This post was inspired by Jamie’s story about the collision of her blogging and personal life.
This site, although comprised of posts about books, memes and other ramblings, is personal. It’s my space that I choose to share. My posts may not be specifically about me, but they are me nonetheless. I take the time to read and review the books posted on here. I read and react and post my thoughts to issues happening in the community or publishing world. This post is personal, too.
But, as personal as this all may be, it’s an estranged, or detached, form of personal. Blogger friends, authors and publishers, while easy to talk to, are not necessarily the same as family or friends you see every day (in person).
For me, The Grammarian’s Reviews is a sort of separate personal life. Yes, my family and some of my friends know about it. But they don’t actively read it, search for it, talk to me about it. It’s more of a “Hey, did you post this on your blog?” or “Hey, you can write about this on your blog!” type of relationship. So when people “in real life” ask about my blog, or find out about it, I’m totally unprepared. And, in all honesty, I become defensive and nervous.
At the beginning of this semester, on the first day of my media writing class, I had to introduce myself to the class and explain why I’m interested in media (and what aspects of it). Naturally, I blurted out that I’m an advocate of blogging because I run my own website.
“Oh, really? What sort?”
Again, naturally, I said, “A book review site.”
“Oh. Well, you can have a plug. What’s it called?”
I blinked. I shrugged. I stuttered. Then, in a much quieter voice, I said, “It’s called The Grammarian’s Reviews.”
I hoped – I prayed – no one would write it down and find it later. As soon as I got back from work, I logged on and checked my site stats. Sure enough, there was a miniature spike in page views. (What looked like a spike was pretty much just paranoia. But still.) I wondered if I’d receive an anonymous comment, if someone would mention it to me before the next class.
But what if they had? Why was I so afraid? It’s not like I have anything to be ashamed of. I’m proud of my work, and I’m proud of the YA and book blogging community. But that’s the thing.
In my world, when people initially discover I’m a blogger, they want to know what kind. “A book blogger,” I’ll tell them. That’s inevitably followed by the question “Oh, what kind of books?”
Which is when it all goes to hell.
“Young Adult,” I’ll say.
“Oh,” they’ll reply. “Like younger books?” Or, sometimes, “Like Harry Potter?”
“No. That’s middle grade.”
I already know it’s a waste of breath because they don’t understand and have already lobbed me into a stereotype.
Jamie’s story made me not only reflect upon this, but also realize that there’s a major difference. Being thrown into the book blogging community, there’s already an established understanding. We may not blog about the same genres or same books or same issues, but we all have a mutual respect for what each other reads and thinks about those reads.
“In real life,” there’s no established understanding. When someone stumbles across my blog, they don’t already have a respect for the fact that I read or for what I read or for why I blog. It’s like I have to sell myself using my blog, without warning. It puts me on the spot. Every time. I don’t like it, but I’ll never deny being a book blogger and YA book reader.
I just need to work on my confidence when put on the spot.
Do you ever feel embarrassed talking about your blog “in real life”? How can you overcome it?
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