Tuesday, December 19, 2006

My Last Blog on Blogging

So, what have we learned from all the comments?
1. Blogging is a chance for self expression.
2. Blogging is an opportunity to connect with other people. For some it's about staving off loneliness, for some it's about shameless flirting, and for others it is merely a way to become part of a community. People tend to like to find a comfortable niche and settle in.
3. Commenting is an important part of blogging. Commenting on blogs of others brings comments your way. However, only by commenting in a meaningful manner can a dialogue begin. Without intelligently acknowledging the comments and opinions of others, a poster runs the risk of committing comment masturbation.
4. What brings someone back to someone's blog? Apparently interesting posts that say something significant. Or posts that at least titillate or give us some slice of a person's psyche. There must be a hook.

One writer's words, sent to me by Deslily, went something like this:

"All the writers I read are wallowing through major life issues, which are manifesting themselves in different ways in the virtual pages of their blogs. It got me to thinking: perhaps this is what separates the true writers from the mere hobbyists among us. There are those who quit writing altogether, leaving us with a swan song entry explaining that they’ve written all that’s worth writing, and they’re off to spend their time on more worthwhile pursuits. ( The inference being that all these however many months of blogging have been nothing but a waste of time.) These people, in my mind, are not writers. They may be intelligent, interesting and articulate, and write very well when they choose to do so, but they have not the passion of true writers."

I'm not agreeing or disagreeing, just offering up comments for thought.

If you are interested in looking at other posts relating to blogging, here are some which were sent to me and here are some which I culled through my surfing. And Helen, I am giving you first billing. Visit at least a few of these, I think you'll find something to consider and perhaps elaborate upon. If you want, feel free to return here and continue the dialogue we began in the prior posting.

I'll lead off here with a link to "The Top Ten Reasons Writers Should Blog" http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/35789/the_top_ten_reasons_writers_should.html?page=2

Then, here are some personal comments on blogging from many of the people who have commented on this blogsite at one time or another:
http://evenmoreshenanigans.blogspot.com/2006/12/confessions-of-blogger.html ( A British teen and why she blogs)
http://lespiritdescalier.blogspot.com/2006/08/to-blog-or-not-to-blog-since-i-began.html (Gem waxes philosophical about her blogging)
http://the-cave-of-pythia.blogspot.com/2006/11/comment-masturbation.html as well as http://the-cave-of-pythia.blogspot.com/2006/11/filters.html (these two postings from Pythia inspired a good deal of lively discussion)
http://sidneywilliams.blogspot.com/2006/12/value-of-blog.html (Author Sidney Williams comments on blogging)
http://www.deanesmay.com/archives/007269.html (Interesting notes, some interesting comments on blogging etiquette)
http://blogs.ittoolbox.com/eai/leadership/archives/thoughts-on-blogging-etiquette-4575 (some thoughts about the blog as dialogue, or lack thereof)
http://wardomatic.blogspot.com/2005/04/etiquette-for-blogging-nation.html (more interesting observations)

I could post many more links, but instead I will encourage you to surf on your own. There are some great sites for reading. Also, another reminder...WEDNESDAY...send me WEIRD ADDICTION posts.


C said...

I really don't think we can justify writing in a nutshell but it helps to have sympathetic ear.

Susan Miller said...

"Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting and doing the things historians usually record, while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry and even whittle statues. The story of civilization is the story of what happened on the banks. Historians are pessimists because they ignore the banks for the river." -Will Durant

I like this quote when thinking of everyone blogging....the only thing that scares me is when there are too many rules...too many right ways to comment...my silly, cheesy, little hope is that we are all collectively writing the Great American novel together and it's alright to be different in the way we do it.

SQT said...

The thing is, I don't think of blogging as any great tribute to writing, at least in my case.

I think of it as something to do. Something to occupy the mind. Something that helps me connect to various other people and communities. It's socializing in the 21st century IMO.

I like the little bits of writing I do on my blog and elsewhere, but it isn't high art. It's fun.

Anonymous said...

Valuable post. Insightful and helpful. I really enjoy blogging, so I was particularly pleased with the first article because I often feel as though I waste time blogging that could be used writing. But it has been fun and I certainly enjoy the control it affords. Thanks for including my post.

Nikeroo said...

"I blog therefore I am"

Halcyon daze started this stream a couple of weeks ago when he commented in passing chat that the reason he doesn't keep a blog is that he is moving too fast, it simply is not possible to measure him up at any one point!!

Some people's blogs are about just one or two aspects of their lives. There are knitting blogs for knitters, football blogs for footie heads... whatever special interest the blogger is having a long-term affair with.

Blogging does build for me this weird new dimension. For me I go at it with a big butterfly net and hope to capture some of the thoughts fluttering through my mind.

Of course, we are constantly evolving and our blogs will always be behind the latest ground breaking news. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that there is a file of notes and scraps to allow us to be seen from “the inside out”.

People’s intellects, like their physical appearance come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Diversity is something we need to celebrate through communication, not silence.

Sometimes measuring others against the yard stick we choose to adopt leaves us disappointed, but with a bit of encouragement the gaps exposed in people’s understandings and their lack of insightful perceptions can be remedied with gentle redirection and education from the broader community.

If living transparently exposes someone’s ignorance this should be made into a positive thing because we are constantly evolving as people and self-expression through blogs can assist this evolution.

Blogs are amazing. They are the Tardis’ creating a collective psyche floating across the web.

ShadowFalcon said...

Another reason to blog - for the sake of history. We learn so much about the past from letter and diaries the blog will let the future understand people from our time.

Sidney said...

Deslily's thoughts remind me of a Faulkner quote I've probably posted somewhere before: "A writer is a creature driven by demons. He doesn't know why they chose him and he's usually too busy to wonder why." I read that first as an epigram in a Harlan Ellison collection, but it's always stuck with me.

deslily said...

unfortunately, Sidney those aren't "my words" but a "writers words"....

what it didn't say there was that the person writing it felt that if you are not a writer, or at least a hopeful wannabe writer, you shouldn't bother to blog, because it is a temporary thing and eventually, if you are not a writer, you will abandon the blog.
..so why bother?

It upset me because not everyone is a writer or a wannabe writer. But for whatever their reasons are they are enjoying blogging, even if it is something that is only temporary. Possibly filling a void in their life for that period of time... so is it so wrong to blog as a passing fancy? or for therapy? or for many other reasons besides wanting to be a writer?

Stewart Sternberg said...

Hey, deslily, when someone compares you to faulkner, go with it. Someone want to compare me to Bradbury? waiting...waiting....

Susan, I ADORE the idea that all of us blogging are writing a Great American novel

SQT, I want to see you do more writing. I would actually like to see some of your longer work.

Nikeroo, makes me nervous to hear people running around me with butterfly nets.

Hey Sid, when do you compare me to a famous writer? And I don't mean Bentley Little. (in joke for horror writers)

deslily said...

yessir, thank you sir...

SQT said...


I don't think there are any hard and fast rules to writing or blogging. If you get enjoyment out of it, then who cares what anyone else thinks.

Dorothy Parker said "I don't like writing, I like having written."

Sometimes that sums it up for me, at least when it comes to fiction writing. Blogging is pure fun and I never mind writing the posts on the blog. But when it comes to longer writing I tend to worry too much. I have a tendancy to over edit. I've kind of made it a habit to write the pieces of flash fiction for Stewart at the last minute so I don't over think it. I think that's been really good for me.

deslily said...

sqt.. do you think 7 edits by someone not knowing what the hell they are doing is a bit much? lol..

SQT said...

sqt.. do you think 7 edits by someone not knowing what the hell they are doing is a bit much? lol..

Depends. Are you editing your own work?

Besides, who says any of us know what the heck we're doing?

Stewart Sternberg said...

Seven edits? Hmmmm. Some people want to be critiqued and some do not. I wrote another posting on that. However, I usually make a point of asking before I critique whether or not someone wants me to be soft, or hard.

Another thing, about qualifications to critique. As I have said before, even if they don't know what they are doing they are a reader. Ultimately the writer has the responsibility of what feedback is valid and what is done with it.

deslily said...

lol, I like you sqt lol..

Of course Stewart, you at talking critiquing work by writers or wannabe writers...

a curious question.. would the personal interests in the person thats critiquing matter? Meaning would someone who doesn't read or write fantasy be a good person to critique a fantasy?? How does one know who is right for the type of writing you are doing?

Crunchy Carpets said...

Writing is a strange 'obsession' is it not?
There are so many kinds of writing and reasons for wanting to write out there. It is a deeply personal thing.

I have known writers who really did not have the talent..but had the passion and struggled onwards.

I have known budding screenwriters (dh included) who have churned out scripts that will not be read.

My dh is full of great ideas. They seldom make it to paper.

I think some writers fear blogging because it is an 'easy' outlet.

My dh went into online journalism when he became discouraged at his lack of literary progress.

And while he has loved it and enjoyed it.....it has taken away from the imagninary....from his creativity.

Again..because it is writing..but 'easy' writing. Nothing personal needs explored. It is just fun.

I blog because it helps me remember who I am.

You prodding me to join in your assigments has helped that too.

For years I was dh's shadow...his encouragement. Someone to bounce ideas of, and I still am. I am also someone's mom.

With blogging and commenting and writing like this...I am reminded that I too have creativity and fun and something to say.

And yes..people listen to me.

Nikeroo said...

Hmmm, yes you should be nervous!