Last week I wrote a post on my other blog (sorry, shameless plug there) about feeling out of sorts. My father would refer to it as one of my “Bridget Jones posts,” which he’s not a fan of as he thinks they’re a) self-indulgent and b) do little to further my writing ambitions. On both counts he may be right, but I can’t deny that I find writing them cathartic.
Nonetheless, the issue of whether writing personal posts is self-indulgent has been playing on my mind ever since. Until, that is, I received this message from a follower (who also just so happens to be a good friend in the ‘real’ world):
“Reading your post today gave me something I really needed, and that was reassurance; that my friends are human and everyone is going through something and feeling slightly out of sorts.”
That message made me realise that sometimes the ‘self-indulgent’ act of sharing your thoughts and feelings with others can actually help them in some way, and that realisation made me feel a whole lot better, not to mention less ashamed about the occasional online purge of emotions.
I’ll grant that public outpourings of feelings to an audience partly comprised of total strangers isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it works for me, because I believe that writing – in all its various forms – must come from the heart. Without honesty, writing – much like people – has no integrity. The way I see it, they’re a small but integral part of who I am, and furthermore reveal a good deal about why I am this way. So why shouldn’t I post them along with all the other oddities that my brain comes up with? Fact and fiction are never really that distinct anyway…