On Being Discovered

I swapped war stories recently with a great friend online who had their blog “discovered” by their family. I have been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

I’m writing this to re-assure those of you who write blogs - be that at WordPress, Tumblr, or elsewhere - that what you are doing is valuable, and you should never stop. Your blog is an extension of you, that will live on after you have gone. In decades to come, future generations will come to know who you really were by thoughts, hopes, ideas, dreams and fears you shared. Everything from an offhand rant, to a photo of your face, sun-burn, knickers, or tears will be cherished by those that follow you.

Why?

Because they were created by you. The traces we leave paint a far more honest, close, raw portrait than any carefully authored account because they record who we really were.

The following scene from Good Will Hunting serves as a wonderful illustration; Sean: My wife used to fart when she was nervous. She had all sorts of wonderful little idiosyncrasies. She used to fart in her sleep. I thought Id share that with you. One night it was so loud it woke the dog up. She woke up and went ah was that you? And I didnt have the heart to tell her.

Will: She woke herself up?

Sean: Ah! But Will, shes been dead for 2 years, and that’s the shit I remember: wonderful stuff you know? Little things like that. Those are the things I miss the most. The little idiosyncrasies that only I know about: that’s what made her my wife. Oh she had the goods on me too, she knew all my little peccadilloes. People call these things imperfections, but there not. Ah, that’s the good stuff. The next time you’re worrying about your blog having been read by somebody you know in the real world, ask yourself what matters more - that your children, or future generations will have the chance to find out who you really were, and what you really thought about - perhaps that you had the same hopes, dreams and fears as them - or that you did what everybody else wanted your entire life, because you didn’t really count.

We only get one chance at this. Make yours count.