Sunday, October 16, 2011

Is There Too Much Sharing?

When I first became a "Big Time Writer" I was told by many that I should establish a blog and start writing about myself. "Talk about your likes, your dislikes, the things that happen in your life, the good and the bad," I was told. "Discuss your family in detail, introduce them, along with photos to the people who read your blog, share as much as you can about yourself so people, hopefully your fans, can connect with you."

And as I read other blogs and heard some other writers talk about their blogs, I noticed that there was a lot of sharing going on. People had photos of their kids, their pets, their cars. They opened up completely about their lives, their emotions and their mental and physical states. They shared their joys when something great happened, their grief when something bad and everything in between. It seemed there was a lot of sharing going on.

I thought about following that route, to be open about everything in my life, but it just didn't seem right. It's not that I'm not open to sharing my emotions and all that, but I'm pretty selective about who I share those things with. I'm not the kind of guy who walks up to a perfect stranger and talk about my most private moments or thoughts. Only a few people get that. At the same time, I'm pretty gregarious to strangers and do like to joke with people and tell stories, especially to an audience of readers. Not to brag, but I've done some interesting things in my life - punk rock drummer, semi-professional clown, journalist, etc., - so it's nice to share those kind of stories. Along with stories of writing, life on the road as a writer, traveling, food, beer, etc.

But there's a boundary between my public persona and my private one. And I do my best not to cross it too much. Personally, I think there is too much sharing going on, too much information about people that I don't really need or want to know. And there are times when it crosses too far for me, when people start sharing almost everything about their family members, especially their kids. Soon, it becomes some version of The Truman Show in which many children nowadays have hugely public lives because of the sharing from their parents, and these kids have no idea it's going on. I know when I was a kid, if my parents did that to me, I'd be mighty pissed off once I got older.

So I've said this before and I'm going to say it again: if you're looking for a lot of personal sharing from me in this blog, you ain't going to get it. I'll talk about things (especially more these days), about my writing, about certain trips I'm planning on taking, certain foods or beers that I enjoy, stuff like that. But that's about it. The rest is off limits

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