This is the June post for Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group. The goal is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. You can find links to more posts here.
There’s been a lot of press lately, about the illusion inherent in social media, that what many people choose to post online represents a sort of a false-positive aspect of life. It’s like the print magazine airbrush syndrome. Long before the Internet, woman were bombarded with unblemished images of sylph-like creatures gracing the front page of Elle, Mademoiselle and Vogue. Those of us with freckles and birthmarks and cellulite were left feeling we could never measure up. But now, it seems everyone’s in the airbrushing business. We create on-line personas, and our readers believe they know us, perhaps failing to recognize they see only the pieces we choose to share.
I’m no different. I have always endeavored to keep a degree of privacy here, and so while you read about the parades I attended, or the writing class I took, or my angst as my daughter grew up, you didn’t hear about the bad days at work, the family squabbles or illnesses.
This practice makes things hard when difficult realities are brandishing themselves around me, and it’s time to write a blog post. The tough stuff is all I can think of, but it’s not fodder for this blog. So I’ll tell you this. I’m at a loss right now. My WIP is out on a visit to a reader. I don’t have an idea for anything else. Most mornings I get up and write, but lately, the lack of a manuscript and the things going on in real life have distracted me. Production is at a five-year low. Over the last few weeks, I did write a poem that I think is good, but right now, it’s too truthful, and exposes something I can’t put out there, not now anyway.
And so you get this. A post that wonders. How much of your real life do you share online?