My Blogging Dilemma

Hi everyone!

I have a little bit of a dilemma in terms of my blog and I would really appreciate any advice or opinions you guys can offer. After all, you’re all so wise and learned (see how I’m buttering you up, eh? *hands you plate of chocolate chip cookies*).

I began this blog four years ago as an outlet for all my random and somewhat zany thoughts. I didn’t tell anyone because a) I wanted to be able to discuss private matters without worrying about who in my personal life would see them and b) because I genuinely didn’t believe a single person would actually read my blog. Over the years, I’ve let a selected few in on the secret but have elected not to tell my family, or anyone on my personal social media accounts.

There are, of course, benefits to this. I can write freely without fear of being judged or ridiculed by the people whom I see frequently. Let’s face it, we all have a little rant now and again about someone who annoys us on social media. I worried that my blog and twitter feed would irk people or cause them to take me less seriously. I know I shouldn’t care, but I do. It would hurt me if I knew people were being overtly critical of this blog. I’m probably way too sensitive.

I think there have been drawbacks to keeping this a secret too, however. Firstly, I’m really proud of my blog. I don’t want to sound smug or arrogant, but I have worked hard on it and I would like to share that with the people closest to me. When I was nominated for an Irish blogging award in 2014 alongside some of the most famous blogs in the country, I couldn’t tell anyone. I was so flattered and excited to be named a finalist but I couldn’t share that excitement with anyone. The same happened in 2015, when I became a finalist in the Weblog Awards or “Bloggies”. I was nominated alongside The Bloggess, who is, like, blogging royalty. I felt so honoured and so proud that all my hard work seemed to be paying off. It was difficult not to tell people, but I knew that I would have had to compromise my semi-anonymity and I wasn’t ready then. Now, as my blog readership grows and I am being presented with some very exciting opportunities, I am having to spend long hours working on drafting posts, networking and keeping up to date with all my social media accounts. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. I love creating new content and connecting with new people. But it is time-consuming. The people around me assume I’m sitting idle all day, throwing blueberries at my cats (that’s only on Sundays). I would love them to know that I’m far from idle and that I work pretty damn hard.

So does this mean I’m ready to reveal my blog? I don’t know. I keep going over the pros and cons in my head. You might think I’m overthinking it. I mean, would anyone even care? Sure, they’d probably check it out if I posted a link on Facebook, but they’d forget about it in a couple of days, right? Possibly. But there’s also the fact that I’m a teacher. I have professional connections on my personal social media accounts and I know my blog would probably go down as well as a salad in an enclosure of lions. As a teacher, there is always the possibility that my blog will be discovered by former employers, prospective employers or even worse, students (aaaaargh). I mean sure, I’ve never posted anything insanely inappropriately but I’m hardly a paragon of professionalism and maturity here, am I? The thing is, I don’t want to be. I set this blog up to be a space where I can be all kinds of silly. Ireland is a small country. Putting my blog out there would mean that people would see it, and quickly too. Sure, they may not be terribly interested but it could work against me when I’m trying to convince someone I’m not a lunatic who does yoga with her cats (it’s Zumba, FYI). And I don’t want to compromise myself on here either. I love being able to be a little crazy here. It’s liberating!

There’s also the matter of my family. Sigh. I love them. I do. They are all kinds of wonderful and lovely but daaaaamn can they be judgemental and morally superior. I can actually hear the criticism already:

“You’re a teacher, Jane. It’s just all very unprofessional and silly.”

“It’s a little narcissistic, don’t you think?”

“Isn’t it a little immature?”

“It’s not really a big achievement though, is it? You should be focussing on what actually matters.”

Okay, I’ve made them sound a little more heinous than they actually are (LOL, oops) but that would be the gist of it. I would feel like an errant six year old who just stuck pebbles up her nose.  I would want them to be proud of me and to encourage me but I doubt they would. And that would hurt. A lot.

Okay, so that seems like problem solved, right? Telling people about my blog seems like a bad idea. But I still have that little nagging voice (let’s call her Kim) that says “go for it!” It would certainly open up more possibilities. I could actually attend blogger events and make real-life connections. I could stop worrying when my tweets are featured in newspapers and magazines (and lately, even TV, thank you Big Brother Uk) that someone I know will figure out that it’s me. I mean, the chances are pretty minimal but still…
Best of all though, I could include my nearest and dearest in a journey that has meant so much to me. I know the majority would be so kind and supportive and would even help me. Many probably wouldn’t even care all that much, and that’s fine too. It would be amazing, but also terrifying. I’ve been semi-anonymous for so long, it would be so strange to give it up. And once I do, there is no going back.

So, as you can infer from this meandering, semi-coherent post, I’m conflicted. I would LOVE your thoughts and opinions on this. Please share in the comments!

P.S. I owe such a debt of gratitude to those of you who have supported me along the way. You will always be my MVPs. Love you guys.

P.p.s. I set up an Instagram account for my blog and would really appreciate a little support. You can follow me here and I will follow you back because I love you. Too much? Too much.

60 thoughts on “My Blogging Dilemma

  1. Gary Lum says:

    I’d go with what makes you feel safe and comfortable.
    There’s always the option of starting a new public blog. It won’t get the same traction up front and it will take a while to build an audience but you could post similar stories and be more selective what you write. Keep this one special though so your fans like me can always read here.

  2. Maieutic.Arts says:

    This IS strange. I had a dream last night about the anonymity of being an artist and its purpose in a collectively-agreed-upon-male-dominated industry. Long story short, I wondered this morning if, perhaps, Banksy was a female artist. I mean, everyone assumes male, but only a handful of people really know, right? Anyhow. The point. I would ask yourself if there is REALLY a point to your anonymity? Do you REALLY care what others think? I’m kind of with Kim on this one. ❤

    • janeybgood says:

      Wow, I never even considered that either. That is actually such a great point. We constantly make those kinds of assumptions, don’t we? I wish I could say that I don’t care what others think, but part of me definitely does. I think as I’m getting older, I certainly care less though. Thanks so much for your thoughtful and considered advice, it really means a lot. ❤️❤️

      • Maieutic.Arts says:

        Anytime! As a side note, I am a teacher as well. From my perspective, while there are certain professional boundaries (none of which I feel like you’ve crossed from what I’ve read), I think ultimately your job as a teacher is to be fully and authentically YOU. Lead by example and from the heart…not from some sort of rule system that exists and changes depending on the day. Ya know? Anyhow, it looks like you’ve got a lot of support regardless of what you decide! ❤

      • janeybgood says:

        Wow, I never knew that! I love hearing other teacher’s perspectives so this helps a lot! My students know I’m a little kooky anyway, so I wouldn’t actually mind too much what they think. As long as I’m good at actually teaching, I guess it shouldn’t matter! It’s the employers I’m more conscious of.
        Thanks for your lovely words and for taking the time to give such genuine guidance ❤️

  3. Lisa The Health Coach says:

    Do what you feel is right, but, remember that your blog is an extension of you. You are who you are whether you tell anyone or not, and that will never change. And those that love you will love you no matter what. No ones opinion should ever matter (this coming from someone that also wears her heart on her sleeve), though we think it does. You were not put on this earth to make anyone else happy, follow in their footsteps, or do what they think you should do instead of what you feel is right for you. So, whether you go public or stay silent, do what you feel is right for YOU and to heck with what anyone else thinks. 🙂 ❤ xx

    • janeybgood says:

      This is such wonderful advice, Lisa. I feel really inspired by it ☺️ and you are so right, I really need to do what’s right for me. Your kind words certainly help me to feel more deserving of doing that xxx

  4. sophiealicetalks says:

    I had a similar situation not long ago (in terms of family & friends). I think that my family know about my blog now, I know my sisters read it, which has caused an argument or two because of our different opinion, but at the end of the day we just talk it out and it’s over within a day! My parents have never asked for the link to my blog, so they either have it already, or choose to keep away from it. You have done an amazing job to work as a teacher and keep up with your blog, which is shown so clearly by your nominations! Do whatever you are most comfortable with, you can always just drop into conversation that you write in your spare time so that it sounds less time consuming than it really is! I hope this all works out for you soon!

    Sophie / sophiealicetalks x

    • janeybgood says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience Sophie! Can I ask, does knowing your family are aware of your blog shape what you write on it? Does it make you a little self-conscious?
      That’s very good advice! I could say that. As long as there are no follow up questions, which to be honest, there probably wouldn’t be! Thanks for sharing and for the advice xx

      • sophiealicetalks says:

        I don’t really talk about it with my parents, they are aware that I have a blog, but I also write for a magazine’s blog so I tell them about what I’m writing on there rather than my personal blog. My content focuses on mental health, sexuality, and general opinion/advice pieces, so I imagine some topics may be a little hard for them to read about (particularly regarding mental health or past family issues…I never go into detail or name names but there is general outlines of events just to give context). Some topics are more sensitive than others, so sometimes I do worry about their thoughts (if they have even read it), but I haven’t had any feedback from them yet. I’m glad to be of help, feel free to message me if you ever need to! xx

      • janeybgood says:

        Oh wow, congrats! I will have a better look over your blog tomorrow when I can give it more time, but it looks amazing! Yep, some of the things (my own mental health struggles in particular) would certainly be difficult to read for my family. Thanks so much for your help and lovely to know I can message you, thanks 🙂 xx

  5. The V Pub says:

    I’ve said this before, your blog, along with Amanda’s blog, inspired me to blog when I was about to quit. I love reading it. Now, about letting the cat out of the bag, or the owl out of the bag, that’s a tough one. I prefer not to let my friends and family know about it. One of the reasons is those closest to me will also be the cause of frustrations and I will need to rant about them. So there’s that.

    • janeybgood says:

      Aw Rob, that’s so kind! I think you’re actually one of the people on here I’ve known the longest 🙂 Yep, that’s exactly my reluctance too! It has been a safe little space to come and vent when I’ve needed to. Have you ever been tempted to tell though??

      • The V Pub says:

        Yes, we’ve been on WP for a while, eh? 🙂 There are times that I do want to tell them. There have been times when some of the replies have been so funny that I really wanted to share them. Having friends and family can be difficult enough without the added conflict of what I may have written about them.

      • janeybgood says:

        You’re right, especially if you feel that it does you good mentally. It’s very important to be able to express ourselves. That is a big plus for me keeping my anonymity.

  6. pensitivity101 says:

    I’m half and half. Some of my friends know of my blog, but apart from Bro and co in NZ, none of my family do. They know I have one, but not what it is, in fact they have shown little if any curiosity, which is actually fine by me as I have written about them and they may well not like what I’ve said. It’s a tough call, but if it’s likely to cause you personal distress by a Great Reveal, maybe it would be better to keep quiet and accept your accolades in private. Just a thought. 🙂

    • janeybgood says:

      Thanks for your advice! Yeah, I think I would probably have to censor myself a little more and I would really dislike that. It’s great that you have a place to unload! And you’re right, I don’t need their praise, I should just be content with what I’ve achieved myself. Thanks for the thoughts!

  7. Melissa Gibbs says:

    I think you have plenty of reasons to be proud of your blog and you should totally tell your parents. I know the fear, I had it too, but it’ll be a huge weight off your shoulders just to have told them, no matter the result. I haven’t shared with people I use to go to school with other then my boyfriend and close friends and I totally get the privacy thing even though some days I wish I could flip a switch and change my mind. Maybe start small by telling your parents and work your way up to telling everyone on your personal social media? You’ve worked hard, like you said, and the people who created those awards see that! So be proud 😀

    • janeybgood says:

      That’s a really good idea. My dad wouldn’t have a clue what a blog is (he only got a mobile phone six months ago and is struggling 😂🙈) but I think my mother would actually like it. I might tell my sister perhaps. She is usually very supportive and we are very close.
      Thank you for such kind words 🙂

  8. dinosaursdonkeysandms says:

    I just worry about students finding my blog. I’m more than happy for people to know about my blog but I don’t have my full name on it because of students! They get excited finding anything about me on the internet, I think this would be too much! 🙂 Just go with what makes you feel most comfortable. 🙂 xxx

    • janeybgood says:

      That’s really my issue too. I mean, there’s nothing particularly terrible on here but still. I live in a small town so I’m friends with people on Facebook who are sisters/cousins etc of my former students, so they would probably come across it somehow. I’m not actually teaching at the moment though, so it doesn’t really matter too much!
      I know right?! Haha, if mine see me in e supermarket, they get soooo excited 😂 thanks so much for your advice! Great to hear from a fellow teacher 🙂

  9. Ritu says:

    Janey, I can totally sympathise with you on this. As a blogger and teacher! It is a totally personal decision for you to be honest.
    I have let my blog become public, well, to my friends and family anyway. My colleagues, and head teacher are aware too, and they are really supportive!
    To be honest, I make sure not to mention my school in any derogatory manner. I don’t have the name of it anywhere.
    I have a few parents who I know as friends, who follow me as they are friends with me on FB. But my name on FB is altered so students can’t find me easily too!
    But, like you, my blog is an outlet for me, so I would hate to have to ‘shut it down’ for any reason!

    • janeybgood says:

      Thanks so much for this Ritu! It’s so great to get a teacher’s perspective because that really is the main issue I have. I am so glad that you’ve been able to find the right balance. I think, in many ways, Ireland is still a very conservative country and I know that a lot of employers here would frown on this kind of thing. I know there are definitely some who wouldn’t though. My previous employers seemed very progressive and I think they would actually like it.
      Ugh, it’s all very confusing 😂 thanks for your help, means a lot 🙂

  10. dweezer19 says:

    You are at a crossroads Janey. Perhaps I am not the one to ask. I am currently reading The Artists Eay which shows us how to break free of our creative constraints and fly free. The real question is do you want to soar and paddle around the pond? 😉

    • janeybgood says:

      I really am torn. I think I will just leave it be for now but I’ll definitely consider telling people soon. It would open up a lot of new opportunities. Thanks for taking the time to share this 🙂

  11. floridaborne says:

    I can’t tell you what to do — I can only tell you how I look at it.

    And I look at it this way: My secrets are going to come out one way or the other. I might as well put them in a blog and be the first to make fun of them. That way, I’m not stuttering out an explanation when someone asks, “You had 5 husbands? Aren’t you ashamed?”

    No. Not if I can help other people through the lesson’s I’ve learned. The questions above are usually followed by, “but you have Tourette’s,” as if it’s a life sentence for spinsterhood. Obviously, it’s not. 🙂

    I find that it takes the wind out of the gossip sails when I’ve delivered the punch line first. I know 2 bloggers who have spilled out their feelings in a blog they’ve hidden from family, only to find that someone leaked out the secret to them (or found their blog by accident).

    Just a few things to think about. The road you walk in life may intersect with mine, but my path may not be the one you want to take.

    • janeybgood says:

      This is a really good (and empowering) point. People are always going to talk about us; it’s best to just own it. I wish I were more like you! I just have that nagging voice at the back of my head that always makes me doubt myself. Thanks for this, it’s very inspiring!

  12. Victo Dolore says:

    If you don’t have a clear feeling that revealing is best, hold off until you are sure. I liked the suggestion of a new public blog, too. You can migrate content bit by bit as you go through it.

  13. Anna says:

    If you recognize that your current methods and posts aren’t professional enough or are a bit immature… If you genuinely want to continue having this as a safe place to rant and be a little immature… If you’re worried about how friends, family, and colleagues will react to your blog- and every scenario genuinely considered leads to a negative one? Don’t share it no matter how much you want to do so.

    But if you want a professional blog (and remember, you can still be informal and professional at the same time) that you can proudly share with everyone and increase networking ability? Clean up the blog and keep the immature thoughts for your personal diary- or start a second blog for those under a new pseudonym.

    But from my own personal experience, you really have two options: Professionalism or Safe (ranting) Space. Pick one; you often can’t have both. So take some time and think abbot it. Don’t rush into a discussion. Instead, figure out what you really want, and then react accordingly. And whatever you pick, I wish you good luck!

    • janeybgood says:

      Very good and solid advice. I think I will keep quiet for now, at least until I have really thought all of it through. I enjoy this space and what I do here and ultimately, I don’t want to change that. If I shared this with the people around me, I probably would have to. That’s just the reality of it.
      Thanks so much for such considered advice. I hugely appreciate it 🙂

  14. hell0chloe says:

    I think this means you’re ready to share your blog! Never do anything you’re not comfortable with, but this reminds me of when youtubers start out and are too afraid to tell their friends / family that they make videos because they’re scared of being judged or misunderstood. You’ve clearly worked incredibly hard to build your blog and content and the people closest to you should be proud and happy for you – anyone who isn’t is clearly not a true friend! They may find this blog one day anyway, so would you rather reveal it all in a celebratory way or have them randomly find out and then wonder why you never told them ?? Whatever you choose will be the right decision so don’t stress about it, I hope you find your answer soon! X

    • janeybgood says:

      This is exactly why I have wanted to reveal it! I’m glad you can see it like that. I think all my close friends would actually love it. It’s the fact that there probably would be overlap between them and my professional life, as it’s kind of all connected. That’s where the problem lies. Maybe I’m making a bigger deal of this than it needs to be!
      Thanks so much for your thoughts, I really appreciate them 🙂

  15. Garfield Hug says:

    Do what you are comfortable with or use pseudonymns so that this way no one gets upset or offended. I enjoy your blog and to me personally, it does not matter when you remain incognito. I still read and enjoy your posts!🐾🐾👏👏💕💕

    • janeybgood says:

      Aw that’s so lovely, thank you! I suppose it just comes down to what makes me happiest in the end, doesn’t it? Thanks for your comment, you always make me smile! ❤️

  16. ditzyd7 says:

    This is something I know will eventually come up for myself one day, so I totally understand where you are coming from. For me personally, I like it being my little secret at the moment so that I can work through my emotions I am going through. Once I am in a better place, I want to share my journey with those closest to me, I’m just not quite ready yet.

    I would say, yes but only if you’re ready 🙂 xx

  17. Paul says:

    I get where you’re coming from. My family knows about my blog but I never advertise it to them and I don’t really think they’re interested anyway. I used to share my posts on Facebook because I had a lot of friends who I knew who would like it, but whenever I posted it, I’d always block the post from a group of people who I didn’t want to read it – people I thought would think my blog was hokey or people I hadn’t talked to in years. Sounds silly to do that but I did because I didn’t want to share everything with everyone.

    I still like maintaining some anonymity with my blog, hence why I only go with my first name. I think for you, it sounds like you’re curious to see how people would react if you told them, or that you just want to prove to them that you are being productive and successful. I completely get it. But once you make that leap, there is no going back. You can’t untell people. So I’d say just be sure this is 100% something you want to do. Good luck!

    • janeybgood says:

      The Facebook thing is something I would do. That’s what I was actually thinking of but then I was worried that someone would know I’ve blocked them from seeing a post. Is that possible? It’s only a few people I wouldn’t want seeing it. It’s kinda mad that we’re friends with these people.
      It really is just curiosity. I would possibly regret telling people so I think it’s probably safer to be a little cautious. Maybe I’ll casually mention it to a few people.
      Thanks for sharing your experience and your advice 🙂

      • Paul says:

        Nope. No one can see who you block from seeing the post. Everyone was supportive of me, even people I wasn’t expecting which was cool. I remember receiving complimentary messages (one step higher than a mere comment) from people I hadn’t talked to in a long time. I have no doubt you’d receive the same support. It’s just that security of anonymity and whether you’re ready to give it up yet.

      • janeybgood says:

        Oh, that’s actually okay then. I had assumed if someone was trying to view a post then they’d know I had blocked them from seeing it. So that’s comforting!
        I’m really glad people were complimentary. And of course they would be, you blog is awesome. I think a lot of my friends would actually like mine, whereas a few would think I’m even weirder than they assumed lol.
        I’m happy in this little bubble for now.

  18. banoffeepie28 says:

    OOH I see the dilemma – what really stuck out though was the job bit and how staff and students could come across it. I suppose that stuck out most, because being a student it’s ingrained in us from day one that we need to just like, be good people and stuff online. But you’ve kept the two separate which is already great. It’s a tough one but I reckon that if it did feel right, then maybe gloss over some old posts? See if you want them there? It’s hard to tell to be honest because as a kid we’re basically told that the worst is when they’re pictures of you smashed at 1AM online which is not ideal, but this is so different. This is a blog.
    I’d say if the gut feeling isn’t 100% just wait it out. See what happens. Take your time to decide 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • janeybgood says:

      That’s true, I could edit the blog a little so to speak. I’ve never really put anything that crazy on here but I guess it wouldn’t do any harm to have a look and see what I can do with the old posts. I think you’re right; I just need to wait it out. Hope you are doing well and thanks for stopping by 😀🙂

  19. itsfinetheblog says:

    Your posts always make me laugh!! This is also super relatable to me! Except for the part where you’re wildly successful and I have two blog posts. But still 😋 I created a different social media, email, everything for my blog. I didn’t tell anyone except my sister, who mentioned it to my mom, who now wants to know everything! I’m reeeeally apprehensive about my friends and family to read it. At least until I feel like it’s ready (which may be never.) BUT, I do think that the people that really love and support you will think this is great. You really have something to be proud of! And literally everyone on my Facebook is selling something or posting thousands of pictures today of their kids (or both. Usually both.) I think your blog would probably be the least annoying thing on someone’s Facebook timeline. 🙂

    I see where you’re coming from with the students thing though! I would never want a student to see my blog, even if I weren’t vulgar. Which I am. So maybe you could start slowly! Email your closest friends and family your link and see what happens?

    Best of luck girl! Sorry for the ramble 🙂

    • janeybgood says:

      Gah, I wrote a reply and it deleted!
      I just wanted to thank you for a lovely piece of advice. Also, your blog will take off in no time because it’s fab ☺️
      I’m glad your mom seems supportive, I think mine would be a slightly different story.
      You’re totally right; an email is actually a really good idea 🤗 thanks for stopping by 😀

  20. Twindaddy says:

    From experience, I can tell you that I once let the toothpaste out of my bottle. Not long after I got a job for a public school corporation and then had to try to put all the escaped toothpaste back from whence it came. I live and work in a very conservative area and my views would be considered “liberal” by them. I’m encaged by confederate flags and Trump supporters. My mental health disclosures would likely make parents uncomfortable, though I love being around children (most of the time).

    That said, if you have designs on monetizing the blog you may not have a choice. I have had a blogging friend tell me that she submitted some of my work to a publication, but it was dismissed outright because it didn’t have an actual name attached to it. I guess it all comes down to what you want to do with your work.

    It’s a tough decision, I know. Once the cat’s out of the bag, though, you may never be able to catch it and throw it back in the bag.

    No pressure. 😉

    • janeybgood says:

      I suppose it comes down to what you value more, your privacy or a little nit of compensation for all the work put into blogging. The more I think about it, I probably will keep it private, at least for now.

      I’m fascinated by your description of where you live. That must be quite tough. I would be moderately more liberal than the people around me, and my religious views and mental health issues would probably cause a bit of an issue for me in terms of work.

      There really is no going back is there? Those cats are evasive little things haha. Thanks for your input and for sharing your experience!

  21. contemplativecamino says:

    I am facing a similar issue and am so glad I came across this post! I started my blog as a way to share an overseas journey with friends and family, and found I loved writing! I want to continue writing now that I’m back but am facing a similar dilemma. All my family and coworkers (I’m also a teacher… what if my students find this) are already following me. Do I write about my life and thoughts knowing they will be reading????

    I think you should go for it!!

    • janeybgood says:

      I’ve actually told a few more people now and the sky hasn’t fallen in so I wouldn’t worry! I’ve been surprised by how disinterested most of them are tbh 😂 it’s not a bad thing. Maybe we’ve inflated the issue a little because it means so much to us.
      I would prefer my students didn’t see my blog but with the way the world is going, I wouldn’t be surprised if this changes in the future. I probably will have to censor what I write a little bit, but that’s not so bad.
      Whatever you decide, make sure it’s a decision that makes you happy. That’s what’s key here. Good luck and thank you for stopping by x

  22. dawnwairimu says:

    I have the same quandary… to tell or not to tell. Only my husband and 2 siblings know that I’m blogging. I haven’t told the rest of the family for the exact reasons you started. I’m sure if i told them, they’d be supportive, so i am not sure what is holding me back. Lol. Well, thanks for sharing this post, i could really relate to it!

    • janeybgood says:

      So glad to hear you could relate! It’s a tough one, isn’t it? I think a lot of the worries we have are probably unfounded but still… it’s hard to let go of them! Best of luck with whatever you decide to do 🙂

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