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Lusty Lady

BLOG OF RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL
Watch me talk about my debut as an author, Sex & Cupcakes: A Juicy Collection of Essays, in this Q&A with my publisher Thought Catalog Books

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I totally agree with Lux

...except, like, when that urge to share, and I'm gonna resist the word du jour, overshare, sneaks up on me. I think we miss in this discussion that it's not just an urge to purge or spew words out into nowhere. It's about connecting, even if you don't realize who or what you are connecting with until later.

For me, sometimes it's (literally) like closing my eyes and hitting send. I don't think about it that much or I get paralyzed. And trust me, I have paralyzed myself into very bad situations in the past and present when it comes to writing. So blogging, with no, like, financial renumeration or obligation, is a freedom from that.

The fact that I don't really know who's reading, or in some cases I do, I consider a blessing. When I think about that too much, I stop. I don't share because it's too scary. And lately I've been turning to my journal, because even though I can't be all 100 WPM with it, it's more intimate in a sense. But I don't get that feedback, even if it's just the catharsis of having said something, and being done with it. It's in part whey I am all about Twitter.

I don't write as much about my personal life, in part because it's trickier when it's not just my life to share. But this idea that sharing anything personal or revealing is wrong flies in the face of everything I believe. Wendy Merrill told me that writing her book changed her, and that's pretty much the same story I've heard from every memoirist I've talked to. A personal blog is not a memoir, but there are similar elements. Even Jeannette Walls, author of my favorite book, was nervous about unleashing that onto the world.

There is always a risk in doing so, and quite often, I don't want to take those risks. The possibilities for hurting someone's feelings, or just exposing yourself to the wrong people, seem too great. At the same time, for me, to not write, in some form, about the things I'm grappling with, feels incomplete. It feels like I haven't accessed this one route that has always, even if in very minute increments, helped me see a way out, or just see more clearly. That's what it's about for me, and I try to remind myself of that. I'm working on a short piece for a site I haven't written for before, and I know it's funny and a little out there, but that's because the situation was funny and a little out there. Other things are less funny, darker, but those are also the topics I'm drawn to as a reader, the ones that resonate. Anyway...I guess that's all. I get why a lot of people don't go there, especially once your name is even a little bit public. I feel, quite often, like erasing my entire website and putting up smiley faces and cupcakes and babies and books and hoodies. And maybe I will at some point. I don't want the more salacious ventures to only be about marketing, and I sometimes have to step back and remind myself that I can get out of any of this at any time. But I don't want to. I like writing about sex, I like erotica, I just don't want to be stymied by those topics.

Here's Lux's post that prompted this:

I miss, in some ways, the days of 1.0 web, the days when you could craft your own little corner of the web and secretly share your life with whoever happened to pass by, the days before everything was commercialized and anyone who posted their life online was suspected of soliciting a book deal. In those days, online, I shared the stories of my coming of age: tales of self injury, of sex, of play parties, of a relationship gone awry — things that I am too old and too wary to put out there now, but nonetheless: things I benefited, at the time, from telling.

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