Your mothers may have washed your mouths out with soap, but on my blog–
–Big time “back-talk” rocks my comment world! Gotta love it—
Yeah—I know I excite easily—a sassy six-year-old myself at Christmas time.
But seriously, I posted several questions a few days ago—confessed my insecurities as a writer/blogger and asked if any of you shared these feelings. Well, clearly I’m not the only one who sometimes thinks herself inadequate—because people commented, commented, commented. And some of you even posted response pieces on you your own blogs!
I can’t tell you how supportive that feels, how great to be part of a community of writers willing to admit their fears of imperfection—how amazing to be embraced by bloggers who have welcomed me into their world by responding so thoughtfully to the questions I pose. Thank you!
Thanks especially to Tori (The Ramblings) and Mrs. H. (A.Hab.’s View of the World) for continuing this conversation in their own blogs. If this discussion interests you, I encourage you to read their posts, as actually these writers take the dialogue to whole new level.
The question remains: why are we writers/bloggers so gung-ho about comments—why have we gone blog-wild and comment-crazy—outside the superficial realities of Search Engine Optimization?
For me it’s about community. I don’t mean to suggest blogging is a religious experience—no, wait—maybe I do—to the degree that posting and commenting, the call and response of it, is like a liturgy. I feel embraced by it. Thankful—
So, in honor of the new year. let me proclaim a little less reverently–
–Sass out the ass, my blogging buddies–
And back-talk some more–tell me–what’s the best part of blogging for you?
Like you, Kathy, it’s about community for me…there’s a bunch of people out there who GET me. People in my “real life” don’t understand why I spend so much of my day writing my blog and commenting on other people’s blogs…I want to be as big a support to other writers as they are to me! It is a bit like a box of chocolates…you can never eat just one!
Glad you’re a part of my community!
Thank you, Wendy. You are so right—So much of my time is spent on the blogs of others–ones that offer me every bit, if not more, of what I’m able to offer them. I soooooo appreciate your being a part of my community–as Iove being a part of yours. It’s all about community!
Well, first of all, you deserve all kinds of readers and commenters, writing like that. Your writing style goes down so easily, while also being a great deal of fun!
As for your question, I was thinking about that yesterday. I reached an all-time high of visitors to my blog yesterday, and I was so thrilled. Like…at one point, I interrupted my lesson planning just to sit in front of the computer and refresh my site stats. That’s a little bit obsessive, but there you go. I think for me, as a fairly new blogger, I enjoy receiving comments in that Sally Field sort of way: “You like me; you really, really like me!” It’s like a virtual little pat on the back, a “way to go” from around the world. I find comments and visitors in general to be encouraging. When I know people are reading, I want to write more.
I also use my site stats as a sort of gauge. People tend to comment more when I write about this topic, or I am referenced in someone’s blog when I write about that topic. Maybe in a way it’s sort of like pandering to the masses, but if I’m really fascinated by those numbers then in a way I should give the people what they want. (Hehe…like I’m popular enough to make a statement like that.)
I once had a wonderful creative writing professor who said something to me that really stuck. One day, when I was in her office in tears (I was preparing to apply for graduate school and I was terrified about selecting a writing sample), she reached across her desk to me and said, “Writing is the most public private thing we will ever do.” Yes, it’s something we do in privacy. In fact, I’m alone in my house (save for my animals) at this very moment. My mouth is shut; nobody is here listening to what I’m saying. But as soon as I hit “post comment,” I know that these private words will immediately become public. You will read them, and then you will decide if other people should read them, too. Maybe that’s why we look forward so much to feedback. If we privately compose but then publicly share our thoughts, receiving feedback tells us that someone’s out there reading. Feedback both gives us a purpose and begs for more. Myself, I love it!
Wow–I love what your creative writing professor said–“writing is the most public private thing we will ever do”–that’s profoundly true–especially so for those of us who blog!
You are so right also about how it feels to write something in the relative privacy of your home and have it go instantly public when you hit the “publish” button. I expereinced this last night. I was revising a draft of what I posted today when I accidently hit publish–and suddenly it was out there before I wanted it to be. I had to trash it immediately to get it down. Fortunately I had written most of it in a word document, so I didn’t lose it all. But I was scared there for a minute.
Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Yes–feedback makes me want to write more, as well! So cool—–
For me…just trying to make a difference.
And you do, Charles. Your poems say so much in so few words, but then that’s much of what I love about poetry–the economy of language!!!
for me, it’s community and connectedness…
a way to be vulnerable…while feeling safe.
Yes, Jane–it is a way to be safely vulnerable. It’s like Deanna said, “We’re all in this together.” I’ve also noticed that bloggers who are willing to make themselves vulnerable, tend to attract readers who do the same–readers who respond in kind.
You are a giving member of this blogging community, so it is fitting that people naturally give back to you, and I don’t mean in the “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine” sense, but in the generous, sincere, “we are all in this together” sense.
Comments are a way of interacting personally with writers and readers, I’m always moved that someone took the time to reply with a comment – this is obviously not the reason I write, but it is icing on the cake.
I’m so happy that my tiny blogging community, which initially comprised of my family and friends, is now expanding to include writers and readers from a much wider swath of the world, thereby making my world better and brighter, and it is chiefly through comments that I know this.
Thanks for being a part of my world.
I agree, Deanna. I find it so humbling when folks take the time to comment–such a lovely gift! The other thing I love about comments is that it introduces me to new blogs–people tend to comment on blogs written in the same spirit with which they share in their own–so, yes, it’s a gift that keeps on giving–a way for readers to give not just their comment itself, but links back to blogs that share with equal amounts of soul. Gotta love it! Thanks for taking the time to respond with such thought and generosity!
Community, fun, learning, getting to know people from around the world. And even though it means coming out of my shell, the comments! 😀
By the way–Marianne (of Grandeur Vision) mentioned on her blog today that you called readers–blogmates–I love that term!
Well first of all- sass out my ass coming from you is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time- I about spit my coffee all over the computer as I read it. Blogging for me has been something I’m new to. I started the blog to write down these hilarious moments of transition as we make this move to Japan but have found it’s a great way to document for my children events they won’t remember. It reveals stories from other parts of their lives – yes I am guilty of not keeping baby books- so they can see our interactions from a different perspective. It also makes our family and friends feel closer to us. Of course now I have met new people that comment and make me laugh with their comments. I now follow other people to check in to their lives. And like you, realize that others feel the same way. In the end, this will become a great big document with which these Offspring will someday use on the therapy couch I’m sure. As to you, you’ve inspired me to write a piece on “packing light” which I’m now working on. It’s a sickness I have…..
What a great perspective! It’s a fabulous document to leave your children–and one lots of others will enjoy along the way.
By the way, your comment made me laugh out loud–somehow the coffee-spitting got me going–too funny! Thanks for brightening my corner of the planet with a little humor from yours!
You’re asking some great questions lately!
I could write a whole post about this! 😉 Basically, ditto to what everybody else said. And then there are some personal benefits (as in specific to me, not top secret), which I think I will write a post about.
Cool–Lisa. I will look forward to your post! Actually, however, I gained my question-asking skills from watching you comment over the last couple of months. I’ve only moved the questions into the posts themselves. I love the challenge of a good question–and, Lisa, you’re the pro in that department! Thanks for so often helping me take my thinking to the next level.
What an absolutely marvelous introduction to your blog! I am really looking forward to reading the rest of it.
I had to really stop and think about your question, and realized that my answer depends on which of my blogs we’re talking about. For the blog linked here, my favorite part is the production of it – all the picture-taking and project-doing that provides the substance for it, and the challenge of making yet another item off my list into interesting (and hopefully amusing) prose.
For the blog I share with my sister, it’s about the connection with her. We write together (not often lately, but hopefully more soon) at http://twosisterstwostates.wordpress.com/ about our shared – and frequently very different – memories of our childhood in rural Washington State. We get comments now and then, but for me it’s mostly about the memories and our sister-ness.
For my more serious private blog that chronicles a handful of concurrent life changes I’m trying to navigate, it’s about catharsis. I have deliberately kept it almost completely comment-free, since I’d rather just send it out into the anonymous void.
But after the rollicking good fun I’ve discovered in the comment section of manofewords’ blog, I’m a little tempted to start another blog and try to connect to the community a little more. I think I’ve underestimated the fun of PEOPLE in this whole blogging process. Thanks for the question – I think it raised more for me than it answered, which is a WONDERFUL kind of question to be asked.
It’s so good to hear from you, Bee. Glad you were able to stop by. I didn’t know that you had more than one blog. I am especially interested in checking out the one you do with your sister, as I have thought that doing one with one of my sisters would be fun. She’s hillarious!
I’m especially pleased this post speaks to you, as your coments on Manofewords’ blog always amuse me! Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog, as well!
Thank you, Kathryn! I’m really looking forward to reading more of yours, and I’ve appreciated your laughter over on his blog – I worry about talking too much, but he said straight out that I didn’t have a comment quota, so I guess that’s a good thing. 😉
Just for fun, here’s my sister’s main blog too: http://sistertwo.wordpress.com/ It’s called Back Porch Swing, and a lot of it is freakin’ HILARIOUS. Her house got broken into over the break so her last post isn’t as funny as some, but she’s a good writer and very entertaining.
I got a WordPress blog address that I like, but haven’t figured out how to make it let me still be “Bee.” Apparently it wants me to have a user name with only letters and numbers, and it has to be at least four characters, which clearly rules out “Bee.” If I can figure out some way to get around this, I’ll get it started – fun! 🙂
Thanks for sharing your sister’s blog! I definitely want to check it out.
I don’t think you can ever really comment too much. To be honest, sometimes I think the comments there are even funnier than the posts themselves, which isn’t easy, as Manofewords is pretty damn funny.
So glad your coming by here now, as well. I love the dialogue!
I’m blogging because it fulfills a personal need to express myself. Before the advent of blogging, I would put things down on paper and mostly just store them in a drawer. Now I have an “audience” … and I have found that the blog stats from WordPress are a wonderful way to stay encouraged. While I write simply because I want to, it is great to know that someone, somewhere out there is taking the time to read me. And it’s even better when someone takes the time to comment or offer constructive criticism.
Absolutely, Judson! It does feel great. Readers make all the difference and when they comment–even better. Thanks so much for doing both. Thank you———
I don’t know exactly what it is, but you’re right. Comments give fuel to our fires! I recently moved my blog from my long-time site to a new address, hoping to regain some anonymity. Once moved, things were much quieter in the past, but I was comfortable with it. It wasn’t until I noticed I was writing less and less that I decided I needed to write more and joined Post-a-day. That itself brought a few more comments. Then came Freshly Pressed, and holy cow! I haven’t been so motivated to write on a daily basis for a long time, but clearly the attention of others is what I’ve been craving!
Ah, yes, nothing gives you a boost like Freshly Pressed. I was pressed a month ago tomorrow, and it was a game changer for me.
Blogging is amazing when it comes to comments–and Freshly Pressed–now that’s comments! I was a little over-whelmed at first.
But congrats on being pressed. I look forward to seeing more of your daily posts. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment yourself!
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Thanks for this post, Lisa!