*Too Much Information is the door opened when you start to blog.
Why do you blog? What is your blog to you? Do you have a responsibility to anyone but yourself when you blog? Let me try to answer these questions.
I'm not shy. Fully armed with intellect and wit, I will shoulder my way into any crowd.
But take away that armor, leave me only with my raw emotion and deepest thoughts ... and you may find me cowering naked in the corner, praying that no one can hear what I'm saying.
Writing at its best is the individual with all armor removed, attempting to communicate experience shared by at least one other human being.
With this blog, I'm trying to find my way back to that vulnerability, so I can retrieve an authentic voice. And use that voice to reach other humans, establish linkage, share life experience.
More than twenty years ago, I made a pact with the devil. I entered the workworld with a brand new communications degree and I wanted to write ... but I needed to earn a living. And the only way for most people to earn a living as a writer is to write commercially.
But you don't realize how destructive that agreement is going to be.
I spent a career writing promotional or informational copy that had absolutely no emotional resonance. Sure, in persuasion writing, you're trying to influence (read: manipulate) -- but because modern audiences are so inured to advertising and its wicked stepsister, public relations, the impact of that writing is next to nil. And it's often being written for less than lustrous reasons: not just to sell, but to disguise, or divert or ... you take my point.
(In attempting to reach a contemporary audience today, writing goes by the wayside altogether; kids who have been raised on video and computers are much more influenced by strong visuals. They have to see it or they can't hear you anyway.)
So I learned to look for emotional buttons to push to attempt to sell product (in my case, public transportation and health care, with a short foray into food) -- all the while knowing this was most often a vain attempt. But managing to convince myself on some level that this was worth doing.
(Sure, it was worth doing. For the paycheck I received every two weeks. For the incredible health care benefits that accompanied the paycheck. For the perceived status of being a productive cog in the wheels of society. For my many trips to Nordstrom with a fully loaded credit card.)
But from this constant exercise of falseness, I developed a shell of falseness, my armor.
Fate intervened. As you may know, my body fell apart and my head cracked soon thereafter. I would love to tell you the scales fell from my eyes and I moved purposefully forward with a flaming sword in my hand.
What really happened was a deep depression from which I could not rouse myself. God's way of telling me to reassess.
My blog is a tool of that reassessment. I blog because it is incredibly inexpensive psychotherapy.
And, even as my shrink was once my witness, I prevail upon you to be my witness -- of progress toward authenticity.
Now you may not want this role. That's fine. You really don't get much compensation. Oh, the occasional perfume review might interest you. Or you might be drawn by weird posts that seem to be communicating something to someone but who knows what.
Or I may be writing something that makes you say, "That's me. I'm not alone. She's there, too."
That's what I hope for.
My responsibility is not to entertain, not to perform, not to react. It's to be as brave as I can be about cowering naked in the corner, with my humanity as visible as it can be.
And sometimes to post stuff that I think is absolutely hilarious.