I really can’t thank all of you enough for the comments you posted. I’ve read them all at least twice.
I guess I’d never thought that much about blogging; I simply barreled into it and kept barreling till I hit some kind of wall (impatience is one of my primary traits. Why think when you can write, instead? My barreling habits continue).
For the most part, I consider the kind of blogging I do to be midway between a journal and a personal newspaper column. I’ve rarely kept a journal and, when I look at my occasional diary entries from my younger years, I want to die of embarrassment. Could I have been more shallow and narcissistic? No, but I was a teenager who didn’t have much of a life outside of books.
I don’t want the blog I write to be like a journal. It’s more public, for one thing. Also, unlike a journal, it’s somewhat censored and selective. I don’t want to write about everything in my life; it’s not all public property and I do have a sense of privacy, even though it may not be apparent. I always hated the phrase “let it all hang out” and disliked the idea you owe the world complete honesty. Writing a blog, I am as honest as possible. I’m telling true stories, but they’re the stories I choose to tell and they’re edited as they’re written to spare us both from going into a coma from total boredom. Every minute of my life, I guarantee you, isn’t interesting and it’s not everybody’s business.
You can be more self-indulgent with a blog than with a column (I wrote a biweekly newspaper column at the Dallas Morning News for several years). But then again, you have to be selective — or who would want to read it? Every time I speak in public, talk to friends or write anything, I live in dread of being boring. I actually think it’s one of my better qualities, unlike my raging impatience. In fact, I wish more people feared being boring before they opened their mouths.
At any rate, it was wonderful to hear from all of you. I’m planning to go on blogging for the immediate future and appreciate your response.
And yes, that was my husband on the TV show about the Jon Benet Ramsey case. A few weeks ago, he emailed me a copy of the ransom note to ask my thoughts about it. It occurred to me that most wives don’t get ransom notes from their husbands on a casual basis. But what do I know? Maybe they just think something like that is too boring or too private to talk about.
(Copyright 2011 by Ruth Pennebaker)
Here’s an old post I like about living with two men, a can of whipped cream and the Three Stooges
Fear of being boring! I surely do wish more people suffered from it.
Glad to see you plan to keep entertaining us, Ruth.
Wow. That ransom note thing deserves its own column. What DID you think? I saw that show, too, and wondered if the Pennebaker featured was your husband. Don’t remember you ever mentioning he was a ransom note expert!
Yea! Ruth will continue to unboringly blog us.
Yes, I wish more people had a fear of being boring. That fear should go hand-in-hand with the fear of monopolizing a conversation.
By the way, were you in the Pyrenees when you received the ransom note?
I laughed out loud at your description of barreling into blogging until you hit a wall; that’s exactly how it was for me. Just a random impulse I followed through on, and continued with enthusiasm until suddenly I just lost interest. Currently I’m rethinking my mission and trying to redefine for myself what I find interesting to write about, which is in itself an interesting exercise!
I must send this to my son who is just completing his first year of law school. I think it was a year of tremendous personal growth for him, just as you describe here. He is pushing himself way beyond the limits he had previously set for himself, which makes me very proud.
I’m glad you are planning on blogging for the immediate future, Ruth. Your words and thoughts are always a joy to read, full of insight and wisdom.