I wanted to write a specific introductory page about blogging itself. Why I do it, why I do it the way I do it, and why I like it. I suppose I feel that if you can be bothered to read my incoherent ramblings, then I should be bothered to try and explain to you exactly where I'm coming from with the whole thing.
I have been thinking a lot lately about ethics, and how they relate to blogging in particular. Because believe it or not, Gappy is not actually my real name. And that picture of the woman with her fingers in her ears? Not me either. I know I know, I had you going there for a while eh.
The thing is, I want to be able to say what I like. But I want to be able to say what I like without a: hurting any ones feelings, and b: suffering any hideously awkward consequences. To write a bland, anodyne blog, would be to defeat the object for me. The whole point of the exercise is to be able to express myself freely. The price seems to be in not owning what I say, which doesn't always feel good - especially when I think I've come up with something particularly clever (yes ha ha you sarky b'stards now I have got my fingers in my ears) because naturally I want to be able to take the credit. But not the flak. Hmmm... but no, seriously, I write about some quite personal things on my blog, and although as Gappy I'm happy to share those things in the public space that is the Internet, that doesn't mean I necessarily want my real life next door neighbour to read them and know it's me.
For similar reasons I never mention anybody who features in my blog by their first or last name. This is to protect their identity as much as my own. At the most I use an initial, a nickname, or a generic term such as My Mother. As relentless a piss taker as I am, I love some of the people I write about very much. Others not so much. Either way, they didn't ask to be written about.
Which leads me seamlessly (not) on to my next point. This blog is my true story in the sense that I am a real person, and nothing in it is made up. I do however reserve the right to occasionally exaggerate and embellish a little in the interests of making things more entertaining. It's what most people do in ordinary social situations anyway and I don't personally have a big problem with that. Nothing wrong with oiling the wheels a tiny bit, so to speak. I suspect that a lot of others do it on their blogs too, but I still think it's a good thing to be honest and clear about it.
Ultimately I've come to the conclusion that it's my business how I blog. There are things about blogging anonymously that I'm not a hundred percent comfortable with, but it feels necessary in order to produce a blog that I a: Like, and b: Feel is true to myself (if that doesn't sound too theatrical and self important, I do realise it's only a blog). Does that make me less ethical or credible? If I really thought that then frankly, I wouldn't be bothering.
Lastly, the reason I blog is because I love writing and find it a good outlet. I have absolutely no idea whether I'm any good or not, but I fell in love with the medium and format of blogging as soon as I discovered it. It is a unique form of communication, and I find the idea of self publication being accessible to anyone with an Internet connection really exciting - there is something quite anarchic about it that attracted me immediately. Many interesting, funny, and erudite people inhabit the blogosphere - by all means feel free to scroll through my blog roll for some examples.
So um... that's it really. Enjoy. And thank you very much for reading my stuff.