Reya’s post yesterday about how Emily Gould’s young life had been pretty much ruined by Blogging caused me to wonder just why it is that I am writing post 1,893 in as many days. I hope I’m not also suffering from some variant of the addiction that ultimately caused Emily Gould to crash.
After writing for almost 6 years, I have seen a handful of local Bloggers who reached the triple-digit comment mark and seemed to thrive on their popularity. But then most of them either quit or started over with a different, perhaps less popular, focus and began posting only sporadically. Only Wonkette stands out as a local Blogger who became syndicated. (I’m sure there are many others.)
I’ve never experienced that sort of fame and never will, but I have come to know what appeals to the larger Blog world and often it’s a post at someone else’s expense, even if that person remains anonymous. That was the element that seemingly fueled Emily’s addiction -- the ability to bring someone to his knees with the click of a keyboard -- and in her case to be paid for doing so.
For me writing about someone else and getting “caught” is enough to make me physically ill. I never knowingly do it. But sometimes it just happens. I could relate to Emily’s argument with her then-boyfriend Henry about his request that she delete or edit a post that exposed him and her reluctance to do so. I’ve had that discussion with my husband, who inevitably finds my mention of him uncomfortable. But I have always acquiesced to his not-always-calm requests. For the most part I try not to write about family, feeling it is safer not to take a chance. On the other hand, Jake has given me full license to expose him.
But just this week I wrote about someone else -- an English professor from decades ago who recently resurfaced in my life. Then an anonymous comment suggested that he might not like reading everything I had written about him. I broke out into a sweat worrying about the source of that comment and quickly deleted the meat of the post, including 4 comments (my apologies to Kristin, Steve, LR, and the Anon one). It is difficult to delete well-meaning comments.
So back to the question of why I write. Especially in my retirement, it has added an element of regularity to my days that I enjoy. Sometimes I do feel a little like a reporter looking for a story as I view the world through the prism of “Bloggable or not?”. I do love the connection with my small band of readers, some of whom don’t even write a Blog. For the most part, people make meaningful comments and don’t tell me I’m full of crap.
Another enjoyable element of Blogging is reading what others have to say. After all, we each have a unique take on filling the blank page. Lately I’ve come to realize that many of those on my link list don’t write often or at all these days. So I would appreciate your suggestions of Blogs I might enjoy reading.
As long as I know I could go to sleep without writing a post if I had nothing to say, I am content that I’m not addicted to this pastime. Most days still provide a nugget to chew on and share. I hope I will know if and when that is no longer the case, when I will quietly pack up and move on.