You may have heard about the quiet movement that is changing the blogosphere post by post. Or you may have accidentally stumbled on some of the "Things I'm Afraid to Tell You" lists that bloggers have been publishing over the last few weeks.
"Things I'm Afraid To Tell You" is exactly what it sounds like: bloggers posting real, sometimes raw, self-truths. Dark secrets like bullying are listed next to food addictions, all in the spirit of writing about our not-so-pretty-selves. The lists include confessions about jealously, anger, addictions and more.
In the spirit of pushing past her own self-imposed boundaries, Make Under My Life blogger Jess Constable created and published the very first "Things I'm Afraid To Tell You" list on March 29.
She hit publish and that was it. Or so she thought...
Enter Social Media (especially Twitter).Ez of Creature Comforts and her friends read the post, tweeted about it and supported it. Ez designed a logo and with her friends Erin and Nichole, began to post their own TIATTY lists, eventually making it an official movement by creating Round 2.
Last week, Leslie Fandrich of the excellent blog Lights and Letters invited me and several other bloggers to participate in Round 3.
On Tuesday, May 29th, our posts went live at Noon EST. We collectively hit publish -- for moral support, to cheer one another on and to push the movement a little further (Round 4 anyone?).
In my opinion, the only other thing as freeing as virtually holding hands and sharing secrets is reading about what happens on the side of the computer screen -- the side where a writer sits at her keyboard typing in her own space, one that we don't usually see. Before my own post went live, I had the idea that it would be fun to interview Jess of Make Under My Life and Ez of Creature Comforts about "Things I'm Afraid To Tell You" --
Jess, what made you decide to write Things I'm Afraid To Tell You?
To be honest, I simply wanted to share things that I previously held back (out of fear) from my readers. So I wrote my post, Things I'm Afraid to Tell You. The immediate response from readers was overwhelmingly welcoming, and I felt so thankful that I had pushed past my fears to be more "me" online. But I never imagined that the post I wrote would turn into a movement! That was all due to Ez taking what I did and bringing it to the attention of a much wider audience.
Jess, what did you think when Ez created a graphic and it became a movement?
It was incredible! I was honored that she would find what I did so moving and wanted to take this to a whole new audience and ask others to participate. When I wrote my post it was just an exercise in being more myself online. So to see so many other people feeling more comfortable with sharing their authentic selves online is a blessing far beyond what I first imagined.
Jess, how has publishing your list changed things in your real and blogging life since you hit the publish button?
Surprisingly, I don't feel that much different. I feel just like I did before, but without the fears and hang ups about certain things I kept private from my readers. To sum it all up, I think I just feel more like "me" ...With this movement, I think people are starting to value reality and view our shortcomings not as blemishes, but as opportunities to connect with other people on a more realistic level.Ez, What made you decide to start more of an official "Things I'm Afraid To Tell You Movement" with a graphic and a real push to keep this going?
There definitely wasn't an official plan in place to create a movement based around Jess' original Things I'm Afraid to Tell You post... it was more of an unexpected uprising. It happened when my friends Erin http://www.designformankind.com/2012/05/things-im-afraid-to-tell-you/ and Nichole started discussing Jess's post with me on twitter. Within minutes, a wildfire of interest ignited when others bloggers joined the conversation. So many people wanted to know how they could personally get involved, so I offered to make the challenge a bit more official by emailing the initial group of interested bloggers and asking them all to post on the same day (strength in numbers, as they say).
Ez, How has publishing your list changed things in your real and blogging life since you hit the publish button?This challenge has been incredibly humbling and rewarding to me on a personal level. Just to be a part of such an honest and open conversation between so many bloggers around the world is a beautiful thing. It truly has served as a reminder that no matter who you are or what you are going through, you are most definitely not alone in your struggles. That's a message that I believe to be truly invaluable.
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I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we hope that TIATTY will continue to travel across the blogosphere because as any of these bloggers will tell you when we face our fears, we free our true selves.
All Participating bloggers as of May 29 are listed here: Round 1, Round 2, Round 3.