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I recently ruminated on some of the high dollar questions that have been rolling around in my mind lately. I thought I could dig for answers and remain engaged here at this blog. I've been rethinking that, though, and for a few different reasons.

I've outlined a few of the talking points in my head below, with reasons to STAY (here at this blog) and to GO. Lists are my favorite organization tool, so I guess it's natural that I'd employ one here

First off, I find it valuable to work through some things in writing, and this is my go-to place for that. I have a lot of things I'm working through right now, so I know the desire to write is going to crop up.

  • STAY: Beyond the exercise of writing sharing, I find value in the input I get from the little community here, too. 

Second, I've been boning up on social media and blogging smarts for the past year-ish. While I've been learning, I've never implemented many of the would-be-necessary changes here. To be honest, I never really wanted the pressure of building, and reaching, a huge audience. This space is, first and foremost, meant to be a low-key web log, not a money-maker.

Given that, I'm thinking about taking a bigger step. Things are happening in my life, and I can't help but wonder if my (anticipated) months-long question and answer session might be of any value to people like me. I have the know-how to promote a blog, now, and the mojo to write content that I think might be worth sharing.

  • GO: A fresh start might be good. A lot of what's going on in my head is of a consistently serious nature, which isn't what I've generally presented here at Sidetracked. I'd move to Wordpress and get an address that is more reflective of the struggles I'd plan to document. Insert delusions of wide audiences and general grandeur here.
  • STAY: There's nothing wrong with making changes to this blog. If I'm growing and changing, wouldn't it be better to do that here, where I've been documenting growth and changes for years? Besides, I'm in the process of moving my professional site to Wordpress, and that's probably enough scratch to satisfy the new platform itch.

Third is a little more complicated. I read books and highly successful blogs written by people who went through, and are continuing, the process I've just begun. My story is different from theirs, of course, but I might have something to contribute to the conversation. While I don't really broadcast my identity here and I try to maintain privacy for anybody who is not me, Brian, or the dogs. I do know that my family reads here, as do some in-laws, and that people who know me in real life could sometimes identify folks in some of my entries. I think that's only natural.

Part of what I'm wrestling with and would like to share, if I commit myself to a focused blogging effort (which is increasingly becoming my inclination), invovles family stories. There are things that are integral to my journey, and if I really do decide to 'go for it' there are events that may be painful for my family to have broadcasted for public comment, and/or weird for my in-laws to know about or deal with. Then again, if I commit, I am all in. Some of my questions are direct results of my experiences, which involve other people and which must be plumbed if I'm to make any real progress.

Initially, I thought I could maintain Sidetracked here, and start an anonymous blog somewhere else - not telling my immediate family, and maintaining strict anonymity as a blogger. I've also tried to convince myself that what I write doesn't have to be 100% full disclosure, and I could omit some of the more unsavory facts. While this may be true and possible, the very 'unsavoryness' of some facts is a central issue. How can I tiptoe around them and still be honest?
  • STAY: This is my blog, and the only person who gets decision-making abilities about content is me. My family's story is an integral part of my story, and if I need to wrestle with that part of my experience, so be it. As stated above, I value the input I receive as a result of writing here, through comments and personal interaction. Writing here could open the door for input from people who know me well and could offer pertinent advice. Also, maintaining two blogs, a professional site, and everything else I do (including an actual job!) is more than I care to juggle right now. The content here might suffer and what's the point of keeping the blog if it's going to be lame?
  • GO: Being able to write anonymously, without the worry of familial reactions, could be freeing. Would that perceived freedom be worth the complication?


  1. That's tricky.
    I have the same problem you do, actually. There are a lot of issues I'd love to discuss on my blog, but anytime I get anywhere NEAR the more controversial parts, people start freaking out.
    I started my own private blog to vent. But it's not the same. I'd love to have my blog friends give me their input on things. But I'm always worried a family member would find it.

    My advice to you?
    Start fresh. Start a blog at a new address (could still be blogspot if you wanted), don't tell people that might take your stories too personally, and be free. It's your story. Your life. Your experiences. And you can always protect their identity by using initials or nicknames or something.
    And really, there's no way for them to find it unless you advertised it to them.
    Good luck. I know it's a tough decision. {{hugs}}

  2. Hey there! I'm an in-law! I get what you're saying, because there have been a couple of topics I would like to talk about but don't want to share with my in-laws either. Though, the slightly less revealing ones have actually been quite freeing to write about because I know that they are read by said in-laws and I think it's a chance to reveal some things about myself that I might never be able to share with them any other way.

    I had an anonymous blog in college. I made several posts. And then I got it off my chest. It's still out there and occasionally I'll go find it again. If you feel the need, give it a try. You don't need to commit until you know what will work best.

  3. I think all of us, as writers, struggle with this, especially now that blogging is such a public platform. I'll admit that sometimes an anonymous blog is tempting, but it's also nice knowing that people who really KNOW who I am are reading and able to give feedback as well.

    My solution was a private blog with a few of my closest and most trusted advisors. We called it Illustratus Cor and it was both our Mastermind group and a place for us to vent and process through stuff.


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