I read other writers' blogs, and they tell such great stories about their families. You know, the funny things their kids do, for example, is a great subject for a blog post. Horrible, messy, and disturbing things kids do is also wonderful blog material. Husbands provide a lot of good stuff, too. I love to read about the personal, family details, don't you?
My kids give me great material too. Every day. And I love them all the more for it! But here's the thing. They don't like it when I use their lives as writing material. I don't know how these other writers do it, but my kids do not appreciate hearing about themselves in my work. I'll say, "You know that time you ____, would you mind if wrote a little piece about that?" "Yes!" they say. "I would mind! Don't even think about it!" These kids today, I'm telling you! Selfish! Ungrateful! Why, in my day, when my mother told funny stories to her friends about my capers and antics, I--well, I hated it, too. And I made sure everyone knew that it didn't happen that way at all!
Now, if I asked my husband a similar question about whether he would mind being the subject of a blog post about oh, let's say his unwillingness to learn to use a certain modern, pocket-sized communication device, he would not be pleased. I can just hear him saying, "Why don't you write about something else?" What's up with that?
Much as I respect my family's privacy rights, I refuse to waste good material! I have written a bunch of essays that I'm storing away in a vault (my computer) to use at a less emotionally sensitive time. Wait. When is that going to be? When is my family going to come to me and say, "You are a such a witty, insightful writer! Use my life! I'd be honored!"? I'm getting a feeling that this might never happen.
I have a few ideas for coping with the restrictions on my use of family material for blog posts. Let me know what you think.
Option A: Write about our pets, the house, the cars, writing, and myself.
Option B: Make up a fictitious family of four, who "lives on our street." Call them the Vandersomethings (the husband, like mine, is Dutch, and the wife, like me, is American). Use some real stuff and some made-up stuff so that real events are indistinguishable from made-up ones.
Option C: A + B