Friday, July 16, 2010

I Think I Found My Line

First of all, I'd like to apologize. I've redirected today's intended fare to talk about this instead. I understand that y'all probably didn't know there was another post planned for this morning, but I canceled an intended post on you and feel a tad guilt about that none the less.

While I won't go into the details of the intended post, suffice it to say that it dealt with my previously mentioned theme of Drawing a Line and it would have inched my blog closer to the PG-13 line than I generally let it stray. (Yes, I still think the Disney Channel would approve of my blog. I haven't dissed Zac Efron online. That I know of...) But, somewhere along the way between scheduling the post to come up at the usual time and actually let it come up, I got struck my a feeling of disquiet. I felt like I didn't want to run the post. It was going in a direction I didn't think I wanted to blog to go.

Now, generally speaking, when I smell censorship on my part or anyone else's, my instinct is to run head long in the opposite direction, pull things into the open. (Last time we had to delete the F-word from a play I was working on, I wrote a paper about it for a class I was taking, and I used just about every quote we'd had to cut. Including in my title.) But, in this case, I bowed to a common sense instinct I've yet to squelch in my brain: if it worries you before you say it, keep your mouth shut.

And so, I realized, I'd found my line. While I might talk about violence, love, and my opinions on a lot of things, and while I might even rant, rave, and cuss a bit on this site, there are, as it turns out, some things I don't want to put out there.

On my blog, I don't swear (much), or blaspheme (pretty much at all, I think), or mention certain topics that would be frowned upon for discussion in Victorian England. Not because these are my personal morays or how I act, think, or talk in real life. However, there are, in my opinion, times and places for things. And, to me, this is not generally the time or the place.

So, where's your line? How do you decide what's okay to post on your blog?


  1. I generally don't swear on my blog unless it's in the excerpts I post. I will also not discuss politics or religion. Sex is another matter lol, because I write romance, I do discuss it, as in, I don't write it. So really it's a moot point. Nice post.

  2. I view a blop post like getting up infront of a bunch of my peers to make a speech. Therefore, I'll stay away from language and topics that will make more than a few of them uncomfortable. I also won't try to sway them to feel one way or another, but rather provide the hard facts and let them make up their own mind. My speeches are intended to draw listeners in the door, not cause them to get up and leave.

    High Drama Blogfest-Giveaway

  3. My blog is my own party, and nobody reads it unless they want to, so I say whatever I want! As a creative person, I value hard truths and messages that provoke thought more than I value being PC all the time.

    I come from strict German people whose mantra was "no talking," and who believed that besmirching the family/church/party name was worse than allowing abuses to occur. To hell with that philosophy! My blog is a place for me to write freely and honestly, and if people are upset by the topics I discuss, they don't have to read them.

    On the other hand, I never post anything that I truly feel is offensive or hurtful to anyone else. I don't post anything intended to personally insult or embarrass anyone in particular. I do not write about my coworkers. I would never discuss private information about any other person without their permission. And I do try to give the reader a good idea of what my post is going to be about, based on the title and first sentence or two.

    I don't seek to drive anyone away, but I am not willing to sacrifice honesty--or the fun of attracting followers with a little edginess--to pacify people who hold different values than I do.

  4. I hear ya. It's a tough balance.

    On the one hand, I have a voice that I want to make public, and who cares what they think? But on the other hand, I'm attaching my name (and possible reputation) to this post and I DO care how I come across.

    For the most part, I cut back on swearing. It might be because my dad's reading my blog, or it might be because I'm reviewing YA lit and I don't want to change face out of the blue. Same goes for other 'adult content'. I mean, heck, I warned people when the series I was reading moved from Middle-Grade level to Young-Adult level of relationships. Even in posting links on my blog, I make sure they're of PG-ish or PG-13 content (or explicitly mark otherwise) before putting my 'stamp of approval' on them.

    I don't follow politics, so there's really no fear of writing about them. And religion isn't big on my list of Things To Talk About, partly because I don't have very strong ideas about it, and it's too easy for commenters to get into arguments with each other. On the other hand, I am writing about demons, so I suppose I'll probably have to address religion someday. Blah, I'll hit it when the time comes.

    So, yes, I partly tailor my posts to what I think my readers want, but I'm not really censoring myself so much as presenting a business front. I don't act the same at work as I do with my friends. Since I've put my name on my blog, and I'm hoping to one day be published, I treat it as a business front. Perhaps if it was only a personal blog, I'd be more inclined to present a different front.

  5. I try to stick with staying professional, and that pretty much helps me decide what to post. I have a private blog where I can be more myself, but even there I'm pretty careful. I save my real, real self for those times I stub my toe and a string of really bad words comes out. :)

  6. Hmm, I would probably set a different tone for my blog if I were writing MG or family-friendly content professionally. But I'm writing for adults (perhaps YA), and I work for a somewhat edgy, very nonjudgmental group of people in my day jobs.

    I totally understand that a writer's blog should match the writer's professional persona. Since I'm writing for adults and I work in human rights advocacy and, uh, a religious questioning sort of church, it is not necessary or natural for me to avoid things like sex, religion, or politics. It sure would be if I were writing a novel for 7th graders, though.

    I'm also super inspired by Marie Simas' recent success. She's a blogger who started posting all her most vulgar, obscene memories from her childhood. Immediately she garnered a lot of attention and was offered a book deal. Her memoir, Tampons Take Your Virginity, will be released soon.

    As someone raised in a more oppressive culture, this is super exciting for me. I don't do what Marie does, and the content I post (and write) is not as controversial, but she's an inspiration to me with her courage to speak out.

  7. Piedmont -- Thanks for weighing in. Glad you enjoyed the post.

    DL -- I think you make a good point that blog posts are, in fact, for us to speak to our peers, and that should be taken into consideration. Well said.

    Genie -- I think you make your point quite well. There is certainly something to be said for honesty, even or especially on a blog. Thanks for commenting. :)

    Vicki -- I think it's very sensible to treat a blog as a business front, especially if one's name is attached to it. Anyone, really, could be reading.

    Michelle -- Thanks for commenting. I agree, stubbing a toe might just bring out the true self in all of us ;)

    Genie -- That's a very interesting story. I hadn't heard it before. I'm somewhat curious about what might be in this memoir.