Sell Your Heart

Recently I’ve been wondering lately how much of my true self I should expose online. How honest, how confessional, I should be.

The other day, sipping a pint in my new favourite pub in London, I casually mentioned in passing that I kept a blog to a friend, a ‘real person’ (I know – they had skin and hair and noises came out of their mouth when they talked and everything).

He seemed astounded. From that point on, what had previously been a mildly amusing, if somewhat immature, conversation about attractive cartoon characters became an interrogation about my blog. Like a terrier with a bone, he wouldn’t let it go. What was it called? What’s it about? When would he get a mention? (Now Tom, now). I don’t know why he was so interested, but I told him a little about it. As I spoke however, the feeling that I really didn’t want him to read it quickly developed. After about 5 minutes, I became practically certain that I wouldn’t really want anybody I actually know in the physical world to go reading my blog.

I can’t really say why this is… I like to think I am a consistent person in the way I interact with others – whoever or wherever they may be – and so I think there is nothing in this blog which I won’t happily talk about face to face with someone. At the same time however, I kind of like the anonymity of a blog, that I can freely admit to actually preferring the fishy half of the Little Mermaid, or that I sometimes even sing ‘Under the Sea’ in the shower, and not be seen blushing.

But I feel disingenuous; I am holding back. Some folks out there put everything, in raw, unflinching detail. I admire them for it, but I’m caught. I would love to do this, to write down exactly what I thought, felt, did. At the same time however, I’m not sure that I would like to see that stuff, written down in black and white, and I certainly wouldn’t like others, especially those who know me, to read it. I have some shitty thoughts, and do some shitty things sometimes. We all do, right? (…right??)

Perhaps being able to translate these aspects of ourselves into words in a blog, or characters in a work of fiction, is where writers of real ability truly shine. Like Raskolnikov in Dostoyevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’. Thanks to the author’s genius, you can’t help but empathise with the guy, even though he is basically a deranged murderer.

I’m no murderer, but sometimes I wake myself up by breaking wind at night. Empathise with that.

F.S Fitzgerald once wrote in response to a friend seeking advice – “You’ve got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions, not the little minor things that only touch you lightly, the little experiences that you might tell at dinner”.

Sound advice I think. Yet, for me, so hard to follow.

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About odiousghost

Successfully going from failure to failure since 1767
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10 Responses to Sell Your Heart

  1. I can identify with this post. I started out with the intent of creating a blog that no one I knew in my life would read… and still, no one does. However, the reason for this was so that I could unabashedly discuss my life without growing self-conscious. I’m still self-conscious… and I’m not sure why. Like you said, I don’t think anything I am saying here would be completely scary to reveal to the people in my life. Still, I like this little secret I have, and in some ways it is keeping me honest, though sometimes honest with minor omissions… I’m working on this! Good post, and I like that quote from Fitzgerald!

  2. Cafe says:

    LOL I love your writing, you’re too funny =P

    When you’re ready to break the blog out into the world as you know it, you will know. And that will be the time. I really believe that if you have any doubts, don’t do it. There’s no turning back and you don’t want to feel like you have to then censor yourself because so-and-so now knows about your blog!

    • odiousghost says:

      Yea, I’m thinking of letting a few people i actually know read it – see what they think. I guess I’ll start with people who I know will be nice, like my dear old gran (once she figures out how to turn her computer on..)

      Thanks so much for reading it.

  3. I write under a pseudonym, and I share some pretty gritty, horrible stuff. I need a certain degree of anonymity to feel protected. But I can tell you: everyone lives a secret life of one sort or another; even people who seem brutally honest on the surface have wells of other things that are never exposed to light. It’s human nature. We are complex creatures with too many facets to lay ourselves flat; we can never be always the same thing.

  4. odiousghost says:

    We are indeed complex creatures, and I guess everyone hides behind a certain amount of anonymity… Like Oscar Wilde once said – “Give a man a mask, and he’ll show you his true face”

    Thanks for reading

  5. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all is required to get set up? I’m assuming having a
    blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100%
    sure. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

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