Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Sunday Life: This Blogging Life

Hello all. It’s been several days. I’ve been feeling flogged lately by Real Life so today’s query is personal. It reflects part of my drama. Today’s query:

How much of you blog persona is production and how much is reality? Did you create your online life with the intention of creating a safe, comfortable space albeit of personal drama or did you want to journal it all the entertaining and the naughty bits? Regardless of you what you had intended, if you assessed your online persona, what does it say about you? How much is omitted? How much is revealed?

A lot has been going on in my personal life, issues building up: adjusting to raising a teenager full-time, once more working a job to pay the rent when what I really want is to convert my passion into a full-time career and wrestling my disappointment about what I haven’t done with my life. Not the idyllic post I'd rather be writing for a Sunday morning. I’ve got crap to work through, and I’m going to be writing because talking (writing) is how I process. Some of that processing will show up at Black-Eyed Susan’s and there are going to be times when there is less going on online because I’m trying to change my real world, that space I can’t edit with a backspace and swapped words.

Today's query is inspired by an essay I read at This So-Called Post-Post-Racial Life at the beginning of the year about egocasting, about the personas we manufacture. PPR_sribe’s essay has been orbiting my psycho sphere since I read it. It speaks to a dilemma I don’t know how fix. It’s my hamster wheel:

Even if I reveal my frustrations and errors, I can wait to craft a post until I have successfully overcome and corrected them. Even if I reveal my shortcomings, I can spin them in such a way that procrastination appears to be reflection, lack of divergent thinking becomes focus, pathological preservation becomes dedication.

I can be a product of my own production.

I want to stop spinning though production is not all bad. I hope you do read the complete post at TSCPPRL because her conclusion is positive.

Today, I’m too drained to polish my blog persona. I’m not feeling up to waxing anything poetic. I want creativity and connection online and off-line. I want reconciliation and my own space. I want to be able to love my family without feeling I have to choose between their needs and mine. I want to end the tug-of-war. I want a life that makes sense.


Carleen Brice said...

I feel you on many levels. Sorry you're going through the mill right now.

To answer your query, sometimes I purposely try to present a much better (more successful, happier, smarter, funnier, kinder) version of myself on my blogs. Sometimes I'm thinking of my public persona and my image as an author. Sometimes, I am just myself and I overshare or I'm boring or self-involved or whatever. I don't have an answer about which is better. Just want to say I feel you.

susan said...

Thanks, Carleen.

I'm glad you're here.

Mama C said...

Is it ever good to see you back here. As always you put something out there in your way which is by it's very nature poetic.

You are a catalyst for change in my life. If you could see the pile of books by my bedside table right now you'd be smiling wide. Or if you were at my public library in Maine as I am looking at Color Online with the librarian to help me find the title I forgot..

So just adding to the discourse the persona you are putting out there is an entity out in the ether doing her own work as an extension of you.

I will read the piece you suggested. I am sure it will rock me too. I don't know if I am ready.

You are a visionary.

susan said...


Your post has me smiling and wanting to cry.

Thank you.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I'm with these others. You're doing your passionate life, even if you aren't always aware of it! :--)

Michelle (su[shu]) said...

I think starting blogging, I didn't set out to create any alter-ego. It was more like, projecting that part of myself that I normally would project anyway when I'm meeting someone for the first time. I don't hide things about myself, but then again, there isn't any real obligation to reveal everything. Sometimes I may get passionate and personal, but I tend to think that if you've been reading my blog long enough, it's like developing a relationship. You'd know some of my do's and don't's, what makes me tick. I tend to think that no matter how we try to hide it, our writing does in some way, give us away.

I don't know much about you personally, nor do I know what exactly is going on with your family. But I do hope that everything works out for the best. Sending you some love and *hugs*.

Karen Strong said...

This is an interesting question about online personas. And I definitely feel you on the need to work a job to pay bills when you would rather just lead a passionate, authentic life.

My blog is less than a year old and I've recently joined Twitter. For me, I've always tried to draw the line between real life and cyber life. I do think the two personas are consistent just that the cyber one is not as open and personal (but that could be a subjective view).

I try to limit my online persona to writing and the craft and how I try to balance it with "adult" responsibilities.

On the other hand, I've witnessed some online personas who try really hard to project a certain image--and I often wonder how authentic it really is in real life.

Hope you do find your balance. I love reading your words. I feel your authenticity and your passion for the work you do in your online persona.

Mardel said...

I don't think that any of our lives make complete sense. At least not all the time. Even strong persons, like you most likely are, have moments where they feel like stopping, or putting everything on hold. There have been times when I had to hold my family together. Now I'm older and when I think I should be enjoying life, my health goes to hell. Such is life. We all do what we can, when we can and most people try to show less turmoil on the outside than we really feel.

I can't speak about a blog persona, because my blog is fairly simple (that's really all I can manage now) all I do is write about books I liked, the occasional contest and once in a while something that really strikes a chord.

I really respect your blog and all the hard work you must put into it. You might have to make your own space (even if it's only in your head) but I hope you feel more connected, or that your life makes sense. It does, just might not be the type of sense you think it should make.

PPR_Scribe said...

First, my thoughts go out to you as you deal with the issues you alluded to in your post. I feel you on many levels--and have been taking something of a blog break myself lately.

Second, thanks for the link. Glad my words struck a chord. For me, part of my dilemma with on-line presentation is respecting those in my off-line life who choose not to be public about their lives on-line. So much of my life is tied into my relationships with others, and those are the things that would really make for "good" blog reading. But I am (or try to be) respectful of others, especially since I am not really anonymous on-line.

That stifles my on-line "voice" somewhat. But I'd prefer it to the alternative.

thestonebow said...

You are doing phenomenal things here. Believe in them, and in yourself. Balancing self and family and work and passion is hard; trust that you are doing better than you think you are.

Rainer Maria Rilke, from "Letters To A Young Poet": "Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day."

Wishing you luck, love, and patience.

Jessie Carty said...

i often wonder if i am the same person online as i am in person, but given that most people aren't the same person around even other people (we all behave differently based on who we are around) then of course there is a certain amount of a persona. I just strive to be as true to myself as I feel possible :)