Secret Blog

Normally when I update my blog I put a tweet about it so everyone who follows me on twitter and facebook can know (I have them connected, see).  I’ve been feeling sickly about this because I am not always sure how badly I’d like all of my followers to read what I write.  And it isn’t that I’m gonna talk bad about them.  Probably won’t.  It’s just that I don’t like dealing with that strange awkward feeling you get after you’ve shared a bunch of pretty personal stuff.  I have never known how to disconnect my writing from my life.  I think it’s usually memoir-style.  But I get so grossed out when I think about certain people reading it that it seems to have a negative effect on the writing.

My issue is that I really do enjoy just writing.  I have a real uncontrollable commitment to it.  It’s probably the only constant thing in my life.  Like, I don’t know where I will be in five years but I can pretty much assure you that I will be writing.  Something.  And it stresses me out sometimes because it’s like a job in a way.  And it’s wide open for anybody who wants to read it.  And to be honest, I don’t like every person in my audience.  Some I do but there are some real weirdos out there.  But a big part of writing is that it’s open for anybody.  And they can think whatever they want.  You can’t always choose your audience.  I took a walk earlier and I was thinking about how I have this ideal audience in my mind of who I wish always read what I wrote.  And then I thought about the real audience which is completely different.  And I’m not complaining about having people read my stuff.  It’s just funny the reality of it.  

I think a lot more about privacy these days.  I think that’s another thing that stresses me out about writing.  I think it is really fun to write openly and honestly but at the same time when you do that it’s almost like installing a security camera in your house so everybody can watch you day in and day out.  That’s interesting for other people but I don’t feel comfortable with that kind of writing anymore.  It’s like as I’m getting older I am finding that I have a strong desire for a big wall between me and my audience.  I don’t want to see them.  I don’t want to look at them.  I don’t want to think about them all that much.  

Honestly, I think this is a big reason why I don’t like playing shows.  It’s because the songs are personal in a way that just make them seriously awkward to play for a bunch of strangers.  If there’s a big wall between us I feel safer but when there isn’t a wall there… well, I don’t know if I have that kind of bravery inside me.  I thought I did for a little while and I forced it more than I felt comfortable, but I’m really kind of creeped out about singing for an audience.  I remember when I first started playing it was only friends and I knew everybody who was listening so it wasn’t that big of a deal because they knew me.  But when you sing and write for a bunch of strangers it’s a whole different thing.  There’s an illusion that you’re friends though you’re really not.  And even if what you share is very personal, it’s still a kind of act.  And I would often forget that.  I would tell myself, “This is me.  This is the real me.”  But that’s weird.  It’s not the real me.  It’s an exaggerated version of an imaginary version of me.   

And sorry for all of this self conscious stuff.  This really is the kind of stuff that goes through songwriters’ heads.  We think a lot about how people see us and what kind of image we are portraying.  It’s nauseatingly vain but it’s true.  

See, the reason I don’t want to broadcast to the world that I wrote a blog is because I don’t know if I want everybody reading this tonight or tomorrow.  They can read it if they find it but if I write this thing and post it and then put a link in a status update right after, then people are gonna know exactly where my mind was possibly within a few minutes.  Does that seem strange to anybody else?  I mean, I think I just want some distance or else I’m gonna sleep badly tonight.  

I like the idea of being read but even that brings with it a whole bag of consequences.  You suddenly have to answer to what you say.  You have to explain yourself.  And I am not the best at articulating myself in person.  I can express myself clearly and pretty precisely on the page but I often stumble and go blank in the moment.  When you write you get to sit and think out what you are trying to say.  If you say something you didn’t like you can just delete it.  And you can’t do that in real life.  You’ve just gotta deal with it in real life.  

Maybe I’ll write a bunch of blog entries and not tell anybody.  Maybe I’ll keep it a secret and not feel as if I have to promote myself (that’s another annoying part of being a songwriter).  So let’s make a deal, audience.  I’ll write on here but I’m not gonna let you know when I update.  If you want to read then check back here from time to time.  And don’t tell me if you read it.  And don’t tell me what you think.  We don’t have to talk back and forth.  This blog thing is really just for me, okay?  

Let’s try it.

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