Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It Has Been Thirteen Years Since My Last Holy Confession...

Holy or not, I think it's time for a confession here, in this space. I've had some trouble deciding exactly who I want to be and how I want to present myself to you people (the world), and I doubt I'm alone. So, in the interest of full disclosure, I'll share the letter I wrote to my professor last night, detailing my struggle with this blog.

Dear Professor Nester,

I admit that before this class, blogging was just another word for venting any and all of my feelings (which probably should have been kept to myself) to the entire freaking world via Myspace. Yeah. I had a myspace blog and I knew how to use it. So during my angst-y teenage years, the whole world was exposed to The Volatile and Somewhat Insane Ranting of One More Heartbroken Teenaged Girl, and that’s what blogging meant to me. An open diary of way too much information. Which is ironic because I was always trying to hide that information from my mother (oh well).

Anyway, I admit that it was and is hard for me to draw a line with a professional blog, between TMI in a good way and TMI in a crazy, scary I-will-never-get-a-job way. But it seems like I’ve been getting closer to figuring out how exactly to strike that balance, though I’m still bumbling a little bit. I like the posts I’ve been working on and putting up, even though it’s sort of like flying blind in some cases because I’m not entirely comfortable with this yet, I think I can say I’m heading in the right direction.

We’ve talked about my technical problems and I know I need to pay closer attention to grammar and punctuation, as well as do some work on the overarching style of my writing, but I think that’s developing pretty nicely. I haven’t been as vocal and present in this class as I was last semester in your Creative Nonfiction class, mostly because I’m not as sure of myself in this area as I was in that one. Writing long pieces about things that should embarrass any normal person and putting them out to be judged by a group of people I barely knew was fun for me. None of the people in that class were going to drag out a manuscript in a few years and tell me I can’t have a job because of it. I was comfortable because I had no limits. I could talk about underage drinking and blowing stuff up and my inability to hold onto a roommate, all personal problems of varying degrees of severity, and feel totally comfortable knowing that it wasn’t the sole way I was going to present myself to the world.

And that’s what makes this so difficult to me. The people that read my blog don’t know me in real life. They may very well hold a job over my head someday. And I find it difficult to present to them a legitimate representation of me, as a person and as a writer, because my interests are so scattered. I’m all crazy and zany but I’m professional and serious too, and especially in a place where my personal life meets something professional, that’s hard to reconcile. I don’t want to be uptight and I don’t want to be insane. And I’m still struggling with that.

That said, I think if/when I figure out that balance, it’ll be beautiful. I mean, really, if I can actually legitimize my personal/professional balance online and make a site about me, the definite collection, then that would be dynamite. I could expand on it, show it to people and use it to introduce myself, and maybe I could make it something more than the sum of its parts. A launching pad for a career, instead of something to hide lest it be destroyed. That would be wild. It still seems a long way off, though.

I know I need to do some more building on this project and I know that I need some more guidance to do it, which is why for potentially the first time in my entire academic career (including preschool) I’ll say that I’m hoping for structure as the semester goes on. Not fascism, but an outline, inspiration, guiding light type of thing. Because at this point, left to my own devices, I would probably sit dumbly at the computer screen with my mouth hanging open because I don’t quite have my footing yet. I mean, I wouldn’t sit like that all day; I’d figure it out in a little while. But until I know that I can fire off posts in my sleep, I like the idea of having a little more structure, a template to base things off of so I can keep this going the way it needs to go.

So that's where I stand, the whole story. Thanks for listening.




  1. You pasted it in from Word, didn't you? Be a good blogger student and paste it into Notepad first, will you?

  2. No! From Google Docs. But I fixed it.