Some days, becoming ‘known’ has it’s benefits. Yesterday was one of those days – coming home to find an advance copy of William Gibson’s next book on the doormat is probably one of the nicer ways man (and Penguin) have ever invented to end what was a fairly shitty day.
But the rare golden moments aside, was it better when Bright Meadow, and Cas, slipped by under the radar with just a handful of readers? Not that I exactly have oodles upon oodles now, but I have more than my fair share.
Along with my treasured readers, it turns out that I have “influence”. I’m not sure how you measure influence but, according to people who should know what they’re talking about, I have it. There’s this trust, apparently, that’s built up between blogger and reader/commenter, which means if I recommend (or conversely trash) something, it’s not totally inconceivable to think you might let my opinions sway your own.
I’d never thought of it like that before. I’m just here, shooting the moon, saying the things I want to say… Never figured I could really turn y’all into my minions just through the words I said. Or that I’d be schmooozed by people oh so nicely so I might be more inclined to say nice things about them/their products.
So where’s the down side?
Free stuff = always cool. Free stuff I enjoy = even better.
But there’s this accompanying nagging feeling that I should then blog about the free product, and I do so hate to be forced to write on certain topics. Then you have the expectations of the readers bearing down on you. This feeling in the back of your mind of “oh crap, I haven’t posted anything in near a week…” Heaven forfend I should miss two Sunday Roast’s in a row – there’d be a riot!
Or the times when I want to write about something that’s happened but I can’t, because now pretty much everyone and their pet cactus reads my blog. I can’t vent about work because people at work have the URL. I can’t blog about crushes overly much because, yup, you guessed it – invariably they’ve somehow finagled the URL out of me or have stalked me to Facebook. There are family things I can’t mention because… You get the picture. I don’t force any one of these people to read Bright Meadow and 99% of the time I love that they read it, comment and participate because for better or worse it’s a huge part of my life, but there’s that 1% of the time I just want to let of steam and I can’t.
I thought about starting an anonymous blog but I realised I like having readers too much. To be not known now after I’m starting to take baby steps toward getting there… Shudder time. I can bury some of my rants and frustrations in the fiction I occasionally spew out, but people are starting to work out THAT code too.
For sure, no one is forcing me to put these words on the Internet. I could trap them up inside a journal or in a text file on my hard-drive, but it’s true a problem shared is a problem made smaller. And not just problems. Some truly fantastic things happen in my life that make me laugh out loud for the sheer absurdity of them – yet I can’t write them and share them with you, dear blog readers, because they involve other blog readers who I would never want to hurt in any way with my words.
I could just write and post regardless, I suppose, telling myself I don’t care what you all think, that if you don’t want to read it you can leave, but that’s not me. I try never to intentionally hurt people. If there’s an argument, I tend to just step away. It’s a curse, but I’m the one with the “nice personality”. I’d far rather sit on some story than post it and cause pain. The more people I get to know though, the more stories there are that I have to sit on.
And let’s not forget the truly odd feeling you get the first time you walk into a bar full of strangers, only to be hailed by cries of “Cas!” and “we’ve all be reading your blog – it’s great!” As I said, odd, and not just because I haven’t been called Cas to my face since Ti and I last spent a summer on the beach. The mild confusion over names aside (which get more hilarious when all parties concerned are well lubricated on alcohol, trust me) it’s the sheer stalker-heaven that is blogging which has hit me in the last week or so. “I’ve been following your progress on Twitter” and “recognised you from your hairstyle on Facebook” are two comments that are brought forcibly to mind. Along with “yes, we’re all going to be reading your blog…” said to me more than once by people I’ve grown to love and respect.
All things designed to make one shy country lass want to hide under her duvet and never blog again.
OK, I lied. I love it. I was always the quiet one at school, the one no one remembered. To know that my words in some small way stick in people’s brains? That’s just the best feeling in the world.
But sometimes I think it would be nice to go back to how it was before Bright Meadow took up so much of my life. To when I could rant about the Cute Canadian and not have to worry if he was reading. Or when I could tell verbatim what happened down the pub. When Neko turned to me the other week and said “You’re going to blog about this, aren’t you?” I realised quite how far into my life it’s all gone (and how blessed I am to have people around me who understand) and then I realised that, actually no, I couldn’t blog about it for assorted reasons. And that sucked.
For about ten seconds till she poured me another glass of wine and the vampire stories started up again.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this: this blog isn’t all of me. I would that it were, but the closer it gets to a real reflection of my life, there more I’m going to not be able to say. Some things just aren’t bloggable for whatever reason. Which is sad when I’ve set out to write but life, but then that’s the way it’s supposed to be. If you knew everything about me from my blog, we’d have nothing to talk about when we met up. Just think how boring the conversation would be then.
Just forgive me if I go a bit into hermit mode on occasion, please. I’m just having a personal moment of stage fright 😉