I started off this month committed to blogging each week day as part of NaBloPoMo. I had checked out previous NaBloPoMo events and had been scared away by the other topics, but this month, “hot” seemed so doable. It’s August–summer–after all! Today, though, I had to pull out the fleece due to a drop in temperature; in turns out that summer is too quickly disappearing. So maybe it’s the weather that makes hot so difficult to write about?
Today’s NaBloPoMo‘s prompt asks if I avoid talking about hot button issues on my blog or if I embrace those topics. It gave me pause. I kept coming back to it because the topic of what I chose to write about on this blog is one that I think about a fair amount.
I spend a lot of time reading the blogs of other writers. I am often struck by the power and rawness of their posts. Their blogs are outlets for their joy and pain, for their anger and celebration. For some, their blogs are one part expression and one part therapy. I appreciate their vulnerability, as it is difficult to give of yourself in such a way. Many bloggers have created an amazing communities out of their struggles (think Postpartum Progress and Momastery), making positive impacts on the lives of others, especially their readers. Blogging in such a way can also be risky. In some countries, bloggers have been arrested and ostracized for speaking out and for addressing topics of sensitivity.
While I live in country where I don’t have to worry I’ll be thrown in jail if I write about a political or social issue, the struggle about what and how much to share persists. I have thought about writing posts that are focused on a difficult personal situation I’ve been facing, but I always get tripped up in the details. If I write about something that is happening to me, I’m inevitably bringing my family into it. Is that fair to them? My kids are too small to understand my blog, but someday they will and what will they say? Will they be embarrassed? Will they support my writing or will they want me to stop?
My stories are not mine alone. Truly, our stories are shared with one another, and that calls for a higher level of awareness of the words we use and what we chose to put out in the public sphere. I always tell my kids that words can hurt just as much as hands. Being cautious, therefore, is my instinct. Yet I see such value in sharing my “hot button” issue. So, I’m working on it. I’m hoping to bring more of what happening “behind the scenes” to Red Shutters, and I hope you’ll tell me what you think.
One of my goals from attending BlogHer’13 is to write more often. Writing is a muscle, one of the speakers explained, and the more you use it, the stronger it will become. As I’ve noted above, I’ve joined NaBloPoMo this month. NaBloPoMo is a daily (weekends are for free writing) blogging exercise centered around a theme. For August 2013, it’s, appropriately, hot. The daily writing prompts can be found here.