TMI: to blog it or not

June 27, 2010

I’ve been working on a blog post about my family for a couple months now. I wrote a bit more a few weeks ago and was about to post it, when I thought better of it.

The copy I added was just TMI. Too Much Information.

I know bloggers who say that they work out their issues by writing, and so do I. The thing I’m learning as I read other blogs, though, is that working issues out in writing doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to post all the gory details.

Sometimes, it’s just TMI. Sometimes our feelings are just too personal for public consumption.

Besides, an audience is not required to derive the benefit of venting on a page. A writer can simply write, save the document and keep it to him- or herself. It’s not necessary to disgorge every emotion on the screen.

I’m thinking now of a blogger who has involved her readers in her family’s health problems. Quite often she’ll take readers to the edge by, say, noting a doctor’s visit, a serious medical choice or some other cliffhanger–and then not provide the outcome.

I can understand not wanting to post about matters that are very personal. Like the outcome of a consulting physician visit. But why even mention the pending visit? Why take the reader part way and leave them hanging?

At the same time, she has posted some very dramatic, personal exchanges she’s had with a family member that make that person look pretty bad. So it’s not like she’s totally protecting them. Go figure.

I’m certain she’s working out her boundaries for her blog and that perhaps her decisions will look different in a few years. But the inconsistency in what she reveals has been food for thought in my own writing.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still going to post the blog entry I’ve been working on. But I’ll edit it first, saving the new copy for another time. Maybe an essay, maybe a book.

Or maybe I won’t use it at all. Because just writing it has been cathartic enough.

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