In her blog post A Blogger's Challenge: Privacy Vs. Authenticity, Mitali Perkins raises the question of how bloggers (her examples are all authors, but the question could apply to any blogger) balance an authentic voice with privacy. Can they be authentic and genuine without writing about all aspects of their lives?
Well, I think Mitali's question is an interesting one, and I've been dwelling on it since I read her post last night. (Not that it kept me up or anything.) I've recalled how I've noticed that many people become their work. We've known an engineer for many years. Engineering is absolutely a huge part of his identity and has an influence on all his interests. We know musicians who have worked, part-time, as musicians all their adult lives while supporting themselves and their families with day jobs. They are musicians--their lives are built around rehearsals, performances, attending musical events. Their lifestyle had a huge--and positive--impact on how they raised their children.
Over the years, I have become a writer. I think it informs and is connected to nearly everything I do. When you read this blog you really are getting an authentic view of my life because a great deal of my life is thinking about writing--what I'm writing now, what I could write about in the future, what other people have written. If I were to talk here about my children, my TV viewing, my shopping trips, what I make for dinner, you might be getting a less authentic voice, because I would be trying to isolate those portions of my life in order to say, Look, I have kids! I watch TV! I go shopping! Or you would be getting still more writing talk because my kids are a big part of my writing life, I analyze plots and characterization while I'm watching TV, and while I'm shopping I get ideas for stories that I sometimes forget about because I don't write them down or, if I remember that I have a notebook in my purse, I write them down and find them months and months later.
See, I just blogged about shopping and it turned into blogging about writing.
So, my long, drawn out point is that while people may choose to blog about whatever they like, at least in the case of writers, I don't believe we need to blog about anything but writing in order to be authentic.