Friday, 1 June 2012

Coming Out

Until the middle of last year only Matt knew about my blog. None of my family or close friends were aware of its existence.

It wasn't because I was ashamed. I'm actually really proud of my blog. I guess I just felt a little uncomfortable knowing they would be reading about things before I'd had chance to tell them myself. It's like having someone you know read your personal diary - I guess having strangers read it would feel different somehow, if that makes sense?

It wasn't until last Spring/Summer when I'd got some advice from a fellow blogger to help out my best friend. She asked me "So how do you know this person?". I was caught off-guard. I couldn't think of something quickly so I replied "Erm, well actually through blogging. I have a blog". Her response to my confession was very matter-of-fact. She didn't scowl at my secretiveness nor did she guffaw at my geekiness.

She merely asked how long I'd been doing it, looked slightly interested and asked me to send her the link.

I'd thought about coming out for a while and this was the first step.

When I made it to the MAD Blog Award finals last year I was over the moon. To be nominated for Best New Blog just 5 months after writing my first blog post was incredible.

I knew I wanted to go to the Awards Ceremony in London.

I decided to tell my parents about my blog *gulp*

I wasn't sure what they would think of their youngest daughter laying her life down on a computer screen to every Tom, Dick and Harry. I'd even featured pictures of my Mum and Dad and even their parents on my blog without them knowing. I'd given away secrets of my younger more crazy years and talked about  fuck buddies *cough cough*

Mum and Dad loved it.

Infact Mum reads it religiously and they always say how proud they are of me.

I love this so much.

Next I told a handful of close friends. I think one reads it religiously, a couple dip in and out and a couple probably don't read. As far as I'm aware they all think it's great and I haven't had any negative comments. Maybe I'm naive. Maybe they secretly think I'm a big geek!

Being nominated for 2 categories in this years MAD Blog Awards has completely blown me away. My blog doesn't have a massive following compared to others but it made the finals.

"Look Mummy! We are in the paper!"
An article went in last weeks local Chronicle newspaper about my blog being in the finals again and there's another article scheduled to go in another local paper either today or next week.

I have just shy of 200 'friends' on my personal Facebook, these range from close friends and family to ex-work colleagues, some old school friends, acquaintances I've made over the years and a handful of baby forum friends and blogging friends.

I keep my Twitter and Instagram feed separate from my personal Facebook account. I keep my blog Facebook page separate too.

An old school friend posted on my personal Facebook wall last week that she had seen the article in the local paper and that she had a look at my blog. She said it was amazing.

It's got me thinking.

Should I just come out properly once and for all?

What am I so afraid of?

It's been in the newspaper so anyone can see it if they care to look. I'm proud of my blog so what do I care if people don't like it or think I'm stupid? My blog has made me some pretty fabulous friends and brought our family some amazing treats, freebies and even some money.

Will people read it religiously anyway?  They may have a look when I announce it but once they've had a good look (and a laugh) they will probably never look at it again.

I don't know why it makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. But then I thought I'd feel uncomfortable about my parents knowing about my blog but it doesn't - I really love it. I guess there would be a small handful of people I wouldn't want to see it so maybe that's what is putting me off?

I agreed for it to go in the paper so I must secretly want people to know about it. I think this is what I'm battling with at the moment. I think I am hoping people spot me up for an award in the paper so it makes me look better for having a blog maybe?

I'd love to hear if your friends and family know about your blog. Have they known from the start or did you 'come out'? If so, how did you do it and what was their reaction?

Only time will tell if I'll come out properly but for now I'm just jumping in and out of the shadows waiting for someone to put the light on. If the spotlight does go on my blog you can bet I'll break out in a cold sweat at the thought of everyone who knows me having a look at my secret blogging life.



Jennypaulin said...

This is really interesting as I haven't 'come out' and to,d my family yet either. Like you I am proud of it but somehow I feel comfortable writing about anything and everything when only strangers read my words! Albeit blogger friends too of course!
Thing is any of my family may already know or could easily find out simply by googling my name!maybe they have but nothing has ever been said. I should spill the beans because I get sent things to review and mum must think we are made of money.!
Good luck with your decision x

Beadzoid said...

Great photo in the paper! You'll start getting approached in your local town centre now ;) 

I'm sort of mostly out these days :)  I told my mum and dad about it matter of factly I think, partially because I always feel bad that I chat to mum on the phone a fair bit but not my dad so much (I'm not great on the phone and I get that from him!) - it's a way for him to read know about what's going on in my life through my own words.  He loves reading it, apparently.  :)  A while ago I started linking the odd post on my personal Facebook as well - not every post like some folk do, but just the odd one if I feel it is appropriate.  I felt weird about it at first but in a way it's been quite liberating, not only in banishing the 'what if people discover it?' thing, but also in that it makes me think about what I post.  I don't want to post something only to fret about whether I should have done so, so I think that if I'm cool with real life people reading this stuff, then I go ahead and post, if not then I don't.  

As for you coming out, you should definitely be proud of this blog and you deserve the credit.  The fact that two of my favourite blogs (yourself and Leanna from Diary of a Premmy Mum - a competitor in your baby category!!!!) have made the finals has made me reassess the whole awards thing in a more positive light.  I'll be rooting for both you and Leanna :D xX

emsyjo said...

Go on Jenny - Come out!  I think your family would love your blog as its a great all round family blog. Sure they would love to hear and read about all you and the boys get up too.

emsyjo said...

I'm out!  Sometimes I do wish I wasn't because it all goes to facebook but I generally am pleased that it does. The thing is for me is that I started it with the idea of keeping family and friends up to date now we live abroad, I didn't actually expect anyone I don't know to read it.  I wrote it for a few months before telling anyone and realised that I had quite a few people reading that I didn't know!  I'm not even sure how many 'real life people' read it  - they never comment anyway!    

I also write for a local magazine each month which has a link to my blog in and pretty much everyone in the expat community reads that so many people here know me without me knowing them, which can be a bit weird and sometimes worries me, but on the whole I kinda like it! 

Mummysknee said...

Love it, just come out. I've been quite open about mine, I love it & it's helped me a lot. Got the biggest compliment when my FIL said he read it and thought it was really good. Made my day!

I love your blog, you should be proud!


Katie said...

I am exactly the same as you heather but unlike you I have made the decision not to go to the press about being a mads blog finalist- in fact I was going to write a post along the same lines.

A few of my family and a couple of close friends know about it, but only recently, again like you it's not cause I am ashamed - in fact I am really proud of it and my mum and mr e are too. It's because I write my innermost thoughts and feelings and dreams on there and I just don't feel comfortable with my friends reading it- I don't know why but some how it's not so bad with strangers and like minded blogging friends.

My baby friends are the ones that I least want to know. There is just something about the fact that we have children the same age. I worry they will judge me for the amount of time I spend on it, and I just don't feel comfortable them knowing my innermost thoughts of parenting.

I wish I could come out as it would make life a lot more simple as I find myself telling fibs about what I am doing or where I have got stuff- they know I do freelance stuff but what they dont know.

I hope one day I do have the courage to do it as I am really proud of it and the opportunities it has given me and my family. The fact it has revitalised my interest in writing and photography is even better.

Sorry for the essay! X

Blue Sky said...

It's funny, I come at this from a completely different angle to you: friends and family have been reading my blog almost from the start, but I keep my identity private to the wider world, mainly because my name is so unusual.  If I identified myself on the blog I would worry about libel especially because of some critical posts that I've written in connection with services for the kids! I would claim that every word I write is true, but you know what other people are like! 

I don't remember reading any posts like that on your blog so I'd say why not just be open about it, perhaps start by sharing that might find that a lot of your FB friends are reading already! xx

Notmyyearoff said...

I've only just come out but only slightly. Till now only my OH knew about it and I was quite happy with that. Like you said, not because I was ashamed or wanted to hide it but it sort of started as my own space for my thoughts and then it just grew and grew and got harder to come out with it. It was when the MADs got announced I told my v close friends. Some were v surprised but all of them were lovely about it!

KARA said...

It's funny. My blog started way before I had children and I never really spoke about me. It was about my business. So I never hid the fact I had a blog. Nearly the whole of my real world know about my blog. I suppose I dont write about anything hugely personal apart from 1 post so it never concerned me that people in real life would read but tbh I don't think anyone does. Sometimes I feel a little sad about that as it's like they don't understand how important it is to me. Congrats on your nominations and article.

Suzanne Whitton said...

I sometimes wish that I hadn't 'come out' as you so eloquently put it!  I told my friends and family immediately and then regretted it as I realise there are certain things that you just would NEVER entrust to your Mum and certainly not your 90 year old Grandmother!  I have obviously scuppered my chances of privacy now but I'm enjoying it nonetheless.  Can't believe you made it to the MADS finals after only 5 months, that's good going!


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