My blog is a complete secret! I mean obviously you guys know about it (!), but my “real life” friends and family don’t have a clue. With the exception of my wonderful hubby (love you!), I have never uttered a word about Lucy At Home to anyone.
Why have I kept it a secret? Lots of reasons, really; some logical, some irrational, some I’m ashamed of:
- I never expected blogging to become so important to me
- I’m worried I’m not good enough
- It gives me the freedom to write unhindered and uncensored
- I think I haven’t achieved enough yet to earn the blogger title
- I don’t want my obscure, on-the-fringes acquaintances to know about my personal life
- I want to protect my kids’ identities
- I don’t think they’ll know or understand what blogging is
- I assume that they’ll think blogging is a waste of my time
- I’m worried that they won’t be as excited about it as I want them to be
I didn’t intend to keep it a secret for so long, it’s just that I’ve never found the right moment to tell people.
At the beginning, it all felt so new and I was just “trying it out” to see if I liked the hobby. Then I wanted to get a bit more established before telling people so that they could see that it wasn’t a pointless pass-time. Now, it feels a bit ridiculous to say that I’ve started blogging because I actually started over a year ago and it feels awkward!
Maybe I’m just making up excuses (I totally am!) but I just can’t seem to find the right time. Maybe there isn’t a right time? Maybe I just need to bite the bullet and go for it?
The truth is, I’m not sure I can keep it a secret much longer. I spend about 20+ hours a week on “blogmin” tasks and my friends are beginning to wonder why I’m always so busy. The stress is starting to take its toll because I have not dropped any of my pre-blogging commitments. And the blog is such a huge part of my life now…
I’m beginning to wonder if it’s time to come clean with my nearest and dearest.
So I’ve enlisted the help of some of my wonderful blogging buddies (you are what makes blogging so flipping brilliant!) to give me their thoughts and experiences.
8 Bloggers’ Thoughts On Keeping Their Blog A Secret (Or Not!)
My blog came about as a result of my friends telling me how funny some of my Facebook posts about the kids were.
My husband doesn’t read it. He supports my writing but has no interest in blogs in general. My mum and brother are big supporters and regular readers, as are a lot of my close friends. Because of this I do feel like I censor some of what I write. It’s difficult to write about certain situations when you don’t want to offend anyone but also want to write honestly. In truth, it’s a minefield.
But what annoys me most is the general perception that all bloggers are making money and I’m fed up of being asked what free stuff I’m getting. I blog as a hobby. I work full time and have two children so for me it will stay a hobby. You don’t ask someone who is off to play 5-a-side when they will play their next premier league match!
I started my blog on a complete whim. There were no weeks spent researching or debating whether it was a good idea and I didn’t discuss it with anyone. I was bored one day and just started typing on my laptop. I told Oli (my husband) about it later that day. I just chucked it into conversation – it was just a blog after all, no big deal.
I kept it a secret from my friends and family for months. Although the Internet is a very public space, I kind of wanted to keep my blog away from the eyes of people who actually knew me – the thought of people I knew nosing around my blog, finding out the inner workings of my mind, felt strange.
I find this hard to admit, now I wear my blogger badge with pride, but there was a time I was a bit embarrassed of my blog. I mean, who spews all their thoughts onto the world wide web for everyone to see? Was I even any good at it? No one else I know in real life blogs and I was worried people might think it was an odd thing for me to be spending my time on.
It wasn’t until I started getting sent products to review and was earning a bit of cash from my blog that I actually started telling family about it. Stupid, I know, but I kind of felt like people were less likely to think it was a waste of time if I could actually say I was earning from it.
There was no big “coming out” ceremony, but once I landed my first sponsored post I couldn’t help spill the beans about my secret corner of the internet. I found myself telling close friends; not making a big deal of it, but mentioning it in passing. My big reveal to my wider circle of family and friends was when I changed my Instagram and Twitter handles to include my blog name and started sharing links to my posts on my personal Facebook account.
I just realised that I was proud of my blog and it was silly for me to keep hiding it from the people I actually know. There has been no negative reaction from my family or friends. Most are genuinely interested in what I write about or are curious to find out what blogging is. Many think it’s pretty awesome I get sent stuff to review, and my parents and husband are proud of me for doing something I love. It’s great I can sometimes bring in a bit of extra cash for the family pot too.
The only down is that sometimes I feel I have to censor what I write.
Even after 2 years I don’t call myself a blogger, though. If people ask what I do then I reply with ‘I’m doing the mum thing’. If we end up friendly enough to be Insta buddies or I feel comfortable enough with them to allow them into my online life then they will soon get know my not-so-secret blogger side.
Having already ‘come out of the closet’ once in my life, I wasn’t going to hide my blog, or anything else for that matter!
I started blogging because it was a lot cheaper than therapy. No joke. I easily tell people that I am a blogger, but I am not at all pushy. If they ask more, I tell. If they don’t, no worries.
I use it to my advantage if say, I am trying to make a point with our apartment management company: “You should be careful here, I’m a blogger!” And sometimes, I get free things to review when I tell people. That is sweet.
I have blurred all the lines of social media: my blog is aligned to my Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Instagram, G+ and YouTube. After all, my blog is about my shtick (life as I do it). I am always surprised (and elated) to hear that someone is following me, or has read something I’ve written.
My Mrs tells a lot of people (and doesn’t always read – tsk…tsk…). Most of my family and friends read what I write, at least some of the time.
After I publish a post that is vulnerable and open, I can get a call immediately from my shvester (sister) to see if I am okay. Sometimes a friend will call to tell me I made him/her laugh.
I get to meet up with wonderful people from places near and far. I love blogging, sharing my story and writing more than I ever thought I would. And some day, my shanamaidelehs (sweet little girls) will have something to look back on and remember about their momma. <3
I started writing after I’d started withdrawing from family and friends due to the fact I was suffering with panic attacks. I find writing so therapeutic and when I put my first post out there, I got such an amazing response from those I am close to that it spurred me on. Combined with my pregnancy, it was a wonderful way to share what I was going through; the excitement and the fear!
I told people straight away about my blog; I shared the link on my Facebook and, although I was really nervous, I got such a huge amount of support with others saying they’d been through the same and how they had dealt with it.
I get a lot of family and friends asking how the blog is going, but those I am very close to – my husband, siblings, even some of my best friends – don’t appear to read it. Then on the other side of the coin, I have friends who I’d never expect to read my blog – male friends or friends who don’t have kids yet – that read it avidly!
Occasionally I share my blog posts on my personal Facebook especially if it’s one I am really proud of. But I generally keep it to the blogs own social media channels.
Coming out in non-gay blogging terms is a big deal. It’s strange to think why really, but I still feel a bit of butterflies before I press publish. That feeling of vulnerability I guess… The first person I told I was going to start a blog was my friend Sunita – she’d been writing her own blog, Lucky Things, for a year.
I debated internally about whether to share a little, or a lot, or change names, perhaps only have anonymous pics of the kids… but decided I would just go for it.
My husband has supported me from day one – he can tell how much I love writing – he just prefers to remain out of the picture. I reckon he’s hoping I’ll make millions from the blog somehow and he can put his feet up one day – ha! Sometimes I run stuff by him if I think it’s too private, but generally I do my own thing.
As soon as I launched the site, I took the plunge and plugged it to all my friends (massively cringing at the same time)… and the reaction was fab. I’m sure many take or leave it now but that’s up to them – they’re not all my target audience!
I’m not sure my parents really ‘get it’ and why I write it, but they also trust my judgement and know I enjoy it. It’s weird that I worry most about what my Mum might say, though, so I do think there’s a subconscious filter at times because I know she reads it. (Hi Mum – eek!)
I shared my first post on FB and twitter but I didn’t show my son’s face for a while. That took some time. Once I did, I returned to my old published posts and added in relevant pictures of him.
I had been writing my blog in secret for a good 2 years before I shared it with anyone I actually know ‘in real life’.
I initially wrote about life after domestic abuse as I found it really cathartic to get my feelings down on paper. It was quite raw, though, so I didn’t want anyone I knew to read it back then. It was purely for me as a therapeutic tool.
As my blog changed, covering a wider variety of subjects, I decided to take the plunge and share it. I set up a Facebook page but it just sat there for weeks as I was too scared to press publish. I got my sister to look through all my posts first, then shared my blog page on my personal Facebook page… So scary!!!
I’m so glad I did, though, as everyone has been so positive and supportive. I’m much more open about my blog now and do tell new people about it. Putting myself ‘out there’ as someone who doesn’t verbalise her feelings well was really nerve wracking but I’m so glad I did it.
I did tell people about my blog straight away. I didn’t really consider keeping it a secret but, in hindsight, I wonder if I would have done things differently. I think it’s hard for the non-blogging world to fully understand the blogging world (BW).
The drawback of telling people is that when you publish, you are aware that they could be reading it and making assumptions about you. Funnily enough, I don’t worry about that so much with the response from the BW. Also, if I don’t receive a response from people I know then I worry they didn’t like it. Crazy, I know, but the feeling is real!
The Instagram followers who have been friends have sometimes unfollowed me because I post so regularly, their feed is just full of justsayingmum. I can’t blame them, I’d probably unfollow me too! However, it doesn’t mean that I don’t feel a little hurt.
I have changed how I tell people but I think that’s because I’ve become more confident as my following has grown so I’m not so shy about it. I still rarely share things on my personal Facebook page, though; I try to keep my blog and my personal life very separate.
If I could change anything it would probably would have been to be a little quieter about it in the beginning. But hey – you live and learn!
There are definitely some common themes running through here, and it’s great to hear that so many of you have found support and encouragement from sharing with your friends and family. I feel inspired by the pride you all have in your work and I also feel your fears keenly too.
It’s odd how so many of us feel that we can share our innermost thoughts with complete strangers, but speaking with our friends and family feels much more awkward. I guess it’s because we have time to properly word our blog posts, but once you get into a face-to-face discussion about it, you have to make it up as you go along.
I think that’s the heart of my fears – sharing on the blog means sharing on my terms (I choose what to reveal and how much) whereas when my friends and family read it, they can ask me directly and I have nowhere to hide.
You have definitely given me a lot to think about. Thank you so much for taking the time to write down your experiences (and sorry that I had to edit away so much of your work). I will definitely keep you all informed as I try to bring the two parts of my life together (Eeeek!)
My lovely readers – I’d love to know your thoughts! Is your blog a secret or do you tell people about it? How do they react? Do they even know what a blog is? Or maybe you don’t have a blog but you feel inspired after reading these stories – do you think you’ll tell people or will you keep it a secret? Please let me know in the comments section below and help me work this thing out!