Monday, September 12, 2011
The blogging business has been on my mind a lot recently. I find myself competing, wishing I were more popular, wishing I had things to say that more people were interested in, and then wondering why I feel that way. Some say "write to your target audience." Others say "write like you were talking to your sister." Still others say "just be yourself."
Someone I know pretty well was telling me about some ideas he had. The more he talked, the more I was convinced he should write. I've told him before I thought he should write, but he has never to my knowledge given it a chance. He kept telling me about all of these ideas, expanding on this one and creating that one in the course of the conversation. Then he stopped and said "maybe I should write this stuff on a blog."
I could only respond with "duh!"
In this world of technology we have reduced our expressions to 140 characters or less. Texting and tweeting are the communication mode of choice it seems. Lots of people say they resist blogging because they can't think of enough to say to fill the space. Lots of bloggers say they resist writing books because they can't think of enough to fill the pages. Are tweeters, Facebookers, and bloggers merely abbreviated novelists?
I wonder what would happen if more people tried their hand at writing more than a text, tweet, or Facebook status update. And more thought-provoking, what would happen if people wrote simply for themselves without an audience present?
A blog can be a powerful tool in the exploration of expression. And it doesn't have to be public; it can simply be online storage for a journal ~ a private journal that no one can see. That just begs the question, does being online force us to express ourselves differently than if we were to do so privately?
It's hard to write without thinking of who might read it someday. It's hard to write without wondering if someone expects more than what you have to offer, and that's why I think people avoid writing to any great extent. One-liners and links can get you lots of fans and followers, but what if we all wrote more than that, online or offline?
Having said all of this I will probably have to take the NaNoWriMo challenge this year just to put my money where my mouth is. Hmm, I have an idea for a story about a dead guy...