I had drinks with a friend last night. We were talking about my blog. He said he’d read it, but it made him feel uncomfortable, like he was intruding upon my privacy. He commented that I “put it all out there” and he felt like he shouldn’t be seeing it. I found it ironic, since my choice to put my thoughts on the ether is deliberate, and I live to see the view count, likes and comments build over time.
In the last month, I’ve written about depression, fear and doubt, feelings of inadequacy–crap, I really do put it all out there. I suppose sometimes it is like reading my journal aloud.
So why do I do it?
Stories have lives of their own. They can heal and they can destroy. I can own these stories, or they can own me. I choose to set them free.
I had never written about my depression prior to my guest post for Robert Lee Brewer, although it was a watershed moment, a true turning point in my life. I was protecting myself and my reputation. Who wants to have a strategy brokered by a lunatic? People might judge–I always knew she was a wacko bitch. But the story was a ball and chain. I’d been dragging it around for years, and it was getting heavy.
Through writing, I cast that story into the wind and let it drift away, while holding those few seeds that I needed for myself. By the time I’d finished the final version I felt weightless.
Information holds enormous kinetic potential. It can move people to act, to shift direction. It can change opinions, clarify misconceptions. But this can only happen when it’s shared. When we hold a story inside, it binds us, and if the energy is great enough, it can blow us to pieces. When we unlock it, we release its energy and claim it for ourselves and transfer it to others.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t stories that I won’t write about. I do have lines that I refuse to cross. I save the stories on the other side of that line for my fiction, when I can change the names of the people involved and claim I made it all up. It’s what writers do.
Where do you draw the line? What stories are you holding on to? Is it time to let it go? Leaving a comment is a great way to start.
Words by J. B. Everett