Friday, April 14, 2006

I feel the need to write something on this blog, but fear I'm stretching myself a bit thin.

Today, I added to my 365 list, made an entry on First Drafts, and wrote a bit offline. So now I feel wrung out of ideas for anything here. Thus, I'm going to do a Wenda - just start writing and see what comes out. (I rather like the verbing of Wenda. I hope she doesn't mind.) I've used this technique of hers a few times now and it works pretty well.

I'm heading into the busiest two weeks of my year and may not get much chance to blog in the next while, so I may as well sit here and write whatever comes out my fingers.

Reading other blogs is inspirational. From the mundane to the insightful, the serious to the humorous, I spend hours reading other blogs. I came across a professional (i.e. published) writer's blog site today. She mentioned something I'd heard from another writer on a different forum. She wondered if people who came across her blog would get the wrong impression of her writing (her professional writing, that is) because her blog writing is not really her best. It's unedited, has the occasional typo, and grammatical errors. She worried that people wouldn't know the difference between her blog writing and her "real" writing.

I can't be totally sure, but I think most people realize personal blogs are more free-form and stream of consciousness than something one would submit for publication. It's also a way to play around and see what works and doesn't work. The comments feature is great for that.

I know this metaphor is used to death, but sharing your writing IS a bit like putting one of your babies out on display. You hope others will like it; love it even, and you're disappointed if others don't see it in the same light.

What I've found interesting is the difference in my expectations of responses to my posts and the actual responses I get. They're often at complete odds. What I think are interesting or funny posts sometimes get only one or no comments; and the ones I think are just throw-away, off the top of my head posts, get more.

Sometimes I feel I'm just being self-indulgent. But, then I think, the people who don't like it are only a mouse-click away from leaving. At least, that's how I justify my ramblings, scribblings, rants, raves and god knows, silly Dr. Seuss poems.

Which brings me to humour. It's a strange thing. It doesn't always translate well if you're not familiar with the personality behind it. Something meant as a tongue-in-cheek can be misconstrued by people who've only known the perpetrator as a staid and serious character. I suppose it works in reverse, too. People who are always kidding can't get people to take them seriously. It's like, okay, where's the joke, I know the punchline is coming, you're not serious, right? That's why I have such respect for writers who can do humour, so that everyone gets it.

Well, it's late Friday night and I haven't come up with anything earth-shattering, but it was fun and positive just the same.


Joy said...

I wonder what will be next after blogs. It's an interesting kind of community, isn't it?

This was an enjoyable post and gave me things to think about. I'm one of those people who joke so much that people wait for the punchline. (in person, not so much in blogging)

I also meant to add that you need to do what feels right for you about your book site and consider the time you want to spend on it. There are quite a few things on there to read now, and I enjoy it but want you to do what you want to with it.

ell said...

Thanks, Joy.

I really have mixed emotions about the book site. Maybe I'll do what you suggested and just add a review or two per month and see how it goes.

Cate said...

Hey, Ell, just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of you, and agree so much with what you have written here. I have felt the same ways, often, and had sort of drifted into a mini-hiatus last week.

Hope your next two weeks pass smoothly! xo

Wenda said...

She doesn't mind at all. It's nice to be thought of in such a context. Look forward to reading you again when you resurface.

Joy said...

Just want to let you know that I miss you and will welcome you back when you have the time, energy, and motivation to post again. Hope things aren't too stressful. I'm thinking about you.