Sunday, September 6, 2009

My History of Blogging - 9/6/09

When I first started blogging I depended on various websites to provide prompts, deadlines, and to introduce me to other writers through links on those sites.
I participated in several such websites.
I believed that without those links no one would ever find their way to my blog.
Through those websites I received many comments on my writing, stroking my ego and inciting me to write frequently.
I had not written in a long time and I was so insecure about the worth of my writing that I became a praise whore. Even when the praise was not justified or came as merely chum to reel me to their blog.
After some time I came to realize that most of those comments were made just to lure me to their blog, in hopes that I would leave comments on their writings.
Often, it was evident from those comments that the person had not actually read my blog at all or if they did they did not understand it.
Sometimes the comment was only a link to their blog.
What a turnoff for me.
If I did not visit their blog and make a comment I would often never hear from them again.
It was strictly quid pro quo.
I used to visit a lot of bloggers but found too much pretense. People in love with their thesaurus, writing nonsensical drivel. And I think a lot of people are of the opinion “if I don’t understand it, it must be really good.” And they write flowery comments so no one will think their intellect is lacking. As for me, I have a pretty good vocabulary and if I don’t understand it, it is probably shit.
There are groups of people that follow each other’s blogs, telling each other how wonderful they are. Kind of a mutual admiration society. A person could write a recipe for stir fry and receive hoards of comments proclaiming them as channeling Shakespeare.
I think some people need that sense of community and the positive strokes, even if they honestly know there is no relationship between the comments and the quality of their writing. Or maybe they don’t realize it, like the really bad singer that goes on American Idol and cannot believe they do not get a golden ticket.

Don’t get me wrong, I have come across some fine writers that I read regularly and a handful of my original readers still stop by.
And I am thankful to the people who maintain these sites as they have provided inspiration and motivation that I would not have acquired on my own.
But I became disillusioned and my submissions to those types of sites became less and less frequent.
As a result, the number of comments I received on my own writings diminished exponentially.
I became less motivated to write and I went weeks at a time with no postings.
But a funny thing happened: I began receiving emails of concern from people who I had no idea had been reading my blog.
I have received Facebook friend requests from regular readers of my “Ramblings”.
I came to realize that just because they do not leave a comment does not mean they are not reading.
This realization has inspired me to continue to write, which I enjoy.
I have decided that If one other person gets pleasure from my words, it is definitely worth the effort.
I thank any of you who anonymously follow me.
There is one weekly prompt that I will continue to submit to because it is original and challenging.
That is the 55 Flash Fiction Friday that the G-Man moderates. You tell a story using only 55 words. I highly recommend it.


forgetfulone said...

It's true that there are plenty of people reading that don't leave comments. I usually leave a comment, but not always. I enjoy your writing, whether you're telling a personal story or writing fiction. So, please, keep writing!

myrtle beached whale said...

you have always been a loyal reader and I enjoy reading yours as well.

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't even have a blog so you know I read for complete enjoyment. What do you know? I didn't realize where this blog was going but love the ending. So glad you will be writing again. I enjoy reading them and reread them often. Love ya. Carly

Go Figure said...

Whale: I was thinking the other day, (true...but not too hard)that you were still ticked off about not being in the running for escort/driver of the year next year. Glad you are up and at 'em. Looking forward to more great ideas such as taping money to your forehead. Now, where does one get the money? Still puzzled by that one.

Shyam said...

I've been reading your blog regularly ever since I came across it. I used to leave comments, too... but stopped because I ended up saying the same ol' boring same ol' = "You're so funny" "you write so well" (and the blame for my lack of commenting originality lies squarely with you, by the way) :)

I do really enjoy your writing, and also your ingenuity in sourcing the photos you use to illustrate your posts. Please keep writing!

myrtle beached whale said...

I am humbled that you follow me.

Monkey Man said...

You speak the truth, Whale. I found myself becoming a comment whore, but truth even if that was the initial motivation to read other blogs, I have benefitted by finding a number of decent writers.

keiths ramblings said...

Thank you for writing this. I've had conversations with several fellow bloggers who, like I, think along very similar lines to you. There was a time when I would routinely leave a trite comment with every contributor to Sunday Scribblings (for example). But I don't any more. I visit people whom I know will entertain or enlighten me and I don't always comment. Ok, my personal blog ranking has fallen through the floor, but those who do read my humble posts do so because they genuinely want to read my words, and not to fuel any hidden agenda.

myrtle beached whale said...

I am glad that some people get it. I get excited when someone actually reads and enjoys my blog but don't need my ego stroked by the drive by bloggers.

missalister said...

I’m pinging off your SS#181 comment. I read your “Micromanaging…” post and got the smirk effect, some good laughs and graphics, but this one compelled me to lay down a couple of cents. SS got me rolling, so I’m grateful for it and sites like it—you were one of the first SS participants to comment on my site, btw—but I rail against the same things you do. It is exasperating, and yet I keep banging my head against the blogging wall knowing it’s not giving me the experience I want. I’ve got a lot to work out regarding the whole blogging thing so I really appreciated reading your viewpoint. Never a disappointment here : )