Chatty Cathys

Talk Amongst Yourselves: Coming out of the blogging closet

If you’ll recall, my dad had surgery just over a month ago (he’s doing very well, in case you’re wondering) and while we were visiting him at the hospital, my aunt (his sister) and her two daughters (ages like 10/11 and 8ish) came to visit him as well. Since the girls were too young to go back to see him, I sat with them in the waiting room while my aunt visited. So as I was chatting with the older daughter, she asked me if I had read Hunger Games and we proceeded to have a very interesting chat about whether we liked Peeta or Gale more (we’re both Peeta fans).

So a few weeks later, my aunt sent me a message asking for some book recommendations for her and her daughter. She said they had both enjoyed Twilight and Hunger Games and wanted something like them to read.

Enter Super Recommender! I literally sent them a book’s worth of books they should check out. And then I told them about my blog.

And I immediately felt sick.

No one, save for one friend, knows about my blog and I sort of like it like that. I like that I have this whole other world that’s separate from my “real” world, where I can feel free to be myself without reservation. I love that I’ve met like-minded individuals who share a passion with me and we’re not judgmental of it; we embrace our love of books, characters, writing, development… and through those connections we’ve (or at least I’ve) felt comfortable to share things that maybe we’d never share with other people (such as our mad love for Harry Potter or Zelda).

But then there are times when something amazing happens on my blog. I’ll have a really great author give me a shout out. A fellow blogger wants to feature me on their blog. I start a book swap and am super duper pumped about it. AND I WANT TO SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD! But I can’t… because I’ve made this my secret world.

How do you come out and say “Oh, by the way, I’ve had this book blog for over six months now. I write about young adult literature. Thanks to the book blog and that community, I’ve found something I’m completely passionate about.”?

I think what’s been holding me back from telling others is the subject I blog about. I don’t discuss books I read very much with others because I know they’ll give me that look that says “Shouldn’t you read “real” books? You’re almost 30 for crying out loud!” (of course, I’ll only slyly point out the fact that they just finished 50 Shades of Grey)

Now, before we get all “Your blog is so awesome though!” (because let’s face it, our blogs ARE awesome!) on each other, lemme ask my question: have you, as a blogger, come out of the blogging closet and told the world about your blog and what it is you do as a blogger? What made you decide to? Was it easy? Hard?

If you haven’t told others about your blog, why haven’t you? What’s held you back?

While I don’t think there’s anything inherently WRONG with not telling people in our “real” lives about our blogs, I am interested to see if I’m alone in feeling like I do or if others share my sentiments!

 

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18 thoughts on “Talk Amongst Yourselves: Coming out of the blogging closet”

  1. I blogged for about two months to make sure I would keep up with it, have great content, and find a voice/direction for what I was doing before I shared it with the world. I wrote a really great post that I was really proud of, so I decided to share it with my friends via Facebook. To me it made me feel like a show-off (I hate when people shamelessly self-promote on Facebook), so that was my main reservation. However, the response I got was awesome. My friends were impressed, and told me so. I don’t share every post via Facebook…maybe one a week…but it was a great way to sort of passively “come out” as a blogger.

    What has been very surprising is that I got a lot of response on the first 2-3 posts I shared, and very little after that. I thought the fun wore off and that my blog had failed to intrigue them. However, I have discovered via mulitple conversations with many friends, both close friends and more acquaintance-type friends, that they DO read my blog. They just don’t comment. And a lot of people told me they read a book because of a review I posted! They never told me, they just picked it up and read it. It’s been pretty cool. So I definitely suggest you own your YA fascination and let your friends in on the fun!

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    1. I have another blog that I started a couple years ago… I shared it pretty regularly for a while, but then stopped as I eased away from blogging on it. But it was a “me” blog, not a blog with a purpose. But friends read it and although they didn’t comment on the blog, they did comment to me about it. It sometimes made me feel a little uneasy, but overall I liked it.

      What’s funny is that I have a very strong feeling that although I’m convinced that none of my friends read YA, I bet a lot of them do and would probably enjoy seeing someone else who enjoys YA literature. I should own my love and let my friends know. I really do need to get over my reservations about it!

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  2. First – Yay! I’m so glad your dad is doing well!!!
    I LOVE that you wrote about this because I totally feel the same way. I felt weird that I was almost embarrassed by the fact that I had a blog – I felt like my friends would think I’m weird. The one friend who I obsess over books with doesn’t read a ton of YA or mysteries or the same kinds that I read (even though we still swap books – We might stop because I just can’t take it that she doesn’t love my loves), but when I first started my blog, I asked exactly this, “If I started a book review blog, would you read it?” and she said yes! But… she’s never visited my blog. Not once. So that actually kind of pushed me INTO the blog closet. She was the person I trusted to be behind me and I felt totally left hanging. Thank GOD I have a wonderful boyfriend who does not like reading at all, but is totally supportive and even gets excited when cool blog/book stuff happens to me. He even bragged about my blog to his friends.. Which immediately made me recoil! They’re cool/tough guys – a musician who’s totally into guitars, a hardcore nature guy (and totally critical of others by the way) – and I was like Noooo don’t tell them! They’ll judge me! I always carry a book with me, but I get self-conscious when I bring my YA books around for fear of what people will think. I completely understand here. I’m half in, half out of the blog closet, not sure who to tell and who not to!
    Oh, and PS – My book best friend who doesn’t care about my blog? Just got sucked in to 50 Shades of Grey and almost talked down to me because I didn’t want to read it. Bumped me even lower in my book self-esteem!
    Phew, okay! Long comment, but I needed to get that off my chest! Thanks SO MUCH for writing about this!!

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    1. Haha, oh friends reading 50 Shades of Grey! My friend who I’ve told about my blog was totally supportive of it and was very surprised when I told her my hesitancy about telling her. However, I don’t think she ever reads it, but if I tell her about stuff that happens on there, she gets all cheerleader on me, which is nice!

      I think for us on the fence bloggers who aren’t quite sure if they want to tell the world about our blogs, it is a game of picking and choosing who you tell. I can think of a handful of people who I’d love to tell and who would get excited about it, but then again, I’m still nervous about it!

      And you know, anytime you need to get blogging issues off your chest, feel free to! That’s what bloggy friends are there for! πŸ™‚

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  3. Great discussion you have here. As for me, I just started my blog last year, but only a handful of people knows about my blog (4 persons to be exact) with the same reason as yours – I also want to separate this world from the real world. Aside from that, I also agree that people are judgmental and I tend to become very conscious whenever people judge me (whether it be positive or negative). So I decided that it’s better if I wouldn’t know what they would think. I guess this makes me more confident (haha!).

    Moreover, I prefer if people stumble upon my blog because they want to, not because I promote it out of vain. Overall, it’s still fun to blog ‘secretly’ because I get to meet and converse with fellow bloggers. ^_^

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  4. Oh, this is a tricky one. The introvert in me doesn’t like the blogging life and real life to collide. And like you I worry about what my friends will think about my choice to feature YA books on my blog. But my goodreads account is linked to to my blog and FB and people have found out about the blog that way. That’s how I found out some friends are closet YA fans, so that’s been fun.
    Like Brittany I tend to recoil when my blog gets attention in real life, but I’m getting more used to the idea.
    I like Miss Anderson’s idea of sharing 1-2 posts a week on FB to test the waters. I think you’ll be surprised how much they’ll get a kick out of your posts and book recommendations.
    I’m so glad to hear your dad is doing well πŸ™‚

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  5. Only 1 person “IRL” knows about my blog (mainly because she’s the one who pushed me to blogging). I don’t know why I’m so scared to tell people. I think I’m like you and want to keep things separated.

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  6. Hmmm, seems like I might be the odd man out here. I haven’t advertised my blog widely in my real life, but I have told my husband, sisters, mom, several friends, a girl I just met who asked what I do in my spare time, and I added the link to my blog on facebook (though I don’t publicize my posts). I think the only one who actually reads my blog is my sister (which sort of shocks me as we have very different tastes). However, no one has been really judgy of this endeavor… really the worst reaction I get is a total lack of interest which doesn’t bother me that much– I have all my bloggy friends, after all!!

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  7. OMG I feel like I’m in an online support group…I’M SO GLAD I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE! If I were writing a similar post, I wouldn’t have written it any differently. I’ve only told a select few close friends about my blog (well, technically “our” blog, since I co-write it with a friend), and I’m more than happy with that arrangement. I think I like that it’s a place I can share my passion with other people who share the same passion, and I can do so without judgement. Maybe it’s the safety and comfort that comes from anonymity. But I totally agree that it’s hard not to shout from the rooftops when you get a shout out or some other random act of wonderfulness from an author!

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  8. No, you’re not alone. A few of my friends know about my blog, but mainly only because that’s how I explained to them how I get ARCs that they then borrow. But it’s come up in conversation a few times and they just blurt it out. It makes me feel awkward and that’s why I don’t tell very many people. A lot of people just don’t understand it and I’d prefer to explain it my way rather than them hear it from someone else and not understand, causing them to default to “that’s so weird.”

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  9. What a great post! I am definitely still in the blogging closet! The only people that know are my parents. Once my dad linked to it on his Facebook page, and I freaked out, and had him take it down right away. He was just trying to be nice, showing how proud he was of me, but I am not ready for anyone I know to know.

    Good for you for letting people know, though! You should be proud of your blog. It is great, and a lot of love and sweat goes into it. Eventually, I hope to feel comfortable letting people know.

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  10. It’s not something that I’ll make a point of saying, like if I’m introduced to someone I’m not like: Hi, my name’s Meghan, and I blog! :DD But, like, my mom and dad both know about my blog ’cause it’s just come up in general conversation. I have a couple RL friends who follow my twitter, and when they told me they checked out my blog I was kind of surprised (and, to be honest, nervous and scared) because I guess I forgot that this was a thing other people would look at.

    So, I guess the people I talk to on a general basis know about it just because it’s something I devote A LOT of my time to, so when they ask me what I’ve been up to…it comes up. BUT it’s not part of how I define myself (yet), so it’s not something I would bring up in general conversation or make a point of bringing up with more relaxed acquaintances, you know?

    It helps that most of the people who know me already know me as “the Harry Potter girl,” so it’s not like it’s a big step to “the girl who blogs about YA books” XD

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  11. I like this whole post. Sometimes it’s scary putting yourself and your blog out there and you wish you could take it back. Like, I get nervous when I do blog things and someone will attach my last name to it.

    BUT.

    Lots of people in my real life know about my blog. My boyfriend knows and he freakin’ hates the ARCs I get because they amass in piles around the house, but he does talk about my site to his coworkers who read and to his friends, sort of a small brag. Some of my immediate family know. All of my coworkers know and some even visit, lol I had one who visited and clicked ads. And a few of my IRL friends know, like a hand full of college friends and high school friends — one even became a co-blogger.

    So yeah, not everyone in my life knows and that’s cool, but I don’t totally mind when other people I know find out.

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  12. So I’ve had this post open on my browser for days because I WANTED to remind myself to respond to it. Because GET OUT OF MY HEAD, CANDICE. This is totally my situation, too. I’ve told two of my friends from library school who visit and are awesome. And my best high school friend knows. But no one in my family knows, so when I get ARCs in the mail (doesn’t happen often) I have to fudge the truth a little bit, and I hate it.
    I started my blog when I wasn’t working, and I wasn’t sure that I would stick with it. But I felt like if I told my family that I was working on a blog post instead of working to find WORK they would be like, “what a horrible waste of your time.” Which my blog isn’t. To me, anyway. And then when I actually got really into it and kept doing it, I felt like, “well, how am I going to tell them now, 9 months after I started?” It’s like the window is closed. Plus, there are people in my family who would TOTALLY be like, “wait. you talk about KIDS books?” and be judgy. No thanks to all that.
    There are some times, though, when AWESOME things happen and I want to tell them, and I can’t and I feel bad and awkward. But I’m glad that I have you and all my awesome bloggy friends to share fun news with.
    Super post, Candice. πŸ™‚

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    1. Wahaha… I’m in your head Amy!!!

      I went through the same thing a few years ago when I finished school and was job hunting. I was writing, but didn’t want to tell anyone because I could hear them say “You’re doing that instead of looking for a job?!” Which I get, but thanks to that, and my blog, I’ve discovered a passion that I never knew was so strong. I love love love this world of blogging and books… so I really hate that I don’t feel comfortable sharing it with people in real life, especially my family!

      I don’t think many people would rag on my for discussing YA, but I don’t think they’d get my love of it. I do think I’d be like you though… I’ve been doing this for such a while now that how would I explain that “Hey, finally decided after 7 months to tell you about something that’s taken up a huge chunk of my life!”

      I am glad that I’ve developed some great bloggy friends though… at least there are SOME people who I can share everything with!

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