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On authenticity and secrets

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I wasn’t sure whether to write this at all, because it’s probably going to make things sound more dramatic than they are, but then I do sort of feel like I should. Because for the first time ever, I’m really not that motivated to blog. I don’t know if this has been noticeable reading this, but I feel like what I’ve been blogging about has really lacked substance. Posts that are just pictures with hardly any writing, which is just the most unusual thing for me. And I think I owe an explanation.

The thing is, there’s some huge stuff happening in my personal life at the moment, which I’m not writing about. But it takes up so much of my headspace that not mentioning it feels like more than an omission to me, almost a like a lie. I read Rag’s excellent post on authenticity the other day. I left a long comment that was eaten by the blogger gremlins, and in writing it I realised that what I think it happening is a disconnect between my online self and my ‘real’ self. Of course, I don’t believe in the existence of a unitary, real, core self, and I know that were are all constantly performing different identities. And with blogging that performance is even more explicit, because we can take our time in constructing the self we present, plan it and perfect it. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I’ve always been pretty sceptical about the ‘just be yourself’ blogging advice being thrown about everyhwere. I mean obviously, yourself, but what kind of self? As I’ve said many times before, the blog doesn’t present the truth about me, but it does present a truth. I was always happy to just give a partial view of what’s up with me, to just share the part of me that’s into fashion, photography and craft and the way society works.

I’ve never had a with that at all problem until now. But somehow with this life event happening, the part of me I’m not sharing is becoming too big. I can still write about all sorts of random little thoughts, they are still true, they’re still authentic, they’re still me, but somehow it doesn’t feel right, because they’re so insignificant now. And so I’ve chosen not to really write much, to just post pictures. And then I don’t feel like commenting either, since my own contribution is not adequate (by my own standards). So I have withdrawn from the online world even more than I already had done due to not having any time. So this is what’s happening.

It’s not a great scenario, and I’m not happy with it really, but hopefully it will just be a temporary situation, and I will return to the way things used to be, or some other more satisfying set up soon. I know this all sounds really cryptic, but it’s as much as I can say. Though don’t worry, death and divorce are not involved.

Does anyone know what I’m talking about? If it happened to you, what did you do?

photo source

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ana b 28 May 2012, 8:19 am

    I can absolutely relate to what you’re talking about, Franca, and am glad you’ve expressed it so eloquently. All I can add is you should take the time to disconnect from your blog for a while if that’s what you feel like. I used to feel very guilty about this but now am quite relaxed about it, especially when there’s a lot going on in my real life. Personally, I want my blog to be a bit of escapism for my readers, whether it is through fashion or photos or opinions or travel. If I don’t feel like providing that escape for readers then I simply don’t blog. Usually this happens when there’s so much stuff going on in real life that I can’t even escape from myself!
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  • Rhianne 28 May 2012, 8:38 am

    I totally get what you are talking about – I really like how you’ve descriped your blog representing a truth, thats exactly how it is. I think this happens to everyone, probably more than once at some points – you work so hard to make something and then when you’ve got a certain point you wonder if its exactly what you were thinking it could be when you started… There has been a lot of focus on secrets, authenticity and blogging lately too, so its very easy to question your blog and doubt your posts, but I don’t think that you need to.

    I only recently got over this by deciding that I just didn’t care about whether I was blogging the right things anymore … Its so so easy to get caught up in blog hype – SEO, commenting, writing enough, posting amazing photos etc… but honestly, I just want to know that when I look back at my blgo in 5 years time, I’ll be happy with what I’ve written, thats all you need to aim for I think. I’m representing a truth to myself I guess.

    I know all about branding and if I wanted to, I could set up a tumblr, a pinterest and a facebook account to match FTED, put things on there I know that people like – but it just doesn’t interest me at all.

    My advice is to take a break. It doesn’t need to be long, it could be a dedicated two days of not thinking about your blog and then see what you want to do with it. I did that last week and came back feeling much better and wanting to share more things than I did before because I just didn’t care if it was the right thing to blog about anymore, I wanted to blog it (it was whether to post instagram photos on my film blog lol, a small thing, but an issue for me none the less) so I did and I felt so much better for it.

    Anyway, this is a bit babbly but I hope it helps a little. I hope the huge stuff is something great and exciting for you (and if its not then I hope you’re ok) xxx
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  • The Waves 28 May 2012, 9:04 am

    I know how you feel, Franca! I haven’t been blogging since late March for similar reasons. Sometimes “life happens” , and whatever truth it is that my blog has portrayed, it just didn’t feel like the right place to hash through stuff. I’ve felt horribly guilty that I haven’t posted anything, but there is a time and a place for everything, and once it feels right, things will get back to normal. So I guess my advice is… take your time, and don’t force it. 🙂
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  • Penny Dreadful Vintage 28 May 2012, 10:30 am

    I know just how you feel. And it is hard, and in a way it makes it feel worse when you are almost going through the motions rather than doing it because you love it. My best advice is to take a break until you think you will enjoy it again. And I do hope everything improves for you soon. xxx
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  • StephC 28 May 2012, 10:37 am

    I’ve been going through some huge big major stuff lately too that I don’t care to share, and I feel like I could have written most of what you just did… I stepped back and didn’t think about the blog for a few days, then set myself the restriction of four posts a week and I feel there’s some equilibrium there…

    It’s not that I’m keeping secrets, it’s just stuff that stinks, is not my fault, and I can’t do anything about. Nor can my readers, and like another commentator said I generally look to my blogging as a sort of escapism for my readers. It’s not secretive, it’s just not dumping on everyone. And that’s ok.

    But… If you want to share ever, you’ll probably be absolutely amazed and overwhelmed by the warmth your readers show you. 🙂

    I hope you feel better soon. Do what you need to do to feel better, and don’t worry about the blog if that’s not your priority.
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  • Alice 28 May 2012, 11:44 am

    Just after I first started blogging I came up with a list of things I didn’t want to share on my blog, some of them were relatively obvious – I didn’t want to share photos of people I know to protect their privacy, and I won’t talk about anyone I know in a negative light. I’ve always tried to be aware of the fact that anything I put up on the internet is there forever, to be found by any number of people, but sometimes I have personal stuff that I could talk about, but choose not to. I don’t feel like I’m necessarily hiding myself in any way, but I do sometimes feel I’m not giving the full picture of myself. When I start to feel like that though I just reassure myself that my blog is my corner of the internet, and therefore it is up to me exactly what I share with the world.

    I’m sorry real life stuff is stressing you out at the moment, and as I reader I want to tell you that if you ever do decide to share with us then I will support you in whatever is going on, but always remember that this is your blog. It is up to you to decide what you want to share, or even if you want to share. You have no obligation to your readers, if you don’t want to blog then it is your choice to take a break, or to only post pretty pictures, or to do whatever you want. People read your blog because they genuinely like the you that you are portraying, however much or little of the full you that is.

    Alice xo
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  • Elly 28 May 2012, 12:00 pm

    I definitely know this sort of feeling…with me, it generally stems from major work projects. I go through periods where my entire life is focused on a big theatrical production (say, the three weeks this month I just spent in New York City working on a show), it completely consumes any sense of what my life has been like for a period of time, and then…since I’m very careful not to talk much about my work on the blog, there’s kind of nothing I can say. Or rather, anything I can say feels like it’s leaving out a really important aspect of my experience of my life.

    So if you need to take a bit of a break from the blog, or keep your posts light and short, I think that’s absolutely fine! Do what you need to do (do what you want to do…) I hope that things get easier for you soon!
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  • Carina 28 May 2012, 1:57 pm

    Ich habe das in letzter Zeit auf vielen Blogs gelesen, dass vielen Bloggern der Antrieb fehlt ode rsie einfach keinen Spaß mehr haben. Das scheint eine momentane Welle zu sein die durch die Blogwelt schwapppt, keine Ahnung wieso.
    Also mir geht es zum Glück nicht so.
    ich weiß nciht, ob dir das hilft, aber ich persönlich denke einfach gar nciht über sowas nach. es klingt schnöde und dämlich, aber ich schreibe wirklich jedes Mal was mir grade in den Sinn kommt oder schreibe eben kaum etwas oder nichts wenn mir nichts einfällt – ich find das vollkommen okay. Nicht jeder Post muss gehaltvoll und/oder tiefgründig und/oder informativ sein. es ist dein Blog und wenn du z.B. mal Lust hast auf Blödsinn, dann ist das in Ordnung. Genauso ist es in ordnung wenn dir nur nach Bildern und nnciht nach Text ist. Dein Blog spiegelt dich oder zumindest einen Teil von dir wieder, also stecken auch deine Gefühle in jedem Post.
    Ich weiß es ist schwer, aber wie gesagt, ich versuche mir nicht so viele Gedanken um den ganzen Online Hokuspokus zu machen 😉

    Liebe Grüße und – was immer es ist – ich hoffe deine private Situation bessert sich bald! Alles Gute!

    Carina
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  • poet 28 May 2012, 4:12 pm

    Absolutely! I have had times in my life when my blogger personality and my real-life personality were in jarring discord, and it was not pleasant at all. I’ve abandoned blogs and started new ones to get out of such conflicts. But it’s fine to post less because life is taking a priority. I just wish you all the best for whatever is happening!
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  • Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys 28 May 2012, 5:41 pm

    Sorry about the personal things, Franca. WORD, on the rest.
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  • Lorena 28 May 2012, 7:44 pm

    I’ve been there and part of me still is… so i can totally relate.
    For me, I found it therapeutic to have a place in life – this time my blog – in which I could still live a “pretend” life kind of way, it was like a safe haven, so I kept on going.
    It all depends who we approach it .
    WHatever it is I hope it is positive 🙂
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  • Sara 28 May 2012, 8:25 pm

    I can understand how you feel, I have been feeling a disconnect with certain blogs and bloggers. I try my best to just post when I feel is good, and about what I feel is good. If you don’t feel it, then take a break, we will still be here when you get back 🙂
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  • Terri 28 May 2012, 8:34 pm

    I appreciate the mention of my post last week and I found your paragraph on “core” selves interesting. I know that I think of my identity as a sort of collage of overlapping identities. I know that I took a good long hiatus last fall when I was very troubled by something happening in my life.
    The troubling thing is still happening…but I’ve since come to better terms with it. I had noticed the downturn in your interest, but then I expect a sort of rhythm (ups and downs) in everyone’s lives. You’ll be back…and in top form too.
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  • Camelia Crinoline 29 May 2012, 7:37 am

    I loved the bit about blogging not presenting the truth about you but a truth. A lot of the time I feel like the ‘me’ on my blog doesn’t reflect how I am in real life very well. I’m a pretty private person anyway so I rarely speak about my personal life outside of my sewing/crafting/clothing on my blog. I figure that my readers don’t come to my blog to hear about my dramas anyway. I also feel my personality doesn’t translate that well into an online format. I am way more sarcastic and probably not as nice in real life as I am on my blog. Sometimes I feel conflicted about it as if by not presenting my whole self I’m somehow being dishonest but your post really struck me because I don’t think you are being dishonest by not sharing the big things going on in your life at the moment so why shouldn’t I apply that same standard to myself? I think as long as you’re not forcing yourself to post then you should post what you want, whether that be no words and just pictures or whatever.
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  • Dora 29 May 2012, 9:19 pm

    Amor,
    I have felt like you about my blog ,but for me it is when I have periods of my sickness taking over my life or a personal problem. I tend to hey very depressed after my sickness ,but then after that I rise again with full power.
    Also find that talking out your problems in blogland you get loads of positive support and ideas.
    Take your time and relax .
    I hope your okay.
    Besitos

  • Veshoevius 30 May 2012, 6:51 am

    I know the feeling well – and by the looks of the comments so do most people. Take your time and this is your blog – it can be anything you want to! Blogging can be great fun but it can eat into offline life in a big way and there are more important things in life.
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  • Pearl Westwood 31 May 2012, 9:58 pm

    I do, it has happened to me recently where I actually considered stopping blogging. I felt drained – not from the blog but just so much that I didn’t have the energy to do it any more. I didnt have time or energy to read or comment on other blogs either, I just posted bits and bobs still about me but not with any real soul to them. People noticed and my stats plumeted. But after giving my blog and my life some serious considerations I remembered why I had first started blogging and refound my passion for it. I put some hard work into some indepth posts and now am back on track. My life outside my blog is far from perfect and for a while I tried to hide that, when I first wrote a post about how my life was falling to pieces behind the photo perfect blog images people really related to that and it helped me too. I realised I didnt have to be a glossy magazine and in fact that wasnt why people read my blog. So if you need a break take it, just post photos if you want, your blog and your blog friends will still be here xx

  • THE-LOUDMOUTH 8 June 2012, 3:53 am

    Thanks for sharing this post with me! I absolutely know what you mean. I went through a traumatic experience a couple months ago and that’s when my questions about blogging began to surface. I don’t have much advice, because I’m still trying to figure it all out myself — but I can relate, and I hope it makes you feel better to know there are other bloggers (and women) going through similar things. You are never alone! And, I hope you never feel pressured to blog, or to do anything at all that doesn’t feel right. Your readers and friends will understand, and we’re all here for you!
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  • Emily 18 June 2012, 3:12 pm

    Comepletely know what you mean about life sometimes getting in the way of blogging and even frivolous short posts which are easy to fire off, seeming insignificant and pointless. When my grandmother was ill about 18 months ago, I found that blogging the silly and small stuff actually took my mind off things for a very short while. I think you have to find your way through things and see how you feel when you come out the other side. Hope you’re ok. Take care lovely, xx
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