Friday, June 10, 2016
I’ve been blogging for years. According to stats maintained by the various blog sites, I’ve been read close to 200,000 times, which if it were anything other than blogs would be pretty neat. Really popular blogs pull in millions of readers, though, so my success is at best modest.
Part of the issue is that I’m a generalist in a specialized age. I have friends who write tech blogs for which they actually get paid. I think at my best I may have managed to flog a couple of my books upon unsuspecting readers, but blog-writing has been a labor of love. And that’s fine; I love writing about my parents, my childhood in Paris, and what it was like first coming to America. I’ve chronicled my cancer issues with a lot less joy and will keep doing so, I think, though I’ll admit that I fear this particular subject is getting boring. How many times can I write about surgery and chemo and the attending side-effects? I’ve done a lot of writing on writing. I’ve written about friends and people I’ve met in coffee shops, and the really important folks in my life, those I love and occasionally ache for, those who make me stop and think and reconsider antiquated notions. I’ve done stuff on relationships created and relationship betrayed, on the maintenance of a goldfish pond, band gigs, the Olympics, the Tour de France, the benefits and shortcomings of living alone (great when you’re young, not so great as you get older), cleaning house, building furniture, and the care and maintenance of pedal steel guitars.
I’ve done some unhappy blogs too. I’m prone to SAD and sun-downing, and the holidays can reduce me to tears, although I don’t really know why. I’ve written pieces on the subtle differences between solitude and loneliness and, at times, have received wonderful comments from people I’ve never met but who apparently read me regularly. I’ve written about that strange feeling I get when attending a crowded event by myself—a parade, most recently, or a museum, when being in surrounded by hordes of people is often more isolated than sitting in my basement in front of a screen.
I’m a firm believed that some people talk to their shrinks, but writers write. I fact, those very words are above my desk, and writing blogs has at times been an enormous source of emotional relief.
But more and more I’m finding there are issues I never dare write about. There are things I’m embarrassed by, or simply fear to share with readers. Aging, intimacy or the lack thereof, deep-seated fears, pain and dying, the angst associated with selling my home and finding a new place to go, that feeling of failure that is growing more pervasive daily. More and more, such themes are occupying far too much space in my mind and I don’t know what to do with them. They demand honesty in the telling, rather than the veiled references I’ve been using when skirting a sensitive subject.
So I think what I am going to do is write a secret, totally anonymous blog.
No doubt this is a form of literary cowardice. Hiding behind anonymity often is, since it implies I may have the courage to state opinions, but not to be identified as the holder of these opinions. Or that I am ashamed of harboring and showing particularly feelings I’ve decided are unmanly.
I’m apparently not the only one with a desire for anonymity. A brief internet search brings up a long of list of websites put up by people who want to share with no name or address. Some are tremendously sad, true calls for help that, I fear, go unanswered. Others are statements of fear, desire, and frustrations. Others still are odd and oddly affecting. “I don’t like Harry Potter,” reads one, and I wonder what prompted a person to post such a deep, dark secret.
Whatever. It’s worth a try.