Is it Time to Shut Up?

You know what’s scary? Going to a dinner function where you know nobody so you put your brave face on. And then when you’re ‘mingling’ industriously,  you meet one, two, three, four (oh sh**) five different strangers who say – “Yes, I know you. I read your blog!”

Way to put your blathering blithering rants into perspective. When you are face to face with complete strangers who know basically TOO MUCH about you…your Fabulous five children…your fascination with SBW’s tattoos…your inclination to drink too much Diet Coke…the excessive number of times you wish you could duct tape your Little Son’s mouth shut…your dream about flying off into the sunset with Thor…the time you tried to sell cinnamon rolls at the local market and endured extreme humiliation… You know nothing about them but they know that you told your teenage son’s girlfriend “We don’t want him to have sex at this age and I really hope you’re not a skanky ho'” They know you sometimes wish you could run away from your children. And that you tell lies. ‘You are the best dancer ever!’ (but really, I got here too late to catch your two second recital. Oops.) Let’s face it – I say way too much on this blog. I’m way too open about everything. And half the time, people who know me are probably perpetually worrying that I will blog about them next. And wishing that I would shut up on here. I’m starting to self-censor. Question blog topics. Wonder, ‘what if so-and-so reads this?’ And that makes blogging decidedly LESS fun.

To be honest, the number of people I meet in random places who are readers of my blog is starting to really really freak me out. Don’t get me wrong. I love having people read my blog. It’s great motivation to write regularly and blogging helps me to ‘think out loud’…vent…and process stuff. It was a huge buzz for me when blog visits topped 18,000 a month. And yeah, it would be a dream come true if one day, thousands more – no make that – MILLIONS of people read my blog. But I want them to be millions of STRANGERS reading my blog. People I will never actually meet in real life.Not people that I bump into at the grocery store. Or stand next to at the buffet table. Or sit next to in church. Which is a problem because I’m Samoan. And I live in the relatively small country of New Zealand. I need to either move to a much bigger country. Or never leave my cave. Or stop blogging.

Is this where I tell you that I’m going to take my blog down? Is that what’s going to happen next?

Maybe.

How about you? If you blog – do your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, fellow grocerystore shoppers know that you blog? What are YOUR challenges with blogging honesty and self-censorship?

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18 comments

  1. LOL Laura – my parents were missionaries in Novosibersk, Siberia, Russia a few years ago, so there WERE some Samoans there then! I don't think 'celebrity' is the right word. It's big mouth, kaukala-so'o…

  2. Yes Samoans are everywhere so matter where u go u will be noticed LOL..We are everywhere but dont worry your just famous..Do not delete your blog its one of my guilty pleasures at work lol..

  3. Maybe it's not the blog but the content. I think maybe people are trying to be nice and don't realise that even though they know about your life through your blog, they don't really know you as a person. As a fellow hermit, it would freak me out as well. But it's the price of fame I guess!

  4. It sounds like you've got a few too many 'followers' who are not bloggers themselves. As a fellow blogger and follower of your blog I have come to realise that I do not know 'the be all and end all' of who you are & your life. You only really share about one tenth of who you are on here and I am sure there are so many other sides to you that we are not aware of. Do my family know I blog – no and I like it that way. But that's because I have that option to share or not. You however have not a lot of choice in the matter, you're a writer & this is what you do. Do I censor my writing, yes moderately. I only ever reveal as much as I am comfortable with sharing. I think to myself – if someone ever questioned me face to face about a post for instance – would I be able to speak to them about my point of view without fear or embarrassment. Do I blog honestly – I try to. It depends on how open I feel, each day is different. Hope you stick around here. The place wouldn't be the same without you.

  5. Oh lani…we, readers of ur blogs read them because we see ourselves in them!!!!Not many people can write in such a candid way where they share their lives and have it ring true to so many others…im a writer on one samoana..but i choose anonymity because it helps me to write uninhibited, and allows me to allow myself freedom in ways i never permit in other areas of my life.your blogging is a part of u, you remind me of goldie the famous painter. He took photos of himself painting, images of himself celebrating (advertising) himself…if you didnt have this blog would telesa have been as successful?..hmmm actually on second thought probably..because its just darn good…lol scratch that its awesome!!actually i dont know wat im talking about..ahahaha…all i know is that ur a writer..and this is wat u do..accept all of it!!! awkwardness ehhh…if it makes u a better writer then just go with it sister!!says the anonymous chicken writer! lolblessings dear lani!! hehehe

  6. Hahaha! Yeah… no hiding there. I've mostly only gotten it from people I know. And it only freaks me out a teeny bit. Mostly, I'm like "Really?" with a grin. The one that threw me the most was from my principal. I work at a school, and one day she asked me a question, and then countered with something I had said on my blog. She said she reads it all the time. Thank heavens I don't say anything that wouldn't be okay!

  7. My friends and family know I blog, but half of them aren't into books the way I am, so I'm fairly safe there. My co-workers have no idea, and I really want to keep it that way! They don't even know I've written a book. I'm waiting for the day I no longer have to work there to let them know (insert dreamy look here). I do get a little scared sometimes that one of them will happen upon my blog because I'm a corporate manager in a big manufacturing firm, but I say whatever happens, happens. We all have a right to our personal lives and how we want to express ourselves. Unfortunately, with celebrity comes a lack of privacy.Do us all a favor, DO NOT STOP! I really look forward to your posts 🙂

  8. All I know is that your blogs allow me to be possibly the only faikala whose facts are true!!! From the horse's mouth itself hehehe. Its entertaining, inspiring, exciting, humorous, factual, close-to-home… all that good stuff a Samoan loves!!Keep on keep'n on 🙂

  9. Oh Lani….Your blogs are what inspired me to start writing again. If you stop, how many others like me will miss out on that opportunity to be inspired by such a talented writer. I'm with Blessings … You make us tolerate the daily pains of life by the way you put it into words. So in the words of KC & The Sunshine Band, "please don't go, don't go, I'm begging you to stay." LOL:)

  10. No, don't stop! I love your blog. I appreciate your candid, down-to-earth, take on life. As a reader, it feels like I'm sitting and having coffee with a girlfriend who is facing similar challenges in parenting, etc.

  11. Whoa – the Principal reads your blog?! defn sigh of relief that you dont put anything on there thats slightly demented. Its kind of like when my students read my blog last time i was teaching…uh oh.

  12. i love that you blogged about this. i'm 27 years old from the united states up north west .. and i've just recently started blogging for therapeutic reasons. simply to vent. i enjoy it alot but i feel that i hold back and that i have to be cautious of what i write.. should i care or should i just express freely. i mean not that anyone know's that i blog but just the fact that anyone can run across my page is kinda nerve wracking .. you know? .. lol i'm still getting use to this.

  13. No one in my family knows I have a blog. Or what it means, lol. My friends don’t share the same passion of writing. Everyone I associate with are One-liners (FB, Twitter, IG) while I’m well, a never-ending liner hahahahaaaa (: I admire your boldness. Your serious humor. It’s always refreshing. I wish I could write my feelings and thoughts the way you do. Please keep your blog ( well you have lol ) – you inspire me to keep writing in a not-so-into-writing world.

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