I'm under a horrendous deadline and getting ready for Blog Her at the same time so I'm offering a couple of "best of" posts from my early days on Vox. This one is here because of a conversation I had with someone I'd mentioned in a post - she would have rather I hadn't. Here's the dilemma:
At BlogHer (last year - 2006) there was a great debate among the "mommy bloggers" about how much to reveal about one's children. Much of what was best in my career (as well as, of course, my private life) came from my kids - literally. They're why I finally wrote a book [for kids.] They're why I got interested in kids' books and began writing book reviews for the New York Times and Washington Post and eventually served as early children's book editor at Amazon. They're the reason I did some of my best TV pieces - about kids learning to ski, learning disabilities, etc. You get the idea. BUT
Once they were over 7 or so I always asked before I mentioned them in anything I wrote. I kind of felt that it was my gig and they had their own lives. Now this is a problem. Michael Chabon says:
“Telling the truth, when the truth matters most, is almost always a frightening prospect. If a writer doesn’t give away secrets, his own or those of the people he loves; if she doesn’t court disapproval, reproach and general wrath, whether of friends, family, or party apparatchiks; if the writer submits his work to an internal censor long before anyone else can get their hands on it, the result is pallid, inanimate, a lump of earth. "
He's right I think - I can feel myself hanging back when those "other people's secrets" begin to emerge -- and if affects my writing. It's true even of the most innocent things: something really lovely was said to me this week by one of my kids but it would expose HIM and I can't do it.
Granted, most moms who blog have far younger kids than my adult sons but it's an interesting question. Any thoughts?
Whatever we think about this though it gave me an excuse to share one of my favorite Michael Chabon quotes. (of very very many...)