I mentioned to a friend that I was writing a blog and I gave him the blog’s title . Instantly he pulled up the site and began to read MY words TO ME…aloud. In that moment, the voice in my head began to critique my writing. Was it creative enough? Were my topics interesting? Too mundane? I felt insecure and put on the spot, all for giving out the title of my blog . To instantly give out 15 posts about myself to a new friend felt risky. I can’t take the posts back. I can’t hide them. They are there for everyone to see.
After hanging up the phone, I wondered more about my online presence. I will admit that I have googled myself from time to time to see what pops up. Today I searched not for my whole name as I usually do, but rather my first initial and last name. A wealth of websites popped up that I don’t see when searching my whole name. I went on a virtual trip down memory lane, rediscovering out that I have started three other now forgotten blogs (with less than four posts each); I signed up for many online programs: diigo, glogster, quizlet; another blogger for slice of life quoted my page; and that someone working at the Oklahoma State fair also has my first initial and last name.
Until today I thought writing a blog was helping me to get over my fear of making my work public. Now I realize that it all depends on the audience. My class began this writing challenge with me and I read my work aloud to them daily. I am comfortable sharing with the class partly because we have shared our writing all year together. We created a classroom community of writers, bonded through vulnerability, struggles, successes and shared experiences. Throughout this challenge, I have posted to the slice of life page and received wonderful feedback as well.
I write this post with more trepidation and uncertainty than I have all week simply because I am aware that my audience has changed, that I have let someone new into the writing circle, someone who is not also writing and thus not making themselves as vulnerable. As we look to our classes we should always remember that sharing teacher writing with students is so valuable. Everyone is on equal ground, experiencing the struggles together. When we are vulnerable we let others in, connect to one another.