Just over ten years ago, I wrote my very first blog post. I had intended it to be a way to communicate details of how a previous evening out with my husband and friends had unfolded. However, posting the blog for a few friends did not turn out how I expected, instead the post and the story I told within it blew up, and as a worldwide game of chinese whispers took hold, my story became retold, distorted and the message I thought I was sharing was completely misunderstood and misrepresented.
At the time, I decided I would simply never write another blog post again. The damage I felt from my inability to describe what I really wanted to get across in my post had put me off writing on my blog ever again. As a result, the blog remains dormant, with the hundreds of comments from others haunting me (despite the fact I refuse to go back and read them). Over the years, I have read other people’s blogs about a range of topics, with complete admiration at their bravery at putting themselves ‘out there’, still insisting that I would never venture into writing a blog post again.
Yet here I am. Launching a new blog. What has changed? To be honest, not much. As I type this, I still very much feel the fear. However, I recognise the benefits of sharing some of my developing ideas and thoughts with a wider audience, as it is important for me to receive critique and input from others. Also, I think that others might benefit from hearing about my experiences as a postgraduate researcher. Do I feel comfortable putting myself out into the public domain again? Absolutely not. Will I force myself to press publish on this post? Absolutely yes (whilst secretly hoping nobody ever discovers that I have a blog and nobody ever reads this). So far I have only shared the link with family members, one friend, and my university supervisory team.
So, tentatively, I step back into the world of blogging, recognising that the huge sense of discomfort about making my story and my thoughts public is something many others may also feel. I do not want to revisit the situation that led to ‘that’ blog post, and I hope that readers of this new blog will respect that (if indeed there is anybody reading this). This post has felt easier to write than I thought it would, so maybe this blogging lark will not be so painful for me after all…