Readercon has come and gone, and now I’m on an island off the coast of Maine for a few days, contemplating writing conventions and the writing profession in general. And also petting cute dogs and the fluffiest cat I have ever seen. Seriously, it’s so big and fluffy that it becomes something more than a cat and veers into being a beast.
The best thing about the con for me, by far, was solidifying friendships with some really fantastic people. I always go to cons with this weird anxiety about impressing people, especially the “right” people, but then once I get there, I always have the realization that it isn’t about impressing people, it’s about making genuine connections with friends. Wow, that sounds really Pollyanna. But it’s true.
In the wake of the con, I’m thinking a lot about blogging. I started this livejournal when I moved to Ottawa in order to keep in touch with friends, and it still is largely for that purpose. But as I try to wobble my way along the path towards professional writerhood, I become aware that this is a public face, a place where I must represent myself professionally. And I wonder how much of myself to share. I look at a lot of blogs out there, and it’s clear to me that a good number of the people writing them are creating internet personalities for themselves, built with the choicest bits of their actual personalities. The most vivid instance of this that I can think of is when I sent a link to an artist’s blog to my friend Betsie. The blogger in question makes very cute watercolor drawings of Regency and Victorian ladies, and she writes about her works in progress on her blog, occasionally hinting at a very poetic lifestyle that includes walking through the woods and dressing up in hand-sewn historical dresses. It’s all very charming. But Betsie’s comment, which really struck home for me, was “reading her blog, I get the impression she poops rainbows and baby hedgehogs.” To which I say, well, yeah. One does get that impression. And that kind of creates a sense of falseness, because obviously she poops poop just like the rest of us.
So here’s my question, for those of you who extend your blog to outside your circle of family and friends: how do you create a blogging persona that’s separate enough for you feel comfortable, but genuine enough that it doesn’t seem like you poop rainbows and baby hedgehogs?