Friday, May 09, 2008

Going Pro

One of the regular struggles of blogging is knowing when to say how much is too much (TMI). I share a lot of personal stuff here, and though some of the worst of my personal rants have been moved over to LJ, I don't exactly filter those as "well" as I could either.

As I've started dating in professional circles, I've ranted less-to-none about relationships that happen within them. Doing that was hard (non-writer-circle folks still get ranted about on LJ, tho).

The struggle becomes that I have more professional relationships (at the day job and writing) than I do actual personal relationships (this is true of most people, of course). The first person at the day job to google me announced his find to the rest of the IT team, and lo and behold, my the personal became immediately known to the professional.

Not that it wasn't already. I'm terribly easy to find.

But I don't want to roll over to an anon LJ and I don't want to stop sharing stories. A lot of the personal things I talk about here are useful to people because they *are* so personal. I have the whole bloody account of how to get an IUD, how to struggle through chronic illness, stories about dealing with an exploding personal life, struggles with strength training and skills and writing and personal relationships and commitment issues.

I like to share this stuff. I like the idea that somebody out there reads it and is inspired or changed or moved or somehow positively affected by it. I've received a few letters from folks who *were* inspired, and those are what keep me sharing personal stuff here, though as I grow up into some kind of strange "young professional" instead of a "wacky college grad" the fact that all that information is readily available could serve as a huge turnoff in future professional endeavors.

Folks know how much money I make, generally (I'm bound by our employee handbook not to post how much I make at the day job, but I've said it's less than I made as a project assistant in Chicago and more than I made as a temp just before I left Chicago). I like truth and transparency. I realize people can do harm with some of that. And that's something I need to be more aware of. At the same time, I don't want to go and hide everything over at LJ with a three-person filter. Because I mean really, once you do that, what's the point?

I write to be read. Most writers do. I've tried writing up rants and just sending them to myself. It doesn't work. Even when there's no acknowledgement from the audience - no comments, no discussion, nothing - there's something about having it all up there that makes it all so much less scary, that makes it all make so much more sense.

Seeing it in black and white pulls it out of that shadowy place of "you're not supposed to talk about *that*." If you can talk about it, you name it, you acknowledge it, and you move on.

Writing has made me a much less fearful person.

So maybe that's the truly selfish reason I post so much personal crap anyway. Because it's made my life so much less scary.

I got tired of being afraid of shadows all the time.