Going through my emails today (as per usual, I'm about seven months behind) and I opened an email from a reader asking some questions about blogging. I thought I could be of service and answer them publicly whilst keeping the original email anonymous. Not everyone loves fame like me.
Oh, listen. I'm jking. About fame. I'm also wearing some ginger oil my neighbor brought by for my morning sickness. You know, the morning sickness that is all day and lasts until you are solidly into your third trimester. Vomit. Don't feel sad for me, more than fame I love pity.
Jking about pity. I hate it. It makes me smug.
I'm going to skip to the questions:
1. How do you decide what to make public and what not to make public?
I think I've sorta answered this before so I am sorry for the repeat, but I think of writing my personal stories like a pot of boiling pasta. Whatever floats to the top wants to be told. The stories sinking to the bottom are asking to be saved.
If that was too stupid analogy (your opinion) let me put it this way: don't let one person NOT ONE FREAKING (Mormon swearing) PERSON tell you what to publish or not publish. YOU GET TO DECIDE. I could get wordy and brassy right now about this and so I'll keep it short. Just please, own your stories.
(Because one day I'm going to publish that photo of me in a bikini, glowing, fully pregnant with my third baby just soon as everyone's opinion I asked if I should wears off of me. I should've posted it when it asked to be posted! It's glorious! Now it's buried deep in shame. Oh my gosh when did this become about me and my bikini shot of two years ago?)
2. How much is Chup involved in what you write and ultimately post on your blog?
I'd say just about .001%.
That tiny percent is the time he told me NOT to post my pregnant bikini shot.
3. How do you differentiate your feelings/fears and the Spirit (meaning the Holy Ghost or your Divine Conscious) telling you not to write something?
I see the Holy Ghost as an inspiration, not a detraction. I think in writing, my greatest companion is the Divine. Writing is what I do to transcribe God in my life--I see it as a passage way from earth to heaven. I have stopped feeling like God wants me to live a life of self-editing because when I do, I also edit our relationship.
Here's something to try as a Mormon writer: try writing without the cultural confines of our religion. Try writing simply as someone who loves God. Think of your work as something that transcends proselytism or representation and just write as human being. Do we love our Book of Mormon narratives because the heros are Mormon? No. We love them because they show a spectrum of humanity inside a context of faith.
Sometimes we think the Spirit would never inspire us to write posts about doubt or complaints or frustrations because they aren't uplifting. But these posts show a journey--and that is completely uplifting. When has the Spirit ever told someone to show up perfect? If you write only the glossy, you will go down in history as an idiot or not remembered at all.
And that's not good for those of us who like fame.