I’m not a social media over-poster. In fact, after a two week trip to Hawaii, I only posted 69 of my 2,000+ photos to Facebook or Instagram. It’s not the photos I’m over-sharing; it’s my words.
On Tuesday I woke up to a small flood in my apartment and on Tuesday night I wrote my blog post about it. On Wednesday I went to traffic court, felt abused and wrote a post about it (even sending a copy to the Bergen Record). My mother is an alcoholic, my father cheated on my mother, my father married a woman 30 years younger than him, I’ve been divorced, I’ve been remarried, I co-parent, I suffer from mental health issues, I have a teenager with age-appropriate habits. I’ve written about it all.
While I sat, feeling like a victim of the system in the frigid court in New Jersey, I scribbled 16 pages in my notebook and it saved me from crying, hyperventilating and having a panic attack. Time after time I am reminded that I cope with life with words. I don’t drink or shoot up (no judgment); I don’t like pharmaceutically-dulling yellow pills. I need to purge my stories from my head and put them on paper and it somehow justifies it. At least I got a story out of it.
Recently I’ve seen several articles about bloggers oversharing their personal stories, even bordering on exploiting their lives for publicity and I instantly become defensive. Writers cope with life through words. We write the stories to justify a shitty experience; at least I get a story out of it.
Whenever I’ve felt insecure or guilty for writing what others may judge as inappropriate, I fall back on two quotes by two of my favorite authors:
“Everything is copy,” said the genius Nora Ephron
Anne Lamott’s: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”