Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Losing My Moxie

This whole blogging thing is catching up to me. After years of writing for a limited audience, presuming that friends who don’t comment don’t actually read my blogs, I’m gradually realizing that my words are permanently out in cyberspace for all to see, today, tomorrow, and maybe years down the road.

I think I’m losing my moxie. Maybe this makes no sense unless you are a blogger, but suddenly I am self-conscious. Not only that, but family and friends are starting to cringe when something happens, wondering how long before some family affair or mutual embarrassment hits the Internet.

In its infancy my writing was a private affair in my own room with no audience but Jesus and my journal. Now my writing has hit puberty. Hopefully that means someday I will be a real grownup writer. For now, though, I’m going through an awkward stage.

Did you ever go through this in junior high? I distinctly remember waking up one morning in the seventh grade having no clue how to walk. Honest to Pete, I had been walking since toddlerhood, but all of a sudden I couldn’t do it without looking dorky. Before a full-length mirror, I tried different ways of holding my head, swinging my arms, and trying to look natural.

As far as I know, I got it figured out eventually. Walking, I mean. At this point I’m doing the same process with my writing, looking in the mirror, and trying to figure out how to continue without compromising my family and friends’ privacy or unnecessarily exposing my own goofiness.

According to, adolescents go through a phase of egocentrism that sounds strangely like what I am going through. Definition: The" imaginary audience" is a label for teens' and older tweens' belief that a group of followers exist who constantly watch and judge their every move. The belief arises from the larger concept of adolescent egocentrism. An egocentric adolescent believes that wherever he goes, everyone around him is as interested in him as he is in himself. He also believes his "audience" is continually commenting on his actions and appearance. It's like being a celebrity...except no one is actually watching.

Only I know for a fact that my e-maginary friends are watching and reading, though I usually suspect no one will be interested in what I write. I need to grow up and be bold in my writing when necessary while maintaining sensitivity to my readers and my loved ones.It’s a delicate balance for someone in the pimply stage of writing publicly.

For now I am taking a break for Christmas and New Year’s, enjoying some marriage and family time free of any writing goals or aspirations. Maybe I will hit a growth spurt during my break.We’ll see.

IRL* One thing I plan to do is spend more time reading your blogs that I have discovered on the WOTH Writer’s Blog. You inspire me!


  1. Ah, Jamie Jo, you always make me smile. Yes, I remember the years of the awkward walk--and now in my old age, I have taken on a new kind of hobbling across a room. I wonder if that can be translated into the way I write ....??

    Your writing is lovely. I don't want you to change a thing, but I do understand about your family and friends' needs, too. You'll find a way to do it just right.

    Have a wonderful break over this Christmas!


  2. Just wanted to let you know that I read your blog and always enjoy what you write!

  3. Jamie Jo, I can totally relate to looking for that balance! What is appropriate to reveal about myself? How can I be real and authentic without sharing too much??? My Turkish sister says I share too much, but American friends seem more comfortable with what I share.. Then my dad told me once that when he read my blog he got the idea I was depressed! And my daughter told me a few weeks ago, "You're not going to put this on your blog, are you?"

    If you learn anything about moving out of the adolescent stage, please share it with us!

    I hope you enjoy a break from writing, and I'll look forward to continuing to read your great posts next year.


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