I was joking the other day with Jean about my blogging persona. “I’m kind of jealous of her,” I said. “Nice life! Seeing all those art movies, going to concerts, eating at nice restaurants (while showing too much cleavage), traveling around, watching TV, drinking wine… Does she even work? Does she watch the news?…”
Now, clearly, I have never consciously tried to cultivate a brand for this blog as I’m not trying to monetize it nor achieve a particular readership level. Because to do that I would need to cultivate a niche and really focus on that one that area, rather than what do I do, which is just write about whatever I feel like.
But the fact is, I’ve realized, a quasi-brand has emerged anyway, and it’s one largely focused on the shallow side of life. It does not, or does not very often, touch on the following:
1. Big, weighty world issues
The world is kind of a mess. It’s not that I don’t care about this, nor that I’m uninterested in it. I read a lot of news. I fret, I fume, and I worry about it. I donate to causes. I sign petition. I tweet and retweet about certain outrages in the world.
But—although there have been exceptions, and may be again—I don’t blog that much about the issues I care deeply about, like climate change and other environmental problems; the erosion of democracy; and human rights infractions.
Because honestly, these things are just too depressing. I usually don’t feel that anything I say can really make a difference, and I generally don’t feel I have any new solutions to offer up.
I blog as an escape from all that, rather than to delve into it further.
2. My job
This one has been really conscious choice: to not blog about my employer (I certainly hope there haven’t been exceptions), and therefore not go on too much about my job, or my profession, even.
It’s partly that I don’t want to inadvertently get myself into trouble. But it’s mainly because that part of my life already consumes the majority of my waking hours. I like my job fine, but that’s enough. When I’m blogging, on my own time, it’s going to be on other subjects that interest me.
3. Personal problems
I have these, sometimes. If they’re minor enough, I may even rant about them here. But when something big is going on, when something’s really troubling me, I somehow don’t feel that telling everyone on the Internet about it is going to help in any way. Indeed, there is an inverse relationship: The more something is bothering me, the fewer the number of people I’m willing to share it with.
This is probably unhealthy, and I probably should learn to open up to people more, or more quickly. Not sure that will ever take blog form, however.
Shove me in the shallow water before I get too deep
Don’t let me get too deep
— “What I Am” by Edie Brickell