• Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
sunshine & unicorns: a blog about love, learning, and life in the upper midwest

10 July 2009

on attention-whoring

This blog's been pretty quiet lately, I know. Why? Well partially because I still maintain that it's primarily a photoblog, but it's also because I'm cheating on it. Since April, I've been blogging quite extensively for a popular wedding website.

And when I say extensively, I mean extensively. I've had this blog for well over a year, and have created 94 posts (including this one). I write long, detailed posts for the other blog at least 4 times a week, usually more. Case in point: this blog, which I've been writing since early 2008, has 94 published posts. That one, which I've been writing for about 3 months now, has 83. Yeah, I've been busy. I haven't linked to that blog from here, and don't think I'm going to (though it wouldn't be terribly hard to figure out who I am). I've occasionally included posts here that I have also written for them, but for the most part, I keep my two lives separate.

Blogging in a public forum is a difficult thing to deal with, especially when you're concerned with privacy. For one thing, if you're giving out location details and showing photos of yourself, you've got to worry about safety. Do I want some crazy stalker to show up at my house and chop me up in to little pieces? Not really. Also, it creates issues for anyone who considers themselves to be a professional. We all know the story behind one of the world's most famous blogging moms, Heather (Dooce). She got fired (years ago) for writing less-than-OK stuff in her blog. Obviously it's worked out just fine for her, but something tells me we're not all destined to be celebrities in the world of the Internet. If you blog in a public manner (or even semi-public manner - people can guess who you are even if you're using a moniker), you have to not only mind your tone and content, but also your publish times. Scheduling posts to publish at 10:30 AM when you've got a 9-to-5 job is usually not the best idea in the world.

Blogging for the other site has really gotten me thinking about how much privacy I want to maintain on this blog. When I started out (and up until presently, pretty much), I wasn't going to include photos of myself or of Bf. I have a fake name, I have a fake picture, and I don't give any location details. I've recently posted some photos of myself, but I cut the heads off.

I wasn't always this way. Prior to 2008, I had a pretty heavily-trafficked blog with its own domain name and everything. I still used a fake name, but it was really easy to figure out who I was (hmm, maybe because of the big picture of me in the profile!). Because of this, I was always positive and careful and cheerful about my posting, always mindful that anyone (including bosses, grandparents, and school professors) could be reading my ramblings. I really liked my other blog, and I had a great community of readership.

What happened? Life changes. BIG ONES. Like, "start over because you don't want an entire family/group of people to read your blog anymore, and you definitely don't want them searching you out" changes. It was a very very hard thing to do, but I closed down my old blog. Just put up a "This is over." note, left that for a few weeks, deleted the archives and canceled the domain name. No explanation and no "you can find me at...". I felt like a jerk, especially because I had such nice readers. But it was necessary to make a clean break. I took the link off my facebook and stopped commenting on other blogs with my old moniker. I disappeared, pretty much!

When I started Sunshine & Unicorns, my aim was to be more anonymous than I had ever been. I wanted to be able to speak freely. There is, however, a conundrum: you cannot speak freely when you're trying to be anonymous. If you give too much detail, you'll be "found out". If you don't give enough, you're so vague that no one can relate to you. That begs the next factor. Why would I give a shit if people can relate to me? Well, it's addicting I guess. I love writing for that other website. The readers are primarily fellow brides-to-be, and their comments always make my day. I love the feedback, and I love the discussions. I guess I'm a narcissist. Don't get me wrong - I love to write and would do it even without an audience. But there's nothing like an "adoring public" to get your ass in gear when you're being a lazy blogger. I often go weeks without posting here because I figure no one will care or notice. Or I can't think of anything to say that isn't at least a little personal.

So I've been doing some thinking. I think I want to start being a little less anonymous. Not that I'm going to post my name and address, but I would like to share a little more of myself, and my life, with you readers (all 3 of you, haha). For starters, our wedding photos. How am I supposed to share them with you if I do not share my face? I don't think I can. I'd hate to do the head-blur or the neck-chop.

And also: there will come a time when I will leave the wedding blogging site. I won't be a bride anymore, and after the wedding and honeymoon end, it's time to pass the torch on to other brides. I'd hate to entirely shut out those who've been following my posts there for what'll be over a year by the time I'm out of material. So when I eventually say goodbye, I'd love to give them this link. That'd be the ultimate end of my anonymity, however. Anyone who found me here, from there, would know way more about me, my life, our relationship, and our wedding than I have ever shared at this URL before. So why not start sharing a little more anyway? The threat of being re-discovered by those from whom I was hiding has passed. (Not that I wouldn't be found now, but more that I really don't care if I am, at this point.) And as long as one has discretion about what one writes and shares, I see to reason she should have to hide from her real life.

Of course, I've yet to discuss this with Bf, and since my life and his are intertwined, he will have an equal amount of say in how "public" I go as well.