Yesterday I had the chance to think about a number of things, but one that was up front was about blogging. What is a blog? What should we write about while blogging? While blogging on a writing web site? What are our responsibilities to the audience that we might or might not have? Are there blog boundaries? How often should we blog?
In many ways, I do think that blogging is sort of a solipsistic adventure, one where we can can talk about what is on our minds, even if what is on our minds is something that is about the community or the world at large. We sit here and type away, presenting what it is we are thinking about or what iscurrently showing on the movie screens of our brains.
And as writers, so much is on our minds. Belle Yang said it well yesterday, talking about our "thin skins," how we perceive things maybe others are not. Most writers walk around with our radar on, looking at the story, the ideas, taking in the sensory perceptions around us. So the fact is, we have a lot of material.
But is that interesting to others? I suppose that sometimes our blogs are not interesting to anyone other than ourselves. Or there are some bloggers whose work always resonates. Or sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. It comes down to reading what we want to. I know there are a few sites I go to daily because of the attitude of the blogger. Here, I have come to expect certain topics and ideas from certain people. I tend to pick those blogs above others, and then if I have time, move along to some new ones. My feeling, then, is that the audience has to take some responsibility for what it reads. We put something out there, and caveat emptor.
A blog, this blog, for me, has been wonderful in that I am able to write about topics that I don't always or often get to in fiction. In fiction as opposed to essays or memoir, it's hard to have a bias or opinion or soap box. If one of my characters does end up with a political position, it's often muted in some way. Here I've been able to say what I think about a variety of things clearly and plainly. I get to use adverbs here, and maybe that needs to stop.
This blog has also loosened me up for my daily writing (not that I have a story yet!). It's been freeing and enjoyable, kind of a free association type thing that led quite well to my daily writing practice. I never before believed in journaling or keeping a diary or pre-writing until I started writing here on redroom. I am a convert.
In terms of topic, I notice that we are all over the place. Some of us write personally about friends and family and loved ones. Some of us keep a little distance between us and the crowd. Some people stick to only writing topics. Some lay it all down, the heart and soul and misery and joy of living. Some people give us stuff to laugh at. So I don't know what the constant steady thrum of topic is or should be. I don't think there should be a cap or a limit or boundaries, but again, I think that could be determined by the audience. If you consistently don't like the blogger or his or her topics, don't click. Don't touch that dial!
Finally, I've met some people I really like. I haven't yet met those people in the flesh, but I've developed offline relationships with a couple, and these connections have enriched me. In terms of reading all the blogs, I've been able to learn more about the way other writers work, what their processes are, and what they think about. It's a wonderful place, a great place, a place that has made me think and grow and learn.
So I'm loving the blogging life. Thinking about what I'm doing here was important because this is a part of my day, one of the first things I do before going into the world, and I believe that contemplating it was necessary. I appreciate the platform and appreciate everyone who writes here, giving me the choice to read or not read, learn or not learn.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org