Four years ago, when I started my blog ruminationville, the word “blogger” was often used to disparage someone who either had limited writing skill or who thought more highly of his or her skill, personal magnetism, and importance than others might have done.
While the term still manages to purse some lips (as in “She’s not a writer; she’s just a blah-gger.”), and while a needless blog is born just about every second, I’m not much taunted by the negative connotations the word can conjure.
Starting a blog (and then having to call up enough discipline to maintain it week after week) has given me more moxie than I could have imagined for myself. Whereas before I couldn’t even see myself writing for an online audience of one, now I think along these lines: Come one, come all. Read me or don’t read me. Follow me, don’t follow me, or unfollow me. Like me or don’t like me. Just don’t land on this wobbly little planet of me looking to make a bit of stupid trouble. I’m shy and yielding, yes. That’s my nature. But when it comes to stupid trouble, I can be fierce.
So, what have I learned while I’ve been blogging? These things:
- People in this BuzzFeed era have become accustomed to headlines that seduce and alarm (as in “This One Ridiculously Crazy Idea Will Scare the Holy Bejesus Out of You!”), but I won’t write a ridiculously shocking headline unless I have something ridiculously shocking to say, which so far is never.
- In this age of online news-bite consumptionism, people have come to adore lists. I have come to adore lists, and I can be drawn to an article that promises I will discover the meaning of life if I follow six simple steps.
- Still, I try and stay away from giving easy, empty, unlived advice.
- I have absolutely no way of knowing, or predicting, if what I have written will appeal to readers. I can post something I think no one will find interesting, and my “like” stars will light up like tiny, pointy Christmas bulbs. Or, I can post something I am certain everyone will think is pure genius, and the only response I will get is nothing.
4 thoughts on “What blogging has taught me etcetera”
Well said! The e-world is a strange place. I have my blog and I have a Facebook page. The Blog is so much better. I seldom like anything on Facebook, either because its hateful or because it absolutely meaningless. What keeps me going are the Japanese posts. They are so much more sensible and certainly less violent than the American posts.
On the Blog road, I’ve found quite a bit of well-wrought advice. And you are right Leslie, one has no idea…I’ve gone back and actually changed a title and once a picture…that I thought might be offensive or just too much! And, I’ve missed a lot of blogs this past two months…holidays and all and then I felt a bit guilty as I scrolled down what appeared to be an interminable array of blogs. So I clicked off and started back the next day.
So why do we do it? Why blog? For me, I’ve discovered a like-minded group of folks who are, as you noted, unpredictable, but I’m quite often surprised by a long comment or a short, pleasant note.
I often think about blogs, throughout the day…one of your blogs in fact intrigued me for several days…even after I had commented. Ideas move beyond us, beyond our blogs. It’s an interesting construct of the intentionality issue.
So having rambled on and on, I must say I’m a fan of yours. You were one of the first folks I followed. I still do.
So good to hear word from you again! I hope you and your wife had a good holiday. Thanks so much for the vote of confidence. I have appreciated your comments very much, and I have enjoyed going to your blog, too. Best wishes for 2016. Leslie
I also blog about blogging. I am with you on #1. I teach people to write great headlines, but sincere headlines, not just shock for the sake of getting people to click your link.
Perhaps you’ll check out my blogging tips site. This is the kind of article I write:
Thanks so much for visiting my blog and for leaving a comment. I visited your site and enjoyed reading it. I am a college writing teacher so have posted a few things on my other website (leslielass.com) about writing. These might be of interest: