My (Ongoing) List of Embarrassing Details • 28 March 2008

Been thinking about my last oblique strategy draw:

Look closely at the most embarrassing details & amplify them.

Wondering if I should post yet another list this week, this time of embarrassing details.

Eh, whatever. This medium is revealing enough, and you don’t need to know that I secretly love the band Franz Ferdinand, that I run around the house in Dansko clogs and little else, or that I never have nightmares but occasionally get scared in the night when I dream of getting too cold. All of which embarrasses me.

The funny thing about this writing space for me in particular is that what readers I have largely belong to the old school. You are squeamish about blogging.

Like a prominent blogger who just blogged a sweet anti-blogger diatribe, you’re uneasy about this weird mixture of the personal and the public, the attention to the writer’s private life and thoughts. And the whole online community aspect: too damn weird.

I wonder if the discomfort with the medium comes from a certain discomfort with oneself? Don’t you know that writing—journalism, novels, whatever—has always been like this? Don’t you keep coming back here out of a strange appreciation for how it works?


This form can be gross. Veers tawdry with a click or two. Some people are abnormally awful or starved for attention. Bloggers create a lot of culture given the low cost of their building materials and not all of it is good. You just ignore that stuff.

So whatever. It’s cool. It is easy and fluid, challenging, revealing, and gutsy. You have to bring your own style and standards to it, but for those who do it well, this is a strangely honest medium. The bloggers I like aren’t performing so much as they’re making connections within their own larger life experience, playing, maybe even figuring some stuff out.

Self-expression doesn’t have to be a big, dramatic, uncomfortable thing. Not even for a true introvert like myself. This is just about finding a few voices that work for you, keeping those channels open…, and giving yourself the chance to play, jettison what doesn’t work, and find new sides of yourself.

It is “fake,” but somehow it teaches you to be comfortable and creative in your own skins.