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How Personal & Vulnerable are You in Your Writing?

Are writers exposing too much personal information on blogs, twitter, and facebook? In this cyber information age, where are the personal boundaries and how much is too much?

Last week, literary agent Nathan Bransford had a post that addressed this issue. How much does the modern author have to share on the Internet to gain an audience? Is there a way to balance Internet presence with privacy?

I thought it was an interesting but ironic question. On the one hand, I do agree that many of us are sharing much more personal information than was ever possible in the past. On twitter I can see that my favorite author ate ten hot dogs for dinner then later went out and walked Pooky the poodle in the pouring rain.

Many authors are using social-networking to promote themselves and their books. And of course such networking easily lends itself to quick bursts of information about what we’re doing, eating, or thinking that often go beyond the bounds of our writing.

But writers aren’t the only ones divulging personal information. Everyone is. The deluge is a product of the new era of cyber communication. So, perhaps the question shouldn’t be are writers exposing too much, but is the population in general crossing too many personal boundaries?

What I find ironic about the privacy question, however, is that regardless of how much of ourselves we expose in cyberland, by nature as writers we’re already pouring out our deepest, most intimate thoughts into our writing. In other words, our books disclose much more about us than we share in short bursts on Twitter and Facebook, or even on our blogs.

When we write, whether fiction or non, we open ourselves up and spill out our most intimate thoughts on paper. The creation of our stories, the essence of our characters, the heart and soul of our words—we bare it all. We expose ourselves to the world.

Writing IS personal. Even if we try to hold back the true details of our real lives, our books usually reveal a great deal about us, particularly our passion. I would go so far as to say, writers who don’t infuse the very depths of who they are into their writing often produce flat, lifeless stories.

And because writing is personal, writers have to be vulnerable. When I visited my publishing house a couple of weeks ago, a number of staff told me they’d read my book. I had a weird feeling, like they’d gotten a glimpse into the inner workings of who I really was. What did they think? Did they like what they saw?

I experienced a new kind of vulnerability because I’d exposed myself through my writing to my publishing house. And in a few months when my book is out, I’ll really be going public. For better or worse, the whole world gets to take a peek into my inner world. If that’s not personal, I don’t know what is.

Yes, it’s a scary feeling. Anytime we’re vulnerable we risk hurt, rejection, and misunderstanding. But think of what we sacrifice if we’re not vulnerable: the true joy that comes from getting beyond the surface and relating on a real and deep level.

What do you think? Do you set personal boundaries for what you share on the internet? And do you think a writer can ever truly remain private?

*Part 1 in the series Writer Emotions: Vulnerability

58 comments:

  1. Good morning! Yes, I have some personal boundaries believe it or not but then they are because of a stalking incident years ago in my life. But I do share probably more than most because that's who I am:)

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  2. Well, being that I write memoir, yeah, I'd say my writing is pretty personal! :) I bare my heart in that book. But I do it with a purpose and a plan. My blog is pretty personal too, but also vague. People can read into it what they will. I have never come straight out with really personal and private stuff. But I have written about my kids and husband. But there is nothing in my posts I wouldn't happily share with anyone. I am careful about that. Some family read my blog. And plenty of my friends read it too. Not only that, but there is a limit to how much I want to be known, memoir or no memoir :)

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  3. I just finished reading Thin Places by Mary DeMuth and one of the reasons that book is SO SO SO powerful is because she went so deep. She went to those dark, personal places that we tend to avoid and she shared them from thsi honest, vulnerable place. And wow, that book is A-MAZ-ING!

    As for blogging and all that, I'm a pretty open person. I'm not very private. I have a picture of my husban and my son on my blog. I use their names. I don't keep those things private. That's just not me. I'm comfortable doing those things. Others aren't at all. So I think it's an individual thing.

    As for our writing - you are spot on, my friend. My stories are like a glimspe into my heart, a peek into the inner workings of my soul. Very, very personal.

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  4. I agree with Katie. I'm a bit of an open book (I although I did complain about being home alone one day on twitter, then thought better of it five minutes later when my weird brain started hearing pretend noises and my imagination began wondering when the dude was going to come slaughter me...)

    But besides that... I am who I am. I don't fear for safety reasons. God keeps me safe and goodness, I met my hubby in a chatroom, gave him my address, picked him up at the airport by myself when he came to visit... Maybe I'm just a daredevil:-)

    Everyone will have different levels of comfort about what they put on the Internet, and that is totally okay and a personal choice.

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  5. I write fantasy and relish the facade. Being so shy, I can't imagine I'll ever expose too much.

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  6. Interesting point of view, Jody. I always held that you could tell a lot about an author by what he/she wrote. Yet I've had many writers and would/be writers protest that I'm jumping to conclusions when I try to draw a correlation between something they wrote, and what they personally believe. Many have said, "Remember that this is a work of fiction. Just because my character does this, doesn't mean that's what I think."

    Sometimes I believed them...and other times I wondered...

    ~ Betsy

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  7. I try to put some boundary on myself. It is hard--even in writing fiction I still feel as though I write myself into some of the characters. As for all these internet sites--I try to stick to just the basics. I have not tried Twitter yet--maybe in the future. I am on Facebook and of course the blogging thing which does take up a lot of time. I was very hesitant on blogging but I have really enjoyed meeting others who have the same interests and are extremely supportive.
    Great post!

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  8. Great post. Yes, I think sometimes the population at large is being to open- however, I know that when I follow (on Twitter/blog) a favorite singing or writer, I like hearing what they ate for dinner and that they walked their dog in the rain, or that their kids had them up all night because they were sick. I think I like this because it makes them "normal" to me, I can take them off this "celebrity" image I had of them. It makes them more real. I know that sounds weird. This is why I blog or tweet about personal info such as this. So, when one day someone is following me because I'm there favorite author, I'll seem real and normal to them. However, I do have one personal rule for myself- although I do mention my kids from time to time, I don't ever use their names, or my husbands. I also don't post pictures of them either.
    I agree that as writers we are already putting ourselves out there. I don't think that will ever change. This is the number one reason why I haven't allowed anyone who knows me, friends/family, read my work. I need to get over that though.

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  9. The real me comes through in my writing...and I think that's a good thing because it separates me from other writers...it becomes my style.

    I like to know other writers...not just what they write...but who they are. I enjoy the connection...the blogger family...but I think whatever we decide to share it should be done in good taste.

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  10. You know I have to tell you, I struggle with all this self promotion. Unlike you I have nothing to promote and on a day like today I felt it. Over the weekend (when I write my Monday sometimes Wed and Fri post) I had nothing in me about writing, queries, agents, or anything that might even slightly resemble a writing post. INstead I shared a silly but true story. Maybe people may not like it but it's a window into my world. Sometimes it all gets so exhausting.

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  11. I do keep boundaries on what I tell or share on the Internet. Bascially when it comes ot my family.
    I just joined FB and one of my friends who does a lot of personal web stuff for QVC has to work with Facebook a lot. He told me set up a fan page or do not post any pictures of your children. He told me you would be surprised how fans can get obsessed with your kids. Scary stuff. But it pays to be smart.

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  12. I think it is important to be careful in what you post about your personal life for the reasons people have already mention. But blogs are meant to be personal, right? I think there needs to be a balance between sharing who you are inside and details about yourself.

    Writing is personal, but not necessarily insight. Writers, creative people, tend to be extremely empathic and it’s important not to confuse the writing and the writer.

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  13. HA! This post comes on the same day I post something about my first kiss and learning about a family member with cancer. :D

    I've lived my life as an open book. I'm careful with certain topics and always will be. I hope to live transparently though.

    I think there is a lot of personal stuff being dished out on social networks that doesn't benefit the reader in any way. When I reveal stuff I do it in hopes that people see that God is still molding me into His image and I'm not shy about saying...I have a long way to go.

    ~ Wendy

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  14. Like Tabitha, I write memoir, so it is extremely personal. But I choose what parts of my person I share and what I keep to myself. Truth be told, there isn't much I've hidden from anyone, though. I'm pretty much an open book.
    Karen

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  15. Yes, our work has to be translucent to reach people, to let them in. But it seems important to make a distinction between putting it all out there, and carefully choosing what, and how, we do so. Discretion, professionalism and respect take our work a long way.

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  16. I'm pretty open and share pictures of my family...no names, though it wouldn't take much to figure it all out, I'm sure. lol

    I've thought about how deep we go as writers and it has made me wrestle with an idea I've had for a contemporary book, because it is based on some real life stuff. How much DO I want to share? Could I really go deep enough to make the story good? I've got lots of praying going on about that. :)

    Great post, Jody!

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  17. I think what you share depends on who you are, and why you are sharing it. On any given day, I might be feeling a little more reflective and that might come across in my blog post, on another day I might be more focused on content. I do think it's important to be respectful of others while at the same time remaining true to yourself.

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  18. I love vunderable authors because I'm a relational person. Being close with several published authors, I find I enjoy their books even more becuase I can see their personality coming through their characters etc.

    On the flip side, now that I have a newborn (wow- how's that for keeping my life private?) I find I tend to be far more cautious about posting pictures and such. I had some on my blog but took them off after I found out my birth family (I was adopted) was looking for me. I'm not ready for that yet, and didn't feel like sharing my daughter with people who may feel they have some familial claim to her. (I know - again, I'm spilling my vunerability on your blog ... so much for being super private!) :)

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  19. This is a great question. It's particularly pertinent for me because I am writing nonfiction, in which I share from my own life to encourage others. I decided, before I began writing, that I would be an open book -- that this would be part of my love-offering to the Lord. I would trust him to keep me and take care of me in the midst of it.

    It's not easy to be vulnerable. I expect some heat. I expect it to hurt sometimes. But if I suffer, I know why I am suffering and for whom.

    At the same time, this is MY commitment, not someone else's. I am careful not to share anything that will be hard on someone who else close to me. I do not expose them. Not ever. I also do not disclose information that might put my family in danger -- such as specific dates when I am away from home or personal purchases. I am careful to cloak these things in some obscurity.

    My private life with my husband and my family still needs to feel private to them. I have done a lot of editing to change my words so that they share my life with readers but so that they also protect it. And ultimately, there are things that should never be shared with the public. They should be held close to the heart, sacred.

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  20. I liken this conversation to a guy hesitant to see a female doctor. She tells him he doesn't have anything she hasn't already seen, a thousand times over.

    I don't think I'm going to shock anyone with my boring life, at least boring to most people. Pretty much everyone now posts pictures of their kids and their house and such. So i'm not too concerned.

    There is much of me in my protagonist and my antagonist. Its how I developed them.

    Stephen Tremp

    Stephen Tremp

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  21. The intensely personal stuff stays with me. The mundane personal stuff - cleaning the house, cooking a fabulous dinner, going out for margaritas - gets shared for all the Universe to see.

    As for my writing, well how personal I get depends on what I'm writing about, but more and more lately the writing is hitting far too close to home. Then again, who is truly going to know for sure?

    I mean, is Janet Evanovich truly Stephanie Plum? Are the events with Grandma Mazur fact or fiction? Did Janet's mom secretly keep alcohol in the pantry? Or, is this all the stuff of an active imagination?

    Well, only the author knows for sure . . . unless they put it all in a memoir someday.

    As for me . . .

    S

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  22. I like to think I have some sort of radar or inner voice that tells me when I'm about to be a little too personal on Twitter or Facebook.

    As far as our writing. Although i hope that someday many people read what I've written, the thought terifies me at the same time!

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  23. In my day-to-day life I'm a very private person. On my blog I'll openly share my opinions and ideas but rarely would I ever expose tender spots or discuss painful past experiences. On the other hand, my novel writing allows me more freedom because, while there is always a little of ourselves in our characters, I expect readers to separate my life as the author from the lives of my characters. Perhaps as I gain more public exposure I'll also gain confidence, but for now I definitely have boundaries.

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  24. Just to clarify, I don't think that we necessarily reveal deep dark secrets when we write. We can and possibly do. But that's not really my point. Fiction is after all, fiction. The plots, characters, etc. in my books are a figment of my imagination. They're not friends or relatives in disguse, or things I experienced in my past.

    However, anything we birth, whether memoir, fiction, or non-fiction is OUR creation, and it is essentially a piece of ourselves. In my opinion, that's like opening up our hearts, and letting the reader get a glimpse inside us. That's personal.

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  25. I am having a large struggle with this today. Funny that you posted about something similar. Well very different. But our minds were in the same place :)

    Great post!

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  26. The boundaries are definitely there but sometimes, I allow the boudary lines to blur and I fear I forget myself when I should be on guard. My attention to fogginess needs a reboot sometimes.

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  27. "...I had a weird feeling, like they’d gotten a glimpse into the inner workings of who I really was. What did they think? Did they like what they saw?..."

    I think that's one reason I'm worried about what people will think of my work, that it is a reflection of who I am and how I think.

    I do think some people share a lot more than I would, but I'm not generally a very social person. I understand that some people are, so I try not to read things into others' personal antecdotes, I try to just accept them as the results of people who are more open than I am.

    I'm actually trying to open up a little more, using my real name for instance, is something I just started doing a few months ago, before that there was four or five people on the whole internet, who I didn't know in person, who knew my name. =3 I'm just not comfortable with scores of random people knowing personal information about me. Call me strange. =P

    I don't know, I guess that means I shouldn't have too strong of an opinion on the subject, as it's something new to me, basically.

    I don't have preconceived boundaries, but I define them as they apply. I'm more likely to share typical/everyday type stuff that people all go through. Cooking, eating and the like, and I don't get specific about people in my life. The only other thing I will talk about, especially if someone shows interest, or can relate, is my rheumatoid arthritis.

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  28. Feel for Terri, who went through a stalker incident. THAT would make boundaries be set!

    I let the Holy Spirit guide me but did ask my family if they wanted to be blog subjects. Surprisingly, they were fine with it!! And the dog named Laura has turned out to be a ham!

    Blessings,
    Patti

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  29. Something my son told me has helped keep me out of trouble more than once: "It's too easy to be a jerk on the internet."

    I do think we as a society lack descretion. We are nosey, and we enjoy being shocked. Is this not an addiction to the wrong kind of excitement? Present company excluded, of course.

    I try to be candid without embarassing myself or others too much. I want the Lord to be honored in my writing, even though I discuss personal issues.

    Thanks for addressing this hot topic, Jody.

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  30. Whew! Hot topic, Jody.

    I'm pretty open, but there is a limit. When I look at my blog stats, I realize anyone in the world can access it.

    Facebook is another area where I'm careful who I friend. I try to read about them before sending or accepting that invitation.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  31. This is a tough one! I'm definitely more reserved on social networks. I do not discuss my family, and I'm very careful about posting pictures. But I'm an open person and enjoy sharing my writing life with anyone!

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  32. Jody, I'm not inclined to share drafts of my work on my blog like some writers are. I think we need to keep some things close to our hearts until the time is right. We can share drafts with our first readers -- there are other ways of getting the feedback we need. This is a really thought-provoking post, and so much of what you say here is true. One of my author friends who wrote a very revealing memoir about her struggle with eating disorders says she still gets creeped out when people tell her how much they enjoyed her book because she sometimes forgets, oh yeah, people have read about my life. Which brings me back to the point you've addressed here earlier: we write first for ourselves. We write because we have an intense desire to do so. And we write secondly for our audience, and sometimes we forget that they really ARE paying attention. I also think this explains why people feel such a connection to authors they enjoy. They feel as if they know those people. And since we are exposing pieces of our soul in writing, they really DO. But we still reserve some of the details for our personal lives, and that's as it should be. Always love your thoughts...

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  33. I try to give myself limits to what details of my life I choose to share. There are some things like facebook that I leave just for my own fun and leave this "business" out of it. I think boundaries are important for authors and everyone

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  34. oh, the personal boundries are hard as an essay writer! Non-fiction is hard :) In fact, I just sold an essay this week in which I make a comment about my daughter being shoeless and how I know my MIL will notice. I hope she isn't mad when she reads it!
    I've been thinking of you a lot this week as I have been praying about God's will for my writing. You are a great witness to writing for HIM. Thank you for that wonderful example.

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  35. i think it is important for an author to be accessible. BUt there is a fine line.

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  36. I do set personal boundaries online. I try to remember that my blog can be read by anyone, so I don't put anything on there I wouldn't want a future employer/agent/publisher/reader reading. So I share myself and am open and honest, but I try not to cross any TMI lines. :)

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  37. I do think fiction exposes a writer. I feel nervous about someday being published and family members/friends reading my work. Yes, it's fiction. The characters are not me or anyone else. They're themselves. And yet, within the fiction there are themes and beliefs of mine...I don't know. It just feels like it does expose me. What a great question.
    As for the internet, I don't really like to put too many family pics up, though I do sometimes. Also, I like what Roni said.
    Awesome post Jody. :-)

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  38. Parts of me are hidden in many parts of all my stories. I'm okay with that. I'm pretty much an open book without pushing the TMI envelope.

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  39. Jody, this is so great. I was just thinking last night about vulnerability and considered doing a post about it in the future. You captured so much of what I was thinking.

    I think our culture as a whole shares too much of itself. Most of that has to do with the celebrity worship of our lifestyles. We're obsessed with what famous people are doing... and it's trickling down to even us "little" people. It's becoming easier and easier to reveal more of ourselves. In social networking, that's difficult. In writing--I agree with what you said about those who don't write with passion produce flat, lifeless stories. I was just thinking last night about the depth we put in our characters and where that comes from. Thanks for tackling this topic!

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  40. This is such a great topic. With the passage of time we'll see if all this self-disclosure is a good thing or just too much.

    I try to be authentic, honest and vulnerable in all I write. The reality that helps me censor the TMI button is that my parents AND my in-laws read my blog! This thought is ever-present in the back of my mind.

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  41. I think it's funny that one commenter on Nathan's post wrote about when a writer goes too far on social media and ends up as a "noisy neighbor" rather than an "elegant master of words."

    I'm not too keen on the whole "elegant master of words" persona for writers. When I have seen that type of personality projected by writers, the "master" part tends to be accompanied by an ego.

    In my view, no matter how good I get at writing or how old and wizened I am, I will never be a master. I'm just a follower, and if I ever I forget that, the whole thing would be pointless.

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  42. A popular blogger, Rima, recently posted this,
    "I have agonized over how to write, how to be true and yet hidden..."

    I think that is the challenge writers have. To continue to give all we have in our written words, and yet find a way to be hidden, too, somehow. A tightrope walk, it seems...

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  43. I do not expose as much of me as I did. Some of that is because my mother is now on the Internet *grin*, and I also feel I do not want to bore people with my daily doings.
    I am thankful to Twitter as I found supportive writing friends, such as yourself via the tweets.

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  44. I am a very private person so I share with measure. But I wonder if there is such a thing as privacy anymore with all of the social networks and Internet searches.

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  45. Jody, this rings so true. If nothing else, our books are personal and I think that might be why some writers take criticism of our written words so hard.

    As far as holding back some in cyber land, I guess I do to an extent to honour my family's right to privacy.

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  46. Whew, this is a bobcat of a topic, one I have struggled with on my blog, in my mind and in my own writing.

    I tend to "tell most" whether through exposition, fiction or poetry. But because it all gets jumbled, I tell people never assume my creative writing reflects an absolute truth. And to my dear friends and family--PLEASE don't think 'it's all about you.' If you want to know what it's about, ASK ME.

    The things I don't share? Gorey details that bring more pain than healing. For example, I have written about being raped and assaulted by an Internet whacko. I have written about being wrongly and over-medicated by a psychiatrist. However, I will not discuss the details of my traumatic encounter, nor will I reveal the name of the doctor.

    My boundaries are formed from my beliefs about what is healthy and productive and what is not. For example, it is generally not healthy for me to delve into descriptives that will bring me back to that dark place I have worked so hard to escape. And it is not productive (nor is it just) to name, and thus bring down, a very kind doctor who made a mistake--a serious mistake, but, alas, a mistake.

    What is most important is WHY we share our stories, directly through prose or indirectly through fiction and poetry.

    For me, it's important for people to know that crime is alive and well on the Internet; that mental illness and the mentally ill are largely misunderstood; that good mental healthcare is as essential as any other kind of healthcare; and that writing can be a venue through which we not only share stories of ourselves and our perceptions of the world, but one that can help us become a healthier, more intimate society.

    Setting up boundaries means we must make rules for ourselves. For me, that means deciding whether the writing will, in the long run, be more helpful or hurtful to individuals and to me. This can be a tough call, but it's something we must consider, especially if we are writing about those we love.

    If what I write is ONLY going to hurt or destroy, then perhaps that is the writing that is best put on paper and later burnt in the fireplace.

    Or perhaps, that is the writing not yet finished, the writing that cannot be completed until something more is learned, something that really SHOULD be shared with the world.

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  47. Yes. It's personal and real and deep. That's how and why people connect to us. How they (and we) make sense of the world and our emotions and relationships. Thanks for daring to expose yourself!

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  48. Your post tipped me over the edge, I'm blogging about this today!

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  49. I share a lot of personal things on my blog (and twitter). I think it's kind of a requirement for blogging (and writing). I do try to keep my kids names and pictures off my blog though. And I don't talk about where I'm from. I need a little bit of privacy.

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  50. I think everyone's different. Some of us need/want more privacy than others.

    I've been writing forever, but I started blogging for a completely different reason. It's a personal outlet for me, a way to connect with the outside world. If it's helping me build a platform as a writer, that's fantastic, but that's not why I started blogging. So while I might reveal a bit too much once in awhile, my blog is the place in my writing where I am completely me.

    Although, I also totally agree that our books and our stories do contain our deepest thoughts and secrets. For some reason, it's scarier sharing those than it is to blog about how I spent my weekend.

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  51. You've made me really think with this! I think it is important to guard some things - whether online or in a book or in a speech - to protect privacy because of the risk of stalkers and identity fraud and those sorts of things. I think you also have to be careful what you share when it involves someone besides yourself. You might not mind details being spilled, but would another person involved want the story told?

    Having said that, I have developed into a big fan of being as open as possible about most everything. I grew up around a generation of people who subscribed to the "don't tell and it never happened" way of life. Once I met people who were willing to share deeply personal things - even if it meant taking a vulnerable risk - I found I was able to grow through what I learned from them. My writing is about sharing what I've learned on the journey in hopes it will help someone else.

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  52. Yes. No pics of my children and I don't call them or Hubby by name.

    I never say I'm going to be out of town--until after I've come back and I talk about where I've been.

    I agree writing is personal but in a different kind of way than exposing everything one says and does minute by minute for public consumption.

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  53. I began FB as a personal site for I and my friends and maybe some of my writers groups or favorite groups, but certainly it is not a part of my marketing. Reluctantly, I stole over into Twitter. What do you write for 140characters or less that doesn't put your readers to sleep? Then, I opened up several other social networking that aren't active. They are simply an inactive profile. FB remains private. I've had to turn down several people and other writers because I chose to keep a little part of cyberspace to me. Twitter and blogging is an opportunity to make a difference. So many people live on social networking. I do long for the days when we had to actually write a letter to talk to someone. Households were definitley a lot quieter without the electronic hum.

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  54. What a great post, Jody. I found it so strange, after my book came out, that acquaintances would pull me aside and start telling me intimate stories; since they now "knew" me so well from my book, they figured I knew them, too. It was a very strange feeling. Reminded me of actors who I've heard say the same thing, that because they appear on your TV in your living room you feel like you know them; but they don't know you! Very thought-provoking post, and I'm interested in going back and seeing what the rest of your commenters have to say.

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  55. What someone "knows" about you from a book you wrote, and what they know about you from rl info posted on blogs and social-networking sites are two very different kinds of knowledge. I know that “putting yourself into your book” is a big part of the writer mythos, but the kind of material that goes into a book is much more segmented than what you’re going to see on most people’s Twitter pages. It’s compartmentalized. And, in many cases, it’s outright “false”—at least, in the sense that people who think you are your character, or that you “support” certain things as portrayed in your book, would look at it. There’s a certain amount of irony to the question, I agree, but there’s a certain amount of sense as well.

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  56. As a memoirist I hope sharing my personal life will help others know they're not alone. As I hope to be published and widely read, I'm aware that will involve being exposed, open, vulnerable. I'm hoping the privacy part will be a space where I can go to recharge and ground myself. Looking forward to reading Part 2.

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  57. When I crawled out my writer's cave two years ago following a contest final and resulting invitation to be a blog guest, I was hesitant to share much about myself. I learned that the blog host found me by performing a Google search and decided to perform my own. There I was! Anyone who wanted to do so could find out where I live and who my closest relatives are--just by typing my name in the search bar.

    Once I got over the shock, I accepted the fact that, thanks to the Internet, my private life is no longer as private as it used to be, and I ventured to share more. However, it wasn't until recently that I began to be more open about my writing and how it affects me. I took a risk, and the response has been incredible. Because I chose to lower my shield, I'm connecting with people at a deeper level--and I like it.

    I can totally relate to the feeling of vulnerability when our stories are "out there." I've not sold, but having my agent read my complete manuscript in it's far from ideal state feels weird. There is a great deal of me in this story, and I feel sorta like I'm standing in my front yard in nothing but my underwear. :)

    I admire those like you, Jody, who are real and share from the heart, and want to follow your lead.

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  58. I think we have lost our sense of discretion. I don't need to know about your womanly times or your private bedroom moments or how much you threw up with your morning sickness. Blogs, facebook, television commercials...nothing is sacred anymore.

    But you are right about writing. Our secret wants, our deepest desires...they tend to surface in our writing.

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