the right thing to do. I like to read whatever you write, and, I will be here when you do it.

  14. I was wondering what happened to that post. I’ll admit it, I hit “refresh” a bazillion times thinking it was my computer. Thanks for the explanation.

    I get you. I don’t put bumper stickers on my truck for the exact same reason: I don’t need other parents/teachers jumping to silly conclusions about me and my family, coloring their interactions with my children.

  15. Ah! You completely hit the nail on the head. Or you hit my head with a nail. Or something like that.

    Way back before I had comments turned on and only a few people read what I wrote, it was easier to talk about my insecurities, vent, etc. But right when I met Coffeeboy, I also started getting a lot of new traffic on my site. At the time I was in looooove and I had been voted Best Artist by our local paper and I had a new show and all these really great things were happening for me. So a few months later, when I jumped off of cloud nine and came back to reality, I had a hard time being truthful in my writing. I didn’t want to shatter the image I had accidentally created for myself.

    That’s when I started designing for Squarespace, and was offered a free blog on their system. So I moved my site, and I didn’t tell everyone where it went. It was liberating. At the time I was discovering blogs like yours, and ChickenFlicken, and WannabeHippie and Momster in Paris and Knotty Yarn and Daphne*Blue. I realized I could just frelling be myself, and you guys totally had my back.

    So my point, where did it go? I don’t remember. Did I have one? I guess I just wanted to say that blogging is a delicate balance of writing for yourself and writing for your audience. But I know you Beth, and I know being true to yourself is more important then what other people think about you. The only people who truly matter are the ones who keep coming back because they like you for who you are.

  16. do it for you and for no one else. write what you want when you want. yes, you have an audience, but that audience needs to understand NOW that their entertainment takes a backseat to your own enjoyment of doing this. also, did you ever say you were here to spread profundity across the interweb? uh, no. jesus.

    this just pisses me off, i’m sorry. arrgh.

  17. Arrgh, I missed the post that was pulled.
    I like reading your site cause you seem to just write from your heart. I see other blogs where things sound manufactured, your thoughts are pretty straight forward and honest. Like sweetney says, do it for you.The rest of us are all here just watching from the back seat. You know, along for the ride while you drive.

  18. Beth-
    I enjoy reading your blog. The good and the bad. I feel you are right to sensor a certian percentage of what you write (after all there are some things that should probably not be read by your MIL or neighbor) but for the most part, write what you feel. It is impossible to “entertain” the audience every day. I know there are several times when I am dealing with something rough and I can’t blog about it so I put up a fluff post. My life is just that, my life and so is yours. Write what you are comfortable with, and don’t worry about the rest. It will work its self out.


  19. B, did you hear the news? The Bachelor and his Babe have Broken Up! I know. You’re shocked and dismayed. As am I.

  20. Beth- Just thought you should know… it’s been reported that Travis and Sarah have SPLIT UP. Now I was an avid Sarah supporter, but after reading your post and this tragic news came out, I totally agree. He would have been so much better with Moana. I don’t even know if I can make myself watch The Bachelor again… oh, who am I kidding. I love The Bachelor… screw ups and all. 🙂

  21. There’s nothing that could be said that hasn’t already been said by your very insightful and intelligent readers. There has been many-a-time when I’ve wanted to pull the plug – moreso recently when someone stole a photo of my underage cousin and put it on a blogger site with very objectionable content. Makes me wonder where my kids pics are ending up too. It’s a scary world and someday soon I will be saying goodbye to my current blog. I know this is somewhat unrelated, but the doubt that you feel is felt by me as well. I don’t know how some bloggers keep pulgging away at this when a few bad eggs makes it so difficult. And people will say, “well you put your pictures out there…” True. Is it worth it? Not really. I don’t know what I’m going to do – sorry for the ramble.

  22. Here’s an interesting tidbit:
    The elementary school where my children went is having a fundraiser. Apparently, Travis is the brother of one of the moms at that school. He’s coming here to take 5 mothers (who paid big $$) to dinner. Is he really that great?

  23. I actually loved your Bachelor post. I think you should write whatever you want to, and who cares who anyone thinks!
    On another note – those are beautiful boys! I’ve been reading the blog for quite some time, and you can definitely see that they are getting older. They are losing their “babyfaces” a little bit, and looking more like little guys. =)

  24. I don’t know why, but it is SO hard to write whatever you want to and not care what anyone thinks. I guess it’s, at least, one manifestation of being a sensitive person, and that’s a good thing.

    Every single day I think about deleting my blog, the entire thing–wiping it free from cyber memory. I always completely relate to your posts when you question why you write online. I would acutely feel your absence if you left, I want you to know.

  25. Hi Beth! I just wanted to let you know how much I love reading your blog, and as always, I am shocked and dismayed when I hear about great writers like you feeling judged by what they write about. I know it’s hard not to feel that way, but I wish others weren’t so judgemental. It’s a shame really…because the people who then lose out are your readers, who miss out on funny, insightful, thought-provoking posts that you may censor or take down alltogether.

    That all being said…I want to tell you some of my favorite things you talk about, and why they are my favorites! My absolute favorite stuff is when you talk about Kyle and Eli’s antics, be they good OR bad. I love when you post their dialoge, between the two of them, or with you. And I love when you post stories of their bad behavior or temper tantrums, and how you handle them. My own son is just two and a half, and I am expecting my second child in May, so in a lot of ways, I feel like I can relate to a lot of what you think/feel/do. Your boys are definitely one of my favorite topics, but also yours and Dave’s parenting…because I feel like (a) you guys are great parents and (b) you are very REAL, and I definitely relate to that.

    So anyways…I probably should have emailed this instead, because it’s gotten to be way too long, and I feel like I’ve just rambled on pointlessly. BUT. I hope some of this hits you where your posts hit me…in the heart.

  26. [late to the party, per usual. argh] You know, Beth, it’s gotta be hard being you and blogging you for so many reasons that go much deeper those of us who also blog have to face. Your environment is different, and your WHOLE FAMILY and everyone else reads what you write, not to mention your proximity to neighbors and friends who also read your blog, and not to mention ridiculous and superficial expectations that you’re saddled with, given a certain famous neighbor and friend.
    I haven’t had to face that yet, since I’ve told no one in the state of Florida that I blog, nor my family yet, so I have the luxury of feeling like I have anonymity, however false. (If I were still living in Boston, it might be different).

    It’s your space, not ours, so do what you want with it. We’ll still read and admire you. And you know what? We ALL censor at least a little when we blog. Every last one of us, and we’re lying if we say we don’t.

  27. Hi there,

    just wanted to say it’s been real interesting reading through all the discussion that’s going on around this topic. I’ve only just started my blog, and it’s such a weird thing trying to decide whether to use your real name/identity or go undercover… i am still v undecided about whether i really want the folks around me knowing too much about what is going on in my head!!

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