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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

#IWSG --Secrets


First Wed of Every Month First Wednesday of the month means another 

edition of Alex J Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers 

Support Group.   You can discover more

 participants here.

       Some time ago when I was out gallivanting hither and yon, YVONNE LEWIS at The Written Word of Yvonne Lewis  nominated me for the Super Blogger Award. One stipulation is that I  have to reveal a secret about myself.  Gosh!  What secrets do I have left and are any of those things that I'd be revealing here?

      Many bloggers stay pretty mum about their private lives and histories.  Some go so far as to not even put up pictures of themselves.  I've never been that secretive on my blog.  Many revelations about Arlee Bird can be found in the pages of my blogs, including my real identity.  Is that a good thing?

        Typically a published book will have an author bio and promo photo on the cover.  Well known authors will answer many personal questions in interviews or reveal personal data in memoir pieces.  In this age a fairly quick computer search can turn up many details about a person's life if we plug in the correct basic information.

         But secrets?  What about secrets?  Some things perhaps are meant to stay secret and yet some celebrities (and even not so famous folk) seem to have no qualms with tell all exposés about themselves.  Even in my most personal blog posts I might have been going deeper into myself than I should have.

         Does anybody really care what I've done or what I think?  I'm curious about other people so I enjoy reading those sorts of things.   There's always the potential that some delicate bit of information might come back to haunt me.   I think of politicians who have had past histories revealed to create big problems for them.  Or there are things people have said that become less acceptable down the road when they are revealed in the public airwaves.

         I don't plan on running for politics and I doubt whether I would ever become famous enough to have my past become a deterring factor for whatever I might want to do.  It's not like I have horrible secrets to hide, but there are certainly things I've done or said that were mistakes or might be misunderstood.   And there are those things that I don't have a problem with that might be a hindrance for me in certain circumstances because of what others might think.  You just never really know sometimes do you.

        Secrets?  I guess it's good to be careful about blabbing too much.  One of my secrets is that even though I'm always revealing things about myself, I do have a fear (concern?) about telling too much.   How much is too much?  

         Thank you Yvonne for thinking of me for this award.   I guess I revealed a secret.

          How open are you about your life?   Have you ever revealed something that you wish you hadn't?  Has your past ever caught up with you to create an uncomfortable situation?  Do you have a secret you want to reveal here?

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  1. My secret - I enjoy watching American Pickers!
    You know I'm private about my life but I promised my wife it would never become a circus or interfere with our real life.
    I'm sure there is something in my past that would raise questions, but I led a rather safe and conservative life. I didn't even drink before I was legal. (Of course, it was in a state where the legal age was less than twenty-one. Remember those days?)

  2. I'm not sure I have any more secrets to reveal. I pretty much revealed it all in my memoir. And I continue to expose my deeper self on my blog. Not sure whether it's right or wrong, but it works for me to be open and honest about who I am.

  3. The cat spills all, and then there isn't much. No real big ones here, so I have no fear.

  4. I tortured my cat last night; does that count?
    Okay, that's not the way it sounds, but I'm sure that's what the cat would say if anyone asked him.

    There was a secret somewhere in what you said?

  5. I'm the same way. I do NOT like revealing too much about myself because I'm afraid that when I'm famous (you see how delusional I am? 'When I'm famous'. Geesh!) it will come back to bite me in the you know what. But thankfully, I don't have any juicy secrets, so maybe that's just a testament to the boring, ordinary life that I live...

  6. Alex -- I didn't drink until legal age for the same reason.

    Karen -- You have opened up about a great many things. Have you experienced any repercussions of this?

    Pat -- I imagine that in a great many times your secrets would be hidden within your rhymes.

    Andrew -- Well it wasn't that much of a secret that I'm somewhat concerned about telling to much about myself and if it was a secret then I let the cat out of the bag. Oh, and I meant that figuratively not like I was actually torturing my cat by keeping it in a bag. Besides, I don't have a cat.

    Quanie -- Funny things is that the media or our enemies can make things up by blowing truths out of proportion, taking things out of context, or whatever. It has happened.


  7. I'm very choosie about what I reveal since I've written some things that have upset some people. Not only that, but it's nice to have some privacy.

  8. I think most people reveal a bit more than I'd want to reveal.

    I've had harassment in the past, and that's one reason I've got an avatar, rather than a photo. I may have secrets, but I prefer to call them privacy. It's a choice.

  9. Well congrats!

    Me, I spill everything... guts are everywhere. It's messy, really... every once in a while I have to mop up and get an intestinal transfusion.

  10. I tend to be pretty open, generally. But some things are just no one else's business.

  11. It's a hard balance... I enjoy reading posts where I can really get to *know* a person. That's the fun in blogging for me--I love connecting with people and really becoming friends.

    There are tons of bloggers who I don't feel connected with because their posts are so robotic--where anyone could've written them. But there are also bloggers who I've unfollowed because they've been too obnoxious with what they share!

    So I think it's important to add a personal touch, even if it's not revealing personal facts, but adding heart. Readers are smart--and we can tell when someone is really letting us in or not. So I guess we all need to be like you, Arlee, because I think you have the perfect balance!

  12. I don't have that many secrets except that I cheat on my diet and procrastinate a lot while writing my current WIP. Keeping a few things private is not a bad thing, Lee.

    Will email you in a day or two, need your help with changes in my blog.

  13. Steven -- I've been trying to be more careful about what I say in public. You just never know when it'll come back to haunt you.

    DG -- True it's a choice. Probably relates to a lot of factors that vary from person to person.

    Cathy -- Well, good for you. Those things keep us entertained.

    Donna -- I agree about the some things. Maybe I'll open up about some of mine someday, but over all it would probably serve no useful purpose.

    Morgan -- Thank you! I agree about the personality issue. I like to know about people. It can be difficult to trust someone you don't have some background on. It's called "social networking" for a reason.

    Rachna -- Now you've got me curious. I look forward to hearing about the changes. I will reveal that I do those same things you revealed.


  14. You've touched on many valid points here about secrets and such. I think that people reveal what they want and if they care about other people having access to certain things, then they try to keep their personal lives under certain boundaries. Celebrities and other public figures (politicians, etc.) are not exempt from this...(or maybe politicians are exempt because voters want to know who exactly it is they are voting for, I guess).

    For example, we know more than enough about Kim Kardashian...what she ate for breakfast this morning, who she's sleeping with, how long it takes for her daughter's diaper to be changed, etc. etc. but no one will know what Prince has for lunch today nor will they know how he likes to apply his mascara or whatever...because he doesn't openly make all of the details about his life available. Both of these two people are celebrities but each one has certain boundaries that he likes to keep in check while the other is more open into the tidbits of her life.

    It's all a matter of preference. Just like you said you are curious about other people and like reading and learning things about them...there may be people who think the same way about you. Some of your readers might be interested in knowing more details about your life. I for one, couldn't care less about what restaurants you go to for dinner, lol, but someone else might be interested in that type of thing. Still, if you were to write about your restaurant outings or dinner experiences, I would still read about them...because you wrote it, for, I might find out some interesting things, maybe even something that might be helpful to me in my own life (such as if your food at Restaurant A had hair in it, then that means I need to dine at Restaurant B).

    I would, however, be interested in learning more about your days as a juggler and/or whether you think that people interested in that path could do well these days as a performer in traveling shows and such.

    I am fairly not very open about my life depending on where I am, who I'm speaking with and what the nature of the conversation is. On other occasions, I might be more open than I'd usually prefer to be or more open than I might typically deem necessary. I've revealed things that I wish I hadn't on many occasions but no I don't have a secret that I want to reveal here, lol.

    I'm always skating along that fine line you summed up your post with, which is...How Much is Too Much?

    In this day and age, it seems like everybody thinks they are entitled to knowing everything about everybody else and others feel obligated to put all of that information out there but few people fail to realize that everybody's life and what they want to reveal about their life is their own business. No one has an automatic all-access pass to the details of the next person's life and vice versa, just because we have the tools to share those things or make those things available.

    It's up to each individual person to decide what they want to share and what they will discuss or participate in with other people, whether that be their friends, family, neighbors, strangers, colleagues, readers, fans or followers.


  15. Congrats Lee!

    Sometimes, on one of my rare trips to Facebook, I see people who have no clue about 'sharing too much', lol.

    It seems that, these days, we don't have any privacy anyway, so....

  16. I don't really put much personal information on my blog - I don't really mind telling people things about myself, but I tend to stick to the writing side of things when blogging. I've been trying to make my posts a little more personal lately.

  17. Secrets, not really, just too much nonsense really! My life is full of idiotic things, not really secrets as much as a very dull life. Who wants to know that stuff. Secrets to me would be hiding the fact you're a serial killer looking for your next vulnerable victim, other wise it's all just life down the path to adulthood, and who wants to reach that pinnacle? Pictures are a funny thing, I post mine cause I am who I am, nothing less and nothing more.But honestly I'd prefer to go anonymous, but only because I hate seeing my mug posted all over the blogosphere! Now if I looked like KimK maybe I'd feel differently! Hopefully she's saving some of that ill gotten gain for a rainy day fund when she'll want to turn back the hands of time!
    Happy IWSG Anniversary!

  18. My name is on my blog, but I don't mention family members. But, I am sure it wouldn't be that hard to find out. I guess the biggest thing I have ever put out is my sister being in a cult.

  19. I try to be open about most aspects of my life, except the ones I'm not open about. But being a blabber, too, most of my life is an open book. But only to people I see face to face, never online.

  20. Thanks Lee for remembering about the award. Loved the post. I don't have many secrets mostly my blogs and poems are an open book. I write about my life experiences so most of my good and not so good go into a poem.


  21. Nicole -- Very true. The information we chose to release is our discretion and there should be some good purpose in releasing it. You normally wouldn't find me on Facebook or Twitter announcing what I'm doing, but if I think it might be informational or entertaining then I might write about it on my blog. Also I guess a lot depends on how interesting the presentation of that information is.

    Mark -- Some people who don't have much of a life want to continually make us think that they do.

    Laura -- The biggest is issue is how personal do we want to go. I prefer not to disclose things that might be used against me someday or hurt others.

    Yolanda -- Your life sounds as exciting as mine. I guess as writers our job is to make everything sound interesting or stimulate thought.

    Ruth -- Your sister in a cult might be considered a fairly sensational item.

    Jenn -- My life is an open book too for the most part. I am selective about what I disclose, but I'm not overly secretive since I don't have much to hide.


  22. Yvonne -- Thank you for the award that inspired this post! If we can teach and help others in their lives by talking about our own lives then I think that's worthwhile.


  23. Everyone needs a secret, it makes you more interesting! Confession - I just don't like to talk about myself. Even in a social setting with lots of people, I'm the "quiet one". Sucks for me being an author when I don't like to toot my own horn!

  24. I guess Lee that it really varies from situation to situation, how much needs to be kept private, like if your blogging life is different to your real one or if you're somebody who's easily traceable, I've heard some stories of poor women bloggers being tracked down and stuff for being too open so sometimes it can be a double edged sword, I don't think either of us need to worry too much though haha, at least for now.

  25. Congrats Arlee and secrets are partly what we make them. Unless you're hiding out from a serial killer. Probably not your fault.

  26. I don't keep any big secrets but I don't talk about some things like politics and religion on my writing blog. I usually only talk about personal things in generalities.

  27. I post (and have posted) a lot of personal things on my blog. I may have even Overshared from time to time. However, anything that I wrote there I did feel. I think that personal information can only haunt you if you're ashamed of feeling that way. It's the stuff we keep in the darkness that can hurt us. Once we shine a light on our own stuff, then all of the power of that thing is taken away.

  28. It is hard to really reveal a secret online. I like how you handled the reveal~ :D

    Me, my secret I suppose is exposed. I can create art out of green items(some would consider trash). I too love American Pickers and lived in a state where the drinking age was 18. I didn't drink until I was legal. I had two weeks and the drinking age changed to 21. I still get carded, which makes me laugh out loud.

  29. Wendy -- In social settings I'm typically the quiet one as well. But when I start writing I need to be careful.

    Yeamie -- I don't think I'm at any risk of being stalked or anything. Not yet!

    Sheena-kay -- Maybe someday I'll let it all out. If the money's right.

    Susan GK -- I don't keep my politics or religious beliefs overly secret. My deepest secrets probably wouldn't be too big of a deal if exposed--there are just a few things I'll shy away from sharing for now.

    Robin -- Wow! That was nicely said.

    Ella -- I get carded in Tenn. when I buy beer at Krogers. That always seems kind of weird.


  30. I'm private, mostly 'cause I'm boring! LOL Maybe they mystery will give me some mystique?

  31. We all like our privacy, and my husband keeps warning me about blabbing too much.(which I tend to do) He always says, "Be careful of what you put out there. It might come back to bite you in the butt."

  32. I think this post is excellent, Lee. I am open about myself, but I agree with you that we all have secrets that might get misunderstood or read in a wrong light. Plus- we are humans and we make mistakes. I often think about the things I have shared and worried that I might have overshared. Usually, I think I am fine- but there are moment. :)

    Thanks for the thoughtful post!

  33. Southpaw -- These days my life is mostly boring too.

    Cathrina -- You never know what might be used against you. What we have done when we were much younger and less careful could surface anytime if some party wants to dump some dirt on us.

    Jess -- I think most of us are pretty judicious in what we choose to share. I'm thinking about the dumb things we might have done that could make us look really bad. Unless of course we can turn them into a lesson for others about things not to do.


  34. Like you and many who commented here, I am judicious about which 'secrets' I reveal, although I'm happily open about many things. I do believe in keeping some things for a few special people in my life.

  35. Jagoda -- My thoughts that there are levels of secrecy. Some things shared with certain people and some things that perhaps should be left in the past and not discussed.


  36. Close friends know my story and I do share many things about myself on my blog.

    But we all have some secrets, whether it's a desire, personality flaw, or an obsession that may not be popular by others.

    I believe a bit of mystery is a good thing.

  37. My secret is: I'm a Glee fan. I hated the show when it first came out, but the darn thing has grown on me.

    I don't reveal too many secrets. It's not like I have a closet full of skeletons. Just like you, some things might be misconstrued.

  38. I think so long as you preserve that healthy concern about overstepping the bounds, you navigate within parameters that will keep you from posting things you'll regret. Some 'anxieties' are there for a reason, you know?

  39. Are you really a politician Lee? That was a slick secret revealing move, haha! Hmmm. What's my secret? I have a fear or totally revealing my identity. Not because of bad skeletons in the closet. I'm still a little insecure about my content and if you boil it down, myself. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest!

  40. Michael -- I agree with you on that bit of mystery.

    Donna -- Funny about Glee. I am just the opposite. I love it when it first came out, but I don't watch it anymore because I became bored with it.

    Suze -- Yes! We are, or at least should be, our own best judge about what we reveal to others.

    Buck-- I think your fears are shared by many.



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