On being a better blogger
I’ve really been trying to find extra time in the day to be a blogger, and I don’t mean that in a purely “I’ve been trying to find extra time in the day to write” sense. I’m trying to be an active blogger more & more. I want to read what you write, I want to try to feel your experiences.
Because of this, I’ve started leaving more & more comments. I used to
stalk read a lot of blogs, but that was it. I read your words, I might smile, but this ended the process (well, except that my memory is a curious beast and therefore your words imprinted on my mind so that I end up linking to a post of yours days/weeks/months/years later, well after you’ve forgotten what you were writing about) . I was happy, I got to think for a minute, but I moved on. I was treating blogs like books.
And then I started
writing blogging myself.
We write in order to be read. I can try to say that “I’m writing for myself,” but if I were truly writing for myself, I wouldn’t be posting it online. I know there are people who write for specific topics and have a specific group of people in mind. And that’s great. But that’s not for me – my writing is eclectic, just out there. Sometimes, I try to make people laugh. I always try to make people think. If what I’m writing is actually helping you? Well, that’s great, but you still can’t borrow my truck, and if I’m writing about home improvement, I’ve encountered a massive head injury. I may choose my words carefully, knowing that a specific person would appreciate the selection. There may be a line intended for a specific audience – but for the most part, I just want my writing to be read by as far & wide-ranging a group as possible.
So, I switched from writing to blogging. For the initiates, the difference is semantic. For others, I think they’ll know what I mean. I’ve been reading, lately, with a purpose. If I have the time, I’m reading. I’m reading for enjoyment, but I’m also reading to see how I can make my own writing better. I’m always looking to improve myself.
When I read, I almost always comment these days (the only posts I don’t find myself commenting on are giveaway posts for items that I wouldn’t want to win because I ether have a penis, my kids are of an inappropriate age, or it’s for food that I shouldn’t/won’t eat). I know longer just
stalk Pop’s blog, I engage the writers that I’m reading. And, I’m really making an honest effort at saying more than “I was here.” It’s great to get some feedback when you’re writing, but it’s better to know, at least for me, that I’m transporting a reader, or making a reader think, or something more than just read. I like knowing that my words are more than “just words,” if that makes sense at all.
I’m a firm believer that no life experience truly stands alone. When you write about meeting your Aunt Matilda, well something you say might trigger a memory of the first time I dreamt about water-skiing. So, I’ll bring that up.
Sometimes, my comments seem right in line with the post – sometimes, they’re a bit of a stretch (but, believe me, in my thought process, I arrive at my seemingly tangential bit of nonsense through completely logical thought). With some people, those comments always lead to something suggestive *ahem*, but I’m making a concerted effort to say more than just “I was here.” I want to tell the authors that that they made me think, because I, as a writer, can think of no greater compliment than to know that something I wrote made my readers think.
I’m always looking to engage. On the surface, our dear Aunt Becky1 had the lesson right: You don’t owe the Internet anything, but she was talking about somebody reading your words & turning you into a prophet/motivational speaker/expert of some sort2. No, we owe the internet our best writing (few would argue that), it’s just how best to draw that writing out.
Me, I’m finding that it’s getting out, reading anything I can, engaging writers, challenging myself to comment and further engage. At the very least, you get to read a lot of great stuff out there. At the best, well, you end up with some pretty awesome people that you can call new friends.
And, if you’re reading this because you’re replying to a comment I left on your blog, curious as to why the heck I’m saying what I’m saying, or at least oblivious as to how anyone would say what I said after reading what you wrote . . . well, it’s because I’m trying to compliment you – in the only way that I know how.
1 What’s that, you didn’t think you had an Aunt Becky? If you’re on the internet, you have an Aunt Becky. Mommy Wants Vodka is mandatory reading for anybody looking to understand how to write on The Interwebz.
2 I claim to be an expert at nothing. Well, I know how to play with my organ quite well, but, really, that’s about it. If you want organ lessons, or if you have a technical question about the specifics of male masturbation, I feel that I’m fully qualified to help you out.