How much do you censor yourself on your blog? I’m sure most of us try to be at least a bit sensitive/pc so we don’t offend, but how much do you censor because of the specific people you know are reading your blog?
As many of you know, we had another meeting of local bloggers over breakfast last weekend. I believe there were close to 30 Ottawa bloggers there, plus a few guests. A good third of those are bloggers I’d never met and then there were quite a few who I had met before who couldn’t make it this time. Plus I had met a few bloggers before the Blogger Breakfasts ever started.
All that to say that over the three Ottawa Bloggers Breakfasts we’ve had, I’ve met quite a few of the people who read my blog and whose blogs I read in return.
So, I’ve been wondering whether or not this has affected my blog in any way. I reckon it must. I make a point not to talk to my family about my blog and only a handful of people at work know about it. Because, if everyone I interact with on a regular basis read my blog on a regular basis, I think that would limit a lot of the stuff I say and/or limit how I say it.
As I’m writing, whether it’s for the blog or otherwise, in the back of my mind are all the people who I know might be reading what I’m writing. So, I’m self-censoring as I go along. This is not good according to all the creative writing experts. You’re supposed to forget about all those people and just write what’s true to whatever piece you’re writing.
Now I’ve been face-to-face with a whole bunch of other people to add to that self-censorship committee. Yes, I knew these people first as bloggers and they’ve read my stuff before, so why would it change now that I’ve met them?
Well, they’ve changed, to me. I have had a concept of them in my head from reading their blogs, but often they are really quite different in real life – surprisingly so sometimes. So now I may comment differently on their blogs and probably do some different things with my blog than I would have had I never met any of them.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I think it’s probably a good thing. Now I’m no longer writing for some abstract online personae, but for real people. I know a little more about what interests them about blogs, what irks them, what they find funny or peculiar. Bloggers face-to-face talk even more and even more openly face-to-face than they do on their blogs.
Probably, meeting bloggers opens up more blogging possiblities than it limits.
I don’t see how having more and more information about the people who are reading your blog could help but affect the content and nature of your blog. I made a comment once on someone’s blog that in many ways it’s the readers who drive the blog more than the blog author. And the longer I do this, the more I think that’s true.