I woke up today feeling creative. I think sleeping in had something to do with it. I got two comments this morning, one from Self-Taught Artist and one from Debo Blue about yesterday's post that I thought was too casual to be interesting. It felt to me at the time like filler since I hadn't written anything that day. But that particular random, free association about my day and life struck a chord with these two people.
It is interesting that bloggers respond more to writing about me, someone they do not know and will never meet, than when I am trying to be pithy about literature, politics or some such. Does this reflect the readers I have attracted or something about writing and blogging?
Not to be trite but doesn't everyone say to write about what you know best? And who else do I know best? It's just that I thought I was boring, I guess. As an aside, what I really wish I could do was write about my work. Other people are what fascinate me, and I mean that in a sympathetic way, not a scientist dissecting a bug under the microscope kind-of-way. But writing about my work except in sweeping generalizations violates all sorts of professional and ethical edicts.
I guess this point about personal blogging also illustrates why memes are so popular. We seem to like reading about other people's favorite foods, dreams, fears and so on. And there sites like Sunday Scribblings which inspire us to write something on a theme and compare how we view the world and a particular prompt to that of 20 or 30 other people.
Self-Taught Artist wrote meaningfully today about the popularity contest aspect of blogging. I too have fallen prey to this. I tried using Blog Explosion to find readers. At times it is a fun sort of narcissistic game but it is also a huge time waster. It has not generated any readers for me and I don't especially like most of the blogs I have read there. The same blogs turn up over and over again (how much time do they spend on-line?). There are the occasional new bloggers like me who are trying as best they can and I always try to comment kindly on those sites. But the poorly written, look-at-me, kind of blogs, with posts about things that I have no affinity for, drive me nuts. I've seen sites about fantasy football, big breasted women, right wing politics and many, many gaping at celebrity sites.
I've written before that I like the discipline of daily writing. I think it is good for me. I do spend too much time on the net since I've started this, but I'll have to learn to deal with it constructively or otherwise.
My final thought was this: blogging is a way to meet new people. It is a bit like having pen-pals as a kid. I'm too old to meet people on My Space and spend all my time IM'ing. This is more personal to me. It is my window on what people in Vermont, British Columbia, and Texas are thinking and writing on subjects that we all like to talk about.
I still wonder if I'll be doing this come a year from now. I think I will, but maybe the fascination will have blown over. I suspect my little site will still not be any more popular than I was as a high school freshman, but this little lesson in humility will likely not do me any harm. In the meantime, I see the world a little differently as I post, surf, photograph and comment. So it's probably worth the journey.