the words “authentic” and “real” are fun little buzzwords in the blogging community. as writers and community leaders it’s safe to say that we strive for authenticity and truth in our writing and our interactions with our readers. where’s the line, though?
at what point do we draw the line and say “i will not write about this”?
earlier this year, at Allume the following question was posed during the writer’s lab in which Mary DeMuth, Denise Eide, Sarah Markleyand I all spoke. i can’t speak for the other ladies or share their opinions on the matter, but i wanted to address this question here.
what advice would you give to someone that wants to share their personal testimony, but comes from a “private” family?
first of all, your life is your life. i do, however understand being mindful of others involved in the story. i’m divorced. i have to be quite sensitive about what i write pertaining to the divorce online for the following two reasons: one, my ex-husband is still their dad and i don’t want them reading details online. secondly, i have no right to speak badly about another person which leads into my next point.
Mary DeMuth talked briefly about the fact that when she wrote her memoir, she told it from a child’s point of view instead of pointing fingers. she relayed her experience as she experienced it. (Mary, correct me if i’m wrong on how i explained that.)
honestly, there’s a lot that i don’t write about on my blog. i can be authentic, meaning i’m truthful and honest and i tell it like it is without telling you bluntly about every little detail of my life. i did not write about my divorce or separation while i was going through it. i mentioned being a single mom in my posts and some of my friends and loyal readers picked up on it and cared enough to email me to inquire about it, but other than that, people skimmed right over it. now that the divorce is finalized, i can finally feel free to blog a bit more about it. that happens to me quite frequently.
rarely do i blog about something that i’m experiencing WHILE i’m in the midst of it. more often i process it after the fact by writing about it.
most of all, i want to give you permission. permission to write, to process, and to eventually publish if that’s what you think you should do. just because you write something doesn’t mean you need to publish it. i’d begin by writing your testimony. you might want to have your husband and another trusted mentor read it. then pray about it. if you are getting the go-ahead on all fronts, then by all means publish it. it is your story. be sure you publish it mindfully and check your motives. the point of a testimony is glory to God for what He did, not an opportunity to publicly vilify or shame a third party.
so that’s my answer.
what do you think? how do you handle sharing your personal testimony or experiences when you come from a private family or your story involves others? i’d love to hear your thoughts.