Out On A Limb: On Guest Blogging And Vulnerability

Sometimes you write a guest post and say all kinds of true things about how your life was during a darker time.  You know it’s going to “go live” on Monday morning, but you are busy and don’t have that much time to think about it.  At some point during the day, you remember that a part of your story is now out there for the world to read and to judge.  Maybe you are sitting on the CTA blue line train going downtown.  Maybe you try to distract yourself by daring to read Fifty Shades of Gray while sitting next to a man who appears to know exactly what’s in that book.  Maybe reading a quasi-pornographic book in public can’t distract you from the fact that somewhere on the Internet is a story that people can access that’s all about your previously tortured relationship to food.

Maybe you berate yourself for being too open. Maybe you decide that it didn’t fit “your brand” to write an earnest piece about recovery from bulimia.  Maybe you think you should check your Mom Blogging For Dummies manual for tips on how to cope with feeling a little “out on a limb.”

Maybe you decide to just let it go. Maybe you surrender. Maybe you check the comments on the post and see that every single on of them is supportive and loving.  Maybe you decide that there is no real harm to your brand, since you don’t really understand how to brand in the first place. (You remind yourself you were an English major and not a marketing major.) You remind yourself that you are not the center of the universe and that the odds of dozens of people obsessing about you and your sophomore year in college are slimmer than the odds you will get to sleep in until 7:00 AM.

Maybe you decide to lean into it.  Besides, there is plenty to do right under your nose, like fold that laundry or clean that sippy cup that has 10-day-old milk residue in it. (You may wonder if you can make your own cottage cheese with that lumpy residue, because you are resourceful like that.) Maybe you decide that being out on a limb is scary and disorienting, but it’s probably a good thing. If not, you can always decide never to do it again.

Out on a limb

Out on a limb


7 thoughts on “Out On A Limb: On Guest Blogging And Vulnerability

  1. If you’re out there on the limb, you have a whole crew of people out there with you. You’re not alone. You are loved for who and what you are–in part because of your struggles, not despite them. Sometimes we only learn how loved, supported and understood we really are until we creep to the edge and glance into the swirling waters below. Take a hand friend. It is always there. xo.

    • I know you are not a stranger to the limb. I regularly marvel at your courage and your writing. It’s definitely always wonderful to get a reminder that I am not alone. Good thing that limb is strong!

  2. I read your guest blog yesterday. I AM a marketing major and I think this was good for your brand. It shows that you are human with problems like everyone else. It makes you relatable and real. People like real.

    And I’m glad you came out on the other side a stronger person. Our experiences make us who we are and you wouldn’t be the person you are today without going through what you did.

    • Oh thank you! I have been hearing all about branding and all I can think about is Apple and how relentless Steve Jobs was creating Apple. Then I think to myself, “I don’t know how to do that!” So, it’s good to hear from an expert like you that it might actually be helpful. Especially to the extent that my brand was about being real. So, there. It is what it is!

  3. Your “brand” is you — and your “you” is fabulous. Thank you for your honesty and for all you write.

  4. I think it’s BECAUSE of the fact that it doesn’t “fit your brand” that what you’ve written about is so important. So many people think of eating disorders as being limited to vapid teenagers who “just want to be pretty” and who can “snap out of it” at any time. Of course that couldn’t be farther from the truth, and if sharing your own experiences can help just one person reevaluate his or her misconceptions, you’ve accomplished something.

    It’s courageous to share. Thank you! 🙂

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