Exhibitionism and mental masturbation? Nonsense. Blogging is about hiding. It’s about partial truths and a voice that is binding as well as freeing.

When my partner tells me he’s unsure about our relationship I write about protesters rallying for peace. When I don’t know whether we’re partners or not I write that I’m tired. When he leaves me I write about civilian casualties and how untrustworthy and partial reports of a war can be.

The only way I can blog that he left me is obliquely. I demote his name on my blogroll, link less frequently and wonder whether anyone notices. Today I mask my grief and anger with this academic reflection over a genre. I want to tell the world but this hurt exceeds the genre and voice I’ve created here.

35 thoughts on “hiding behind a blog

  1. raymon

    take care

  2. Robert

    Hope you’re okay…

  3. jon

    what keeps me coming back to your blog on a daily basis is the strength of the voice that comes thru in your writing, embodying enthusiasm and acerbic wit.

    showing another side of your voice makes compelling reading, and is the kind of thing that is often hard to push writers to explore, even Creative Writing students.

    but the personal aspect of what you wrote today touched me. for the first time i read something on your blog that reminded me that there is a person beneath this – a jill.

    when you write, the ether whirls. Thru your words I make connections and links. Find possibilities.

    I hope you find strength.

  4. chris

    I did notice but at the time didn’t know why. Hope you are okay. You are right – blogging is about creating something else than yourself.

  5. Tinka

    How we hide behind words. And I have been there too. I cannot offer anything but words – and so I should really keep silent. But take care.

  6. christian

    Klem fra Christian…. Unn deg noe fint i pÂsken..

  7. HÂvard

    Det var sterk lesning!! Voner det gÂr bra med deg. Du gjorde inntrykk p oss p ifi d du presenterte blogging og du gjer det igjen.

    “Don`t panic”


  8. Rich

    I’m sorry to hear. . .hope you’re okay.

  9. Elin

    Who said men are not supportive:-)
    It is interesting to see that so far, 7 out of 9 who commented are men!

    When one door closes, other doors will open. I guarantee you that something great is lurking round the corner:-)


  10. David (TEFL Smiler)

    Sorry to hear about it, Jill. You’ll now be on that roller-coaster that only time will sort out. (And time WILL sort it out, of course, as hard as that seems to believe at the time.)

    So right now probably isn’t the most convenient time to have to make a decision such as: do you split your blog in two, one more personal and the other more professional? Or do you combine both elements within one single blog, but with a stronger personal aspect if that’s what you need right now?

    It’s a hard call, especially as any kind of decision-making becomes impossible when someone leaves you (I think it’s a depression thing), so I wish you the best of luck with it, whatever you decide. A straw poll, perhaps?

  11. Nostradamus

    We can be amazingly resilient, when we don’t spend too much time reflecting on whether or not we are resilient. I’m extremely pessimistic about the world; but I have no doubts people do have the capacity to roll through most problems. Best wishes.

  12. meredith

    Oh Jill-

    I’m so sorry to hear that. Hope you’re doing ok.
    Thinking of you. Think it was good, and brave, to put it on your blog.

  13. boynton

    I’ve been thinking about this lately myself.(obliquely) Alas,the confessional is just not my genre. Reminds me of the Micahel Ondaatje poem: “Translations of My Postcards”…
    “when I speak of the weather
    I mean business
    A blank postcard says
    I am in the wilderness”

    Best wishes

  14. Jill

    Oblique confessionals, then, Boynton? And when you don’t blog, does that mean that you are in the wilderness? Or just busy? 😉

    Thank you everyone.

  15. Esther

    So many words to say and none really say what we want to, so just two from me:

    Take care,

    E xx

  16. Hot Soup Girl

    Best wishes and best luck, Jill.

  17. Lisa

    You don’t know me, but hugs anyway.

  18. Alan McCallum

    Sorry to hear about this setback in your life.
    To understand I only need to imagine what it would be like if I was separated from or lost the one I love. Easy to understand i think.

    I can’t say anything more except that life goes on. Best wishes

  19. Ed

    Very sorry to hear. Best wishes, Jill, on the future. There isn’t any need to defend how you express yourself, or what blogging is. It’s a different thing for different people and it does open up food for thought. The ultimate thing that matters is that we feel comfortable about how we express ourselves.

  20. j

    hey jil – i so rarely come by here – and hope that by now you are feeling a little better.

    another email coming your way soon… hopefully a visit!

  21. kaa


    not once have i written on my newborn (40-day-old) blog that a very special year long relationship i was in ended a month before i began the blog. i created it with gusto and energy for a class but never once referred to the real reason i was writing. i was/am healing. in my personal print diary i would reflect on my heartache before lying down to cry myself to sleep, but i have never once brought those feelings to the blog. i actually blog to escape the pain sometimes, but slowly that is fading and changing…and my writing energizes me.

    your post really touched me…you have created a powerful voice, as i have begun to do now too, but only we really know what that voice is saying on the inside…

    ps – my ex is an aussie (saw your southern cross post today) and i fell in love with him and his country…

  22. Mishka

    Mishka rules !

  23. identity

    Loosing touch, and hiding (it)
    I have seen families break up, friends drift apart. I have seen the anger, the despair, the hurt, the loss. I have seen the feeling of hopelessness, of regret, of sorrow, of guilt. I wonder; why do it happen, will…

  24. OnePotMeal

    Some engaging strands have spun outward from a recent post of Jill Walker’s in which she wrote Exhibitionism and mental masturbation? Nonsense. Blogging is about hiding. It’s about partial truths and a voice that is binding as well as freeing. When my …

  25. Burningbird

    Obliquely Yours
    I was tempted into intruding into a continuing discussion I read about at Steve Himmer’s, about Weblog as Literature. Or should I say weblogging as small “l” literature. This is a topic of particular interest to me lately, especially after pulling Path…

  26. Perpetual Stroll

    Fragments of the whole…
    Jill wrote a wonderful entry countering accusations that blogging is about exhibitionism and mental mastubration. I’ve said this several times

  27. traces

    that bit of me that leaks through in the words
    A few months ago, this girl who teaches teenagers in a college in California and who reads my blog emailed me, asking if I was okay with her sending her students to read some of my postings for her class….

  28. Plight of the Reluctant

    The Age of Techno-Victorianism
    I was going to write a lengthy post about the connection between media and how it has affected expression, contrasting

  29. Fragments

    Too many whiney posts about rather inconsequential details the past month or so. Probably hiding, expressing frustration about slow progress…

  30. Caveat Lector

    Blogthread at Burningbird’s (kindly do not miss Wonderchicken’s comment) and Jonathon’s, also Steve’s and Jill’s. Read and ponder. I am so wretchedly underqualified to enter this discussion that I wouldn’t do it if I…

  31. Maris blogg

    Hvorfor blogge?
    Etter noen diskusjoner omkring temaet blogging har jeg tenkt mye p hva som egentlig fascinerer meg ved denne uttrykksformen. Personlig

  32. Doug's Dynamic Drivel

    Blogging truths
    Shelley, Steve, Stavrosthewonderchicken, Jonathon, Dorothea and others are involved in a fascinating conversation regarding truth in blogging. That is (and I hope I get this right) if someone who writes a blog entry does not stick the "factual&quo…

  33. Life on Mars

    Truth in Blogging
    I find myself opposed to this sort of private meaning to blogging, but am intrigued by its seemingly common usage.

  34. under the surface
    [trail through the park behind my apt] I took a walk through the park behind my apartment today so…

  35. the sum of my parts

    we’ve got blog in my
    we’ve got blog in my search for the perfect weblog definition, i have done a lot of reading. at the moment i am reading weíve got blog. i am only a quarter of the way through, but i really enjoy…

Comments are closed.

Recommended Posts

Triple book talk: Watch James Dobson, Jussi Parikka and me discuss our 2023 books

Thanks to everyone who came to the triple book talk of three recent books on machine vision by James Dobson, Jussi Parikka and me, and thanks for excellent questions. Several people have emailed to asked if we recorded it, and yes we did! Here you go! James and Jussi’s books […]

Image on a black background of a human hand holding a graphic showing the word AI with a blue circuit board pattern inside surrounded by blurred blue and yellow dots and a concentric circular blue design.
AI and algorithmic culture Machine Vision

Four visual registers for imaginaries of machine vision

I’m thrilled to announce another publication from our European Research Council (ERC)-funded research project on Machine Vision: Gabriele de Setaand Anya Shchetvina‘s paper analysing how Chinese AI companies visually present machine vision technologies. They find that the Chinese machine vision imaginary is global, blue and competitive.  De Seta, Gabriele, and Anya Shchetvina. “Imagining Machine […]

Do people flock to talks about ChatGPT because they are scared?

Whenever I give talks about ChatGPT and LLMs, whether to ninth graders, businesses or journalists, I meet people who are hungry for information, who really want to understand this new technology. I’ve interpreted this as interest and a need to understand – but yesterday, Eirik Solheim said that every time […]