Blogging Like This

I’ve been thinking about why this attempt at keeping a blog has grabbed me and kept me writing at my desultory pace, compared to another attempt a couple of years ago on another blog provider.

Part of it is that WordPress makes blogging so much easier to do than that other place. It’s unclear whether it’s because the amenities of blogging have advanced so much in general or whether WordPress is so much better. Or whether it’s that I’m more ready to actually sit down and write something. I suspect it’s a combination of all that.

The other blog place (I’m being vague about which one it was, because I’m not sure now…) seemed to have a much different assortment of bloggers than the variety I’ve found around WordPress. For one thing, a very large proportion of those blogs were the excruciating ones written by enthusiastic teenagers full of malapropisms, misspellings, triviality and gee-whiz exclamations about the after-school party on Friday night: fascinating to their close friends and perhaps sociologists, but not, unfortunately, me.

I can’t say that I was any better prepared to write a blog this time around, and I’m still rather a newbie, but I’ve discovered what a social dimension blogging has. I didn’t realize that before. There must be university theses galore, written or planned, on the anthropological and sociological aspects of this new form of written communication. And here we are, in the midst of it. Well, I’m pretty late to the party, as usual.

We drop into the blog pool the little pebble of ourselves represented by our writing. Arcs of ripples from many such pebbles broaden out and intersect. It’s fascinating to participate in this process, especially where the ripples cross each other.

But that’s rather abstract. The reason I’m enjoying this blogging enterprise as much as I do is the people I have been lucky enough to come across in this unusual way.

There’s BlogLily. Here’s a woman with a family to look after, a law career, a novel in progress, cancer to beat, a blog to frequently write, and she will still take the time to make friendly and generous remarks to comments on her own site and postings on many others. And she is a perceptive and skillful writer on top of everything else. I am amazed. A community of bloggers of disparate interests buzzes around the light of her site. It is a great one.

There’s Slice… actually Louise, as she bylines the ingenious wordplay of her haiku. Often hilarious, usually insightful, I miss that she hasn’t been writing them for a couple of months. I gathered that she was somehow involved in theatre while working as a waitress (although I could be wrong about any of that). Anyway, I hope she returns with her well-honed responses to the world.

Qazse is a poet and a thoughtful man. He seems to have a stockpile of poetry from past years he mixes with current observations. Always interesting to read. And he knows a lot about Blood, Sweat & Tears…

At Wide Awake, sputnki (Doug) is a writer and photographer, each medium giving context to the other. He wrote poignantly about his father not long ago — it sticks with me. And he likes science fiction too…

Of course there are others… I ran across secretmojo’s site recently, who writes fluently and prolifically on many subjects. His recent post about knitting, of all things, is a hoot…  And his take on the erstwhile diplomacy of Condaleeza Rice just makes me laugh out loud.

Does blogging improve your writing? I wonder about this. If you enjoy the struggle to get the right words lined up on some inarticulate sense, just for the sake of those too rare moments when you hit the nail on the head of what you mean to say with a satisfying thock!, then I think yes. It affords more opportunities to wrestle with words that way, at least with this kind of personal blog. Just the possibility of others reading it makes you want to express better, more clearly, more precisely. (And even if nobody does find their way to it, I get to imagine they will.)

I’ve found that writing on this blog, and meeting the people I have here, has rekindled my interest in writing again. I am thankful for that.

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10 Comments on “Blogging Like This”

  1. qazse Says:

    The same can be said for my encounter with your ripples.

    Best regards

  2. bloglily Says:

    Hello Mike — You were the first wonderful blog I stumbled on after I signed up for my wordpress account. And after that, how could you not want to keep going on and writing and meeting people and seeiing what they’re up to? I particularly like how many different voices and interests are rippling around us — kind people, and smart too. Like you, I find it quite good for my writing. There’s something about this form that loosens you up a little bit and makes it more obvious that when you write you should be having fun. Best, BL

  3. fencer Says:

    Hi qazse,

    Thanks… (Sometimes I get a little carried away with whatever metaphor plops into my mind.)

    Hi Lily,

    I’m often pleasantly surprised, too, by how many articulate people there are. Thinking of it as a form… it feels to me like a letter crossed with a personal essay enhanced with this interactive component (and with a world-wide compendium hiding in the background for reference at any time). I’m glad I live in the time when this is possible… And the informality of it is of great appeal. And the fun part too!

    Regards

  4. qazse Says:

    I liked the metaphor.

    what’s a meta for
    especially if it plops
    upon fertile puns

  5. sputnki Says:

    Well, thank you for you kind words. I’ve always harboured the secret ambition to write, but it’s the blog that really makes me try. I admit also to having had a hard go on another blog service that seemed much like shouting into an empty room. Just the occasional giggle from a lurking teenager.

    I first found wordpress following someone’s link to Nova’s blog (distraction no. 99). Once in there I followed some of her links and saw how articulate the community around wordpress was. I found it inspired me to start writing again, even if it was blog entries. So I jumped ship, and found the tools at wordpress were exemplary! A couple of clicks and I imported the posts and comments from my old blog. I could look at the traffic going to my site, even see the search strings that lead people here (now that is a wild ride, I’d write a post on it but nova and slidre are way ahead). The tools don’t compare to the people tho. I can’t say enough about the fantastic community I’ve found here.

    Doug

  6. sputnki Says:

    Heh, supporting my statement awhile ago about the quirks of my memory, the person writing poems about the search terms to their blog is Slynne at http://soyouthinkican.wordpress.com/. Slidre, Slynne, at least I got the first 2 letters right…

    After tooting on and on in my comment I forgot to mention how much I enjoy your own blog. I think I’ve downloaded more stuff following links from you in the last month than in the year before! And anyone who writes sci-fi has to have their head on straight!

    Doug

  7. fencer Says:

    Hi qazse,

    Thanks a lot for your Basho-like ploppishness…

    —–

    Hi Doug,

    Thanks for your comments and those links. That is really interesting, the search terms people use to come across one’s site… I’ve noticed that too, some rather odd ones. I like that idea of Google as a kind of confessional or therapist… free associate and throw the search terms in.

  8. qazse Says:

    You are aware that Basho was one of the first Marx Brothers…

  9. fencer Says:

    Hi qazse,

    Yes, let’s see, there’s Harpo, Groucho, and… Basho!


  10. […] There’s more, of course, but time is the prison we all must endure… Go read fencer if you’re still hungry for the good stuff. […]


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