Writing – whether journalling or ranting, whether a story or a poem – is a very personal thing for me.

I remember getting my first diary somewhere around 8 years of age. It had a lock and key, and the pages were not marked with dates. Ever since then, I have always kept a written or typed account.

I always kept my journals private, but blogs are typically meant for an audience. I started publishing my thoughts online when I was around 13 or 14, and eventually it became known as “blogging”. It turned into this art form, and done properly, it could make you influential, and in some cases, even rich. Blogging evolved. You could write thought-provoking essays, or be a photoblogger. You could choose a theme, or devise your own unique writing style.

I was confused. I didn’t know how to choose a “theme”, and I felt my writing was not very entertaining. I didn’t want to feel obliged to visit other blogs on a regular basis. I understood that, to some extent, to get the most out of blogging, I must be more focused or more disciplined in my writing and my blog’s relationship with other blogs.

But ultimately, I started to shy away from blogging. I was starting to feel alarmed about privacy and I was cautious about opening up online. Brunei is a small country. I was uncomfortable about people telling me that they’d read my blog. Also, I just felt too insecure about my writing.

As it turned out, privacy was not that important to many people. Look at Facebook, look how much we share with people, whether they are our lifelong BFFs or the work colleague who joined your department last week. I don’t want to start that tired debate on Facebook’s attitude towards privacy. I’ve come to realize that people don’t really sit around, collecting all the information you post about yourself, and coming up with your profile. Also, it’s useful if you know how to work Facebook’s privacy controls 🙂 (if you don’t, you really should learn how to!) But basically, I don’t have to feel so worried about “revealing” myself through my blog. I can write personally without being reckless about the information I share.

It really is just my self-esteem left to tackle. I think it may show. I am still learning. I still decided to come up with a few general “themes”, so as not to lapse into unfocused blogging again. But I don’t want to worry anymore about whether my blog is “good” and whether there are enough links on my blogroll. In the end, my opinion of myself is as valuable as that of others.

And just to challenge myself on that last note, I am not going to turn off comments for this post. 😛