Friday, April 25, 2008

A short lesson and a big question

I've read about internet addiction. I've taken "Are you addicted?"quizzes and had to swallow a time or two in mild discomfort. After all, blogger and internet addict could almost be synonymous. Then I was forced to go cold turkey, and it was definitely interesting. I found that I didn't miss a lot of stuff -- blogging just for the sake of blogging, mindless entries just to fill space and time, checking my blog traffic, fiddling with all the html. Those itches disappeared quickly.

What didn't disappear was wondering about people, how they were doing in their real lives, where their minds were taking them, the community we've created here. This is real.

What also became apparent to me is that I enjoy being read. I write better when I know that more than my eyes will take in my words. It forces me not only to write better but to think better, to take care in molding my thoughts. Though I frequently abandon the tools of grammar and punctuation, they provide an order to the swirling chaos of my thoughts. When I write solely for myself, my words almost seem like a private shorthand that captures the gist of an idea. They hint and allude to greater treasures, but don't quite take me all the way there.

I want to go all the way, but blogging doesn't take me there either. Part of me is saying this is just your own failure, but I'm hoping it's just part of the process that will get me where I want to be. Where that is remains the bigger question.


Blogger Lisa :-] said...

After four and a half years, my drive to blog has been distilled to--I write because I like to write, and I like being read. By someone. As you say, it makes me a better writer when my writing is intended to communicate an idea to someone besides myself.

But I'm no longer a slave to the hit meter (mine has rolled back to zero so many times, it's pretty worthless anyway...) and I don't live or die by the number of comments on a post. I don't think I'll ever DO anything with my writing, but it's nice to at least have this place to come and do what I love the most.

Also, I heard a screenwriter on NPR say that one way to get a leg up in the writing profession was to "self-publish." She said it was a great way to get your work out there without having to worry about agents and publishers and rejection letters. So think of blogging as a step in the right direction...

April 25, 2008 11:21 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I go through phases of this. I think we all do. Sometimes my blog gets to being only to update friends/family. Lately I just haven't had much meaningful to say, something that benefits someone else.

April 26, 2008 8:41 AM  

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