Ever since I read about the nanny blog, I’ve been thinking what a strange thing it is to write for public consumption. Because while I love to write, I (and most writers I know) would rather pretend no one actually readswhat I write.
I was the same way when I was a newspaper staffer. It got a little strange at times; I wrote a political column with 150,000 readers a week and people would stop me in the supermarket: “I know you, you write that column in the newspaper.” (My picture ran with the column.)
“Oh no, that’s not me. People ask me that all the time, though,” I’d say. I just hated it.
It’s not as if I don’t actually know I’m writing for an audience. (And it’s not as if I don’t have an ego, God knows.) There’s just something about meeting people who’ve read all this personal stuff about you – and they actually acknowledge it. It’s embarrassing, like someone pointing out you just farted. I mean, you know you farted; you just want everyone else to pretend you didn’t.
Sometimes it’s fine, especially with other bloggers. (Because then it’s just shop talk.) But other times, I cringe; it’s a visceral reaction and I’m not sure why I have it with some people and not others.
Like last night, when someone introduced me to this new guy as “Susie.” Then one of my friends chimed in, “She’s the Suburban Guerrilla!”
And he looked, um, impressed. Which made me uncomfortable. I mean, come on, it’s just me. You know? Little old unemployed, chronically-underachieving me. The one who really, really needs to change the sheets and do some laundry.
Is this what they mean by “fear of success”? I don’t remember. It’s been so long since I had any.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m quite grateful to have readers. But the Uberblonde is the Suburban Guerrilla, not me. I’m just the writer. Writers prefer to be invisible, hovering at the edges of other peoples’ lives and taking notes. The other one? She’s the one who likes all that celebrity stuff, and I try to sneak out of the house without her.