Thursday, June 01, 2006

It Was Bound To Happen.

It was bound to happen eventually.

I had mentioned my blog to a girlfriend of mine several times, each time resolutely refusing to disclose the URL. (As we all know, I prefer to blog in some semblance of anonymity.) "I'll tell you the URL if you start up your own blog and we trade info," I told her.

Apparently, that night, she found my blog. Then, only more recently, she revealed herself, having not come back to this blog for a little while afterward. She finally set up her own blog, so the quid pro quo arrangement has been (belatedly) fulfilled.

(I will say this: I was relieved when she revealed herself, because for the past several months I've been living in fear that one of these girls had found me, and, well, that would not be good. Of course, one of them might still have found this site, but it seems less likely now that I know who the 2/11 stalker was.)

This brings to five the number of people I know in real life have read this blog.

I daresay it's a little intimidating, and in a way that's not related to my original concerns about blogging openly to my friends. I'm not so much concerned about what I might write about my newest reader -- because she hasn't ever given me cause to say anything negative about her -- Hi, Lillian! -- but now I feel like I'm pressured to write really high quality stuff (and this post is not one of them).

I suddenly realize that it's easier to write when I don't know who's reading me. Of however many readers I have out there, I've met three (though I'm wholly open to the eventuality of meeting more*). Those three aside, with the anonymity of this blog comes the ability to not give a damn if I'm not consistently producing high-quality posts. I can blow off unseen faces with a "so I'm having a bad blog day/week/month". I can choose whether to justify my opinions/biases/prejudices or just ignore a critical (usually anonymous) commenter.

But with a personal friend actually reading this blog, I feel some pressure. I feel the need to write well. No longer am I writing into the wind to be read by whoever happens to land on this page. I now am writing for at least one person who has ability to pick up the phone and say "I read your blog again today."

Don't get me wrong, it's a good pressure; it's a pressure that usually drives me to do better. I've always done best -- at least in school -- in high pressure situations (well, at least those times when I didn't break down in nervous tears). (Don't get me started on the bar exam. I remain eternally grateful that those things don't involve an oral presentation component.) But it's a pressure nonetheless, and though it's an impetus for improvement, it's still strange and unpleasant and exhilirating all at once.

I'm sure this reaction is just the "newness" of having a friend read my blog. Hopefully, this self-consciousness will wear off over time, and I'll return to my normal blogstyle which I have so carefully cultivated over the last two years.

And eventually, I'm sure, I'll lose all my inhibitions in the first place, and feel free to openly tell people, friends included, that this blog exists and that they're more than free to read it at their leisure.

But until then, I lurk in the shadows of obscurity, pouring my efforts into a mediocre blog which generates rather low daily traffic... and loving every word of it.

So, all that having been said, I'd like to welcome Lillian** to the blogosphere, even though as of this posting she hasn't let loose her wit and style on the world just yet. (Give her time.)

* Yes, I'm talking about you. Email me and we'll have drinks. And if you're not in the DC area, we'll have drinks when next I visit your fair city. Unless you're a Friend of Bill W., in which case we'll skip drinks and have a nice coffee drink instead.

** At her request, I am not linking to her site just yet, as the inaugural post has not even made its way up yet. See, this is also weird to me: being able to consult with the subject of my post!


Rene Merced Jr said...

Scary isn't it?! I went through the same thing when I found out that my mom and half of my hometown were reading my blog! I've got stories on their about things I NEVER wanted my mom to read.

I have gotten back to blogging like I was before, it just took me a minute.

(I also went back and edited a few lines here and there about my mom just in case)

Kristin said...

Ah, the pressure. I worry more about content than style when I think about my audience. Then, again, I wouldn't say that I ever write well or that I could write better if I tried.

p.p. said...

I like the pic of the cat. The blog entry is entertaining too. ;)

Vince said...

Are you sure it is only five? ;o)