Thursday, 26 August 2010

privacy, autobiography and other perils...

I've been reading what Jenn Ashworth has to say about blogging's perils and pitfalls. There are some interesting comments from her readers, mainly around privacy.

It's got me wondering...

Some people choose to put lots of personal information out there about themselves. They reveal information about their childhoods, their relationships, their mental health, their experiences of abuse, their longings, their neuroses, their prejudices, the things they hate or love about themselves and the people around them. It can be freeing, cathartic, helpful to others, illuminating, or it can raise consciousness, build bridges, and share experience.

This doesn't mean someone wants others to seek out their address, knock on their door and say 'hey I read your blog and wondered if you fancied a cup of tea.'

Probably, even the most autobiographical blog is a version of the truth. It's selective, an interpretation through one person's eyes, written from a series of points in time, revealing some things, hiding others, with the truth shifting and changing depending on the person/ mood/ day / subject matter and numerous other things.

I've written poems that are very personal and autobiographical. Others that are total fictions.

It doesn't mean others know me from my writing or my blog.

It is a bit weird, when sometimes I go to a writing event and someone says 'oh I read your blog', and I think 'eek, did I want that person to know that thing that I revealed in that blog about such and such.'

But it's also nice when a stranger or a friend reads something and says, 'Yes, that's how I feel, or I love that too, or I like what you said about that.'

It's all a balance.

So, just for your entertainment, here are a collection of truths and fictions about me that you can take or leave, love or hate, believe or not:

My life is a busy place, a lonely place, a place full of people and without people, it is a labyrinth of my own making, a place where I breathe and eat and shit. I have a stone that I always carry in my pocket, a mole on my right breast, a nail-less toe, one eye blinder than the other, one leg longer than the other, a weak bladder, a weak heart. I have five jars of buttons waiting to be sewn onto jackets and a novel I will never finish and an unmade bed. I'm afraid of dentists, anaesthetists, hypnotists and being away from home. Actually I'm afraid of almost everything. Except being at home alone. I'm not looking for a relationship, I just want to be found. I'm emotional, devotional, kind-hearted, moody, broody, strong-minded and cold. There is not one person in the world who really knows me, my gate is locked, my roof is leaking, my curtains closed. I sing a perfect C, make chocolate muffins, parle francais, dance as though my feet are itching, and when I'm tired I get cross as old bears who are hungry and unlike the rest of the time I don't need love or kindness or cups of tea, I just need sleep.


hayley said...

This is great, there is something in their that I found funny that I remembered about you, however I don't think it was that funny to you at the time!! But what was nice about reading it here was remembering then!! Memories lovely.
Keep writing your blog Annie I love reading it, Thankyou for making me smile today
Love Hayley

ericw said...

i know a man who can address the short leg problem

let the journey begin

Percy Plantpot

Scars Beneath The Skin said...

Interesting stuff, Annie. I try to keep blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc purely for promoting my novel.

My favourite author, Graham Greene, believed a writer should remain invisible. He lived in a very different age, though.

Now to read what Jenn says about the subject.


Megan said...

i still want to have a cup of tea with you

(and I don't believe that the novel will stay unfinished)

Sarah Hymas said...

loved this final piece - which I should call a poem. Great stuff!

angel said...

interesting issue annie- i've been thinking about such things myself. I like the idea of a writer being invisible, it lets the work speak more loudly than what they look like or it they are good networkers, but it does seem to be a thing of the past.