sarahkeenihan

To share or not to share

In May 2015 on May 10, 2015 at 11:24 am

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Sarah: How much of ‘you’ should you reveal when you’re a blogger, a journalist or a writer? In a world of social media — where connections and share-ability matter — it’s an issue that I grapple with regularly.

I trained as a research scientist during the 1990s. Whilst things are slightly more liberal now, back then I was taught that come hell or high water, I should never dare to use personal pronouns or include my thoughts and opinions in any written materials. Science is objective. Science has procedures. Science is not influenced by emotion or personal experiences. Science has a reputation to uphold!

When I started blogging and writing for more general audiences, it took me many years to be work out the right balance of ‘being me’ in a public space. Me a scientist; but also me a writer, a citizen, a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a runner, a cook, a netball coach…I think you get my drift.

Gently, slowly, I started to wrap my head around writing in the first person. Still thinking from the perspective of science, through this blog I shared experiences from my home life, my working life and many other things in between. Now I’m quite comfortable with revealing a little of myself through my words. Not too much….just a little, and only in the right context.

Like scientists, wine writers on the whole are not renowned for being liberal with personal details. Sure, they’re inclined to get a bit emotional about the 2008 Penfolds Grange, but overall they keep a lid on it.

When wine aficionado Nick Ryan began writing a regular column for Adelaide’s Sunday Mail newspaper, he too felt nervous about revealing too much of himself. Here’s a story I wrote about Nick’s shared experiences of parenting, losing a partner and the benefits that can come from letting an audience get to know you.

[Photo credit: Got Credit]

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