Saturday, April 13, 2013

TMI in blogs?

I'm of two minds about self-disclosure in writing.  I'm all for, say, bits and pieces of someone's life or background when it adds to her being a fully realized character in his narrative.  I like to feature lots of my past in my own work, and sometimes the problems I currently face.  But I'm not entirely comfortable reading about somebody's issues when they're presented as the focus of a blogpost.

Having said that, I'm a regular reader of two blogs by writers who are undergoing health issues and whose issues have taken centerstage recently.  A part of me, maybe the writer part, is resentful because those issues aren't the reason I read those blogs and their admissions hit me as too much information.  But another part of me, the minister part, is aware that for some people writing about and publicizing what they're going through is helpful in their dealing with pain.  Montaigne's revolutionize of the essay came about by mixing his personal ills and traumas into the pot of reflective scholarship.

So count me as one of those readers for whom TMI is annoying but for whom What Someone is Going Through is instructive.  I'm not aware of this being a controversy except perhaps among those of us who take blog writing, and writing itself, more seriously than it might deserve.

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