It occurred to me without realizing the gravity of the moment. I was writing here, in this very space, and self editing a post before the eventual push to live. But before I knew it, I was stopped cold in my tracks.

Thought: I don’t think you need to know that!

In the six years I’ve been writing on this site and, I’ve held back plenty as far as opinions I would reveal, people that piss me off, and so forth. It’s my duty to hold my tongue at times because I am often a speaker for a larger group of people (SacBJA, The Union, etc.) and that can require me to be more … corporate. It can also require me to forego my opinion for a greater good, whether that means I act as the “company man” or some other soulless twit. I have no problem with that. If shutting up means I have better career opportunities than when I blabber my mouth, I’ll continue to be quiet.

But generally speaking, there’s a gray area that I consider my playground. The tech stuff that interests me (like my over indulgence in Google products), personal writing battles, the journalism industry and sports. These are easy targets. And then there’s my personal life. The changes, the moves, the flights, the parties and the extracurricular activities that can be pretty funny and presumably interesting in each slice.

So when I get the idea to write, especially in this space, I’m all for it because it’s probably safe from the scrutiny of company business. However, there is a line in the sand that I never realized was there before.

(Stay focused because I’m about to write in hypotheticals now. And I know we all love fantasy!)

In the last week, I spent many hours writing right here. You won’t see any trace of it. I decided, afterward, that it would be inappropriate to put everything personal on this site. It’s a decision I’m sure others have faced and I will face time and time again. But it was weird for me because in the past I have been callous and yet cautious simultaneously. I’ve never sat down to write something here I had no intention of publishing. It goes with being a journalist. If I invest time in writing something, I want to see it in print.

But this was different. This was the first time I thought that, while others would benefit from this piece of writing, I didn’t want to reveal too much about myself and the subject at hand. Shit, I couldn’t even explain my feelings to you.

I imagine that moment was inevitable. There was always going to be a “line in the sand” moment in which restraint was the best course of action. But what I didn’t imagine was how good it would feel. How, in the interest of being private, I still managed to write something I’m (currently) proud of, and not go all willy nilly to post something here just because this site has collected a little dust. It’s like I had a breakthrough of some sort for all the wrong and right reasons.

Privacy, restraint, and surprisingly self-fulfillment. For the first time in a long time, I was writing for myself. I enjoyed that part.

What does it mean?


One thought on “Finally learning when not to hit the publish button

  1. I can understand where your thoughts are with this. Some things are just too personal but I don’t think it should stop you from writing them just because you don’t publish your writing. Writing can be a sense of relief through many emotions.

    As a reader, I enjoy getting to know the writer of the article and or book that I’m reading. It helps me to understand them as a writer and what they’re writing. But on occasion a writer will display too much, too personal, and it can sway me away from wanting to read more.

    The “line in sand” is there and congrats on recognizing that line for you as well as for your readers like me.

    As always, I enjoy what you write.

Comments are closed.