No matter how long I blog and who else I read, Blair from Heir to Blair will always and forever be my Dooce. I read her blog before I’d read any other, finding her on The Bump and becoming both terrified and in awe of her quick wit and sarcasm. She was the reason I started a blog instead of a diary. Getting to know her has been one of the highlights of this past year in blogging, and I’m thrilled she’s guest posting about how she finally told her parents just what she was doing on the computer – and then let them read it. Please to enjoy:
For a solid year, I wrote my blog under a pen name. In the beginning, I rarely posted pictures, never of my face, & did ZERO social marketing with it. I liked my quiet piece of the Internet where I could drop the “f-bomb” without shame & even use my former favorite which-shall-not-be-named-but-starts-with-C. Every night I sat on my laptop, tapping out stories with no face. My husband & a few Internet friends knew my real identity outside of “Blair,” but it was a closely-guarded secret.
Honestly? I was terrified of anyone knowing I was “Blair.” I became so candid on my blog, writing about everything from my sex life to cervical mucus to thoughts on breastfeeding. It felt like a personal diary, not just a run-down of fertility. (sometimes I would sweat bullets that something would crop up on my personal Facebook page about my blog & people would be all “What blog?!”
But then I started making connections with readers. I joined Twitter. I made a Facebook page. I wrote pieces for other magazine sites & blogs. I began posting pictures. I leaked our real names. I bought a Blogher 2010 ticket.
At the beginning of summer 2009, The Momma (that’s my mother) sat down to discuss vacation dates. Our family takes a week-long beach trip each year at the end of the summer & we were trying to pin down the beach house for a specific date. “What about the week of August 4th?” she asked.
I bit my lip. I broke out into a sweat. & I cracked.
“I can’t. I’m going to be in New York City,” I said.
The Momma’s head snapped up. “What are you going to New York City for?”
“A blogging conference…?” It was a statement, but definitely came out like a question.
Her head tilted with confusion. “You want to start blogging?” she asked.
oh, boy. Here we go.
Slowly, I began explaining that I did write a blog & that I had been writing for over a year under a pen name. I told her the name, explained the pen name. I explained blogging conferences & how I made some incredible friends over the Internet. She sat across the kitchen table from me, slack-jawed. “Does anyone actually read your blog?” she asked.
I smiled sheepishly. “A few…thousand.”
“THOUSAND?!” I nodded. “Oh my, & they’re all reading about your private parts?!” I honestly thought she would faint from the indecency of it all. But she simmered & I explained the blogging gig a little more – like when I blog (at night), what I write about (my life), & why I love it (too many reasons to list here).
She took a sip of coffee & asked, “May I read it?”
I was completely taken aback. “Sure,” I stammered. “But I should warn you…it’s me. The real me. Everything you ever wanted to know & didn’t want to know. You’ll be offended & you’ll learn things about me that you never wish you knew. But if you can handle it, then I can handle it.”
Ever since that morning, my parents checks my site at the start of every day. For stories on my heart, pictures of Harrison, & a little insight into the crazy world of a working mother that they never knew.