I’ve more or less found a career in baring my secrets publically. I always wanted to be a writer, so I knew that that would involve some form of personal expose. But I want to discuss a few things about when you decide to completely bare your soul to the public. I mean, when you reach into the dark and crusty recesses of your heart and pull out the things you really never wanted to ever talk about again, especially not to hundreds of people, but low and behold, here you are, doing just that. But this isn’t just for the writers out there, it’s also for the people who want to be honest with themselves and others. These are a few truths that usually apply to universal-shameless-soul-baring.
1. Forget your pride. I can’t tell you how many things I’m secretly like, oh my God, why did I tell everybody that? And then I remember that everybody has their shit, and hopefully someone can relate and find solace in what I’ve said. Even if it’s just that they know they’re not alone.
2. Do it for the right reasons. Don’t go around disclosing information about horrible things that have happened to you for the sake of getting attention. If you want to open up to someone, that’s beautiful, but make sure your intent is being connected and honest with someone, and/or trying to reach out and relate to help people.
3. Be ready for the backlash. Much like in everyday life, not everyone will like and agree with you have to say. This is exacerbated by the internet, where people become monsters behind their computer screens. Put the best way: if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Criticism is part of the deal, unfortunately.
4. Try to keep things anonymous when other people’s privacy is at stake. I have never and will never disclose names or personal details of the people who I write about. This is because I respect them. Regardless of what role they had in my life, they’ve affected me enough that I have something to write about. For that, I’m grateful.
5. Draw your lines. On a similar note, there are a few things I will never disclose, no matter how many pageviews this information may get me. You have to draw your lines: decide what’s okay to share with the world, even if you’re a little shy, and what is just not appropriate. The key to deciphering these things is usually just don’t write about what you won’t want to see pop up again in 20 years.