I have heard many writers say that when they blog, they are actually only sharing about 5% of their lives with their readers. Now, I would bet that for some people, including me, that percentage is a wee bit higher, closer to, say, 15%. You know my name and what I look like and where I live and where I work and I am fairly easily googleable. For good or bad, there are less than a handful of Ali Martells out there.
There are things that I share with you online. You get a mostly accurate portrait of what my life is like. You get the funny stories and the sometimes-not-as-funny stories. You get the trips down memory lane and the trips on the Toronto subway. You get, essentially, the baby books I never got around to actually filling out for my kids. You get my rage when I discuss the difference between Special K in Canada and Special K in the states.
There are things that I don’t share with you online. And there are different reasons. There are things that are mine, just mine, that I share with no one. There are things that are unwritten; I don’t talk much about religion and our family finances and our sex life. Sure, you get glimpses into these facets of my every day. It would be impossible to write freely without at least touching on some of those unwritten rules; sometimes invisible lines are meant to be crossed. There are things that have been requested “PLEASE DON’T EVER MENTION ME ON YOUR BLAWG” and for the most part, I am conscious of this fact and try to not write the stories of those who don’t want to be involved. Occasionally, I slip, when the story is particularly absurd and ridiculous and funny and I feel that it needs to be shared. Some of you may recall a certain toilet-paper post (it remains a favorite among many of my friends, both online and in real life) that was taken down after a series of unfortunate events and phone calls that involved people telling me that it needed to come down. And down it came, as I truly am not big into feather-ruffling. There are things I don’t tell you because they are not my stories to tell.
Some days I sit in front of my computer and inhale and exhale deeply and have to force myself to sit on my fingers and NOT write about some things. There are things I so desperately want to share with the world, there are things I so desperately need people to read, and there are things I need to get out there, if nothing more than as a wee cry for help when I am lost in a sea of “well what’s wrong with me that this is happening“s. And trust me, there are moments like this. They don’t happen often, but they happen.
I am so fortunate to have a really supportive husband and sister and network of friends, both in my real life and online. And they are fortunate because they get to hear all the stories. They get to laugh at the crazy and commiserate at the even more crazy. And they have done a good job convincing me of one thing.
There will be a book written.
And it will be 95%.
And it will be a bestseller, because, you guys, you couldn’t possibly make this shit up.