After setting up a blog, the WordPress Website recommends that you:
Bug your real-life friends – encourage friends and family to read your blog: send them reminder emails when you update and talk to them about it when you meet in person. Often having a really small audience of people you care about is better than having a million visitors and not knowing any of them.
But having done as suggested and casually invited all my family and friends (non-Italian, of course) to “check out my blog. Yeah, that’s right. I’ve got a blog. Me! On the Internet. With followers and everything”, I’m beginning to see a major downside of not writing my blog anonymously. Namely that I feel I can’t write anything even vaguely negative about the folks I know. No moaning, no telling tales, no gossiping sharing my opinion of other people’s life choices.
It’s not that I want to reveal their darkest, juiciest secrets* or bad mouth any of my friends. It’s more that I’d like to write freely about situations and events without being concerned that I might upset/annoy/libel one of them. At least if I had a million readers that I didn’t know, I wouldn’t have to censor myself so much.
So how to proceed? Should I simply change names and hope the relevant person doesn’t guess they’re the subject of a post? Ask for permission before blogging? Or just write whatever I want without worrying about offending anyone else? If I think about it too much, I’ll be reduced to writing only about innocuous subjects such as cheese, cats and dust.
* I am in possession of some really good secrets. Seriously good. But I never divulge my information: I’d make a great spy. Mind you, I don’t actually want to put this to the test or anything; under extreme interrogation, I will crack.