Lets set a few ground rules, shall we? If you don't know me, I like you. Leave comment. Send me an email. Tell me how things are going for you.
If you do know me, I like you, too. Feel free to leave a comment, send me a text, or tell me how things are going. That's fine, too. But if for any reason I ever post anything here that pisses you off for any reason at all and you wish to share your feelings with the world, be advised that the comment(s)will be deleted, the text will remain unanswered, and I may go and get a new email account so I can just pretend I don't have a full inbox of hate mail from whatever cluster-fuck I started (again.)
(Okay, so I might be an adult and decide to talk about whatever offline. But let's all play nicely in my new sandbox together, shall we?)
Bitter much? Yeah, well, only a little. I've had more than my share of Jerry Springer episodes played out on certain social media venues, and it's just getting old.
My online presence does not exist to rattle your world. I'm here simply to be here. To share my thoughts. To share my experiences. To vent. To just be.
And ya know what? The strangest part about this whole thing is that I'd much rather have a world of strangers read what I am writing than a handful of friends and family. If you know me personally, don't take that as a sign to stop reading and hate me until the day I die because I didn't mean it that way.
What I do mean is that it is easier to be open and honest and share little pieces of my inner-most self with those I simply do not know. I know other writers have dealt with this issue, specifically when working on a tell-all memoir. Because really, how much can you tell the world when your own backyard is filled with screaming mothers-fathers-brothers-sisters-brothers-exes-former best friends when you have nothing to give them except for a copy of the very memoir that pissed them off to begin with? It's not like the FBI has a special umbrella of the Witness Protection Program for ballsy writers.
I wonder sometimes how comedians get away with their bits about their mother-in-law and that last embarrassing sexual episode with their spouse, and still have a place to come home to at the end of the day. I know that their job is to make light of the mundane and give us all a reason to laugh, but still...how the hell do they do it?
And for the writers who have already "been there" and "done that" and received the commemorative T-shirt, how did they get brave enough to share the stories they needed to share? How did they overcome the Great Fear of What Everyone Else Thinks?
The way I see it, the problem isn't the thoughts being shared. It's how they are shared.
Think about it. You and your sister-cousin-boyfriend are at eachother's throats for whatever reason, and you just need to vent. Maybe you use the argument as inspiration for a Facebook status update, or maybe it becomes the pivotal scene in that novel your writing. You are as broad as you can be on Facebook and you change as many details as needed when writing that scene in the novel, but still...it's now permanent. Instead of just having a good old-fashioned argument with whoever, you--the writer--did what writers do and shared your anger and frustration with the world. The sting fades faster when the words can fade away into obscurity.
It's a tad bit more difficult when they are sitting there on a page.
So how would I feel if I wasn't the writer, but instead was the one being written about? I honestly don't know. I suppose I would be pissed. I guess I'd be all about wanting to kill whoever it is for sharing that I did whatever with whomever for all to see. And I guess I really wouldn't give a damn about artistic license and the need to express oneself because if I wasn't the writer, Id think it was all a crock of shit, anyway.
And all of this rambling leaves me with one thought: I'm a big fat chicken and am going to call it all fiction. No one can get mad at make-believe, can they?
So if you know me, do me a favor: pretend what you read is the diary you found hidden under my pillow. Take a peek, learn and retain what you will, and then slip it back under the pillow where you found it. I'll leave it in the same spot, unlocked, so you can peek again and again.
***X-posted at Bad Mommy Blogger