Writing a blog three times a week can change the way you think about everything.
Specifically, whenever I read a book, see a movie, play a game, or have a thought, I ask “should I blog about this?”
Some of it is born out of the basic problem of trying to find something to talk about. Talking to you for the last year has probably made me a more interesting person, or has at least forced me to seem like one. I’ve been reading more, writing more, thinking and praying more, but the way I think about what I’m doing is very different from a year ago.
Let me show you what I mean:
I bought a new $60 android tablet. You’ll probably see a review. I’m reading Stephen King’s Under The Dome. Possibly an essay of what I learned about writing from Stephen King. I’m playing Defender’s Quest. No need for a review (though I’ll probably still do one if I can stop playing the game) instabuy! I saw The Hobbit. Well, maybe not. And yeah, I’m not going to live blog the Golden Globes (during which I’m writing this), but I thought about it. A lot of what you see on the blog on Wednesdays has come out of a conversation with my dad over beer the night before (this post shares that honor).
It’s not that I did any of these things specifically because I wanted to blog about them, but once I’d invested some time in them, I think about what I might be able to get back, y’know besides just enjoyment.
A lot of it is about wanting to share the things I love with others, or helping people solve a technical problem, but let’s face it some of it is about having something to talk about. Now it’s hard to create something out of nothing. I doubt I’d have many new insights to share about writing unless I was doing it, and I’m a big believer in sharing the wealth when I spend some time trying to figure out how to do something. And as an avid listener of Pop Culture Happy Hour, I’m a lover of recommendations and reviews as much as anyone.
But what am I doing that’s just for me?
Well, that’s just it isn’t it? If I told you then it wouldn’t be. 😉
So let’s ask the bigger general question: Is it important to have an outside life or one that you’re not going to share with hundreds (and hopefully one day thousands of people)? Is it important to do things just because you want to do them, or because they help you personally, and not share with others?
I don’t know … (well I’m probably not going to do any more album reviews, that’s why you saw only one).
But otherwise, I like to share. I do know how to have a private life, and you’d probably get bored if every stray thought I have makes it onto the page.
But the things I love, the things I experience, the writing thoughts I have, you’ll probably see them.
But not the Golden Globes I promise. Unless I drink a couple more glasses of wine 🙂
8 responses to “What’s Just For Me?”
Hmmm. Considering the nature of blogging, it’s a good question to ask: should there be experiences that one keeps private just for the sake of maintaining a separate existence outside of the blog?
I don’t know the answer. My blog has a pretty narrow focus (although I’m often surprised at how I manage to squeeze quite a few different topics under my umbrella), but other blogs seem to find no topic off limits, and the subject matter is pretty much just stream of consciousness. I think that’s ok, as long as the over riding decision to publish is based upon whether or not your readers will find the post interesting/relevant/entertaining and not just pressing “PUBLISH” because you need to put something (anything!) up.
I definitely think it’s important for a blog to have a focus, (mine is ostensibly writing but I obviously break that theme often). I think we all try to hold ourselves to the standard of what people will find interesting (I’ve cut segments certainly based on lack of interest), though some weeks are better than others. Some weeks I know exactly how every post is going to go and can’t wait to write them. And then there’s the other 90% 😉
Writers shouldn’t ever stop using their observations of the world as inspiration, whether you’re blogging or writing a novel, it’s part of the job 😉
That’s certainly true, but I do think there’s a difference between observations and reactions. It’s the whole, “am I adding to the conversation or am I really just a cheerleader?” This blog has certainly seen both, hopefully a little more observation and a little less obfuscation.
I think it depends on the person. Some people seem to thrive mainly on their connections with others, and if so, why not share everything? Others (like me) are much more private, so it makes sense to keep part of your life hidden from the blog.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Beause what the world needs is people who have come alive.” That’s one of my all-time favorite quotes, and I think it applies here, too. A public life or a private one, it doesn’t matter: write what you love, and the readers will follow.
Funny. I’ve never thought of you as a particularly private person, both in friendship and on your blog. Still I entirely agree that writing to follow a trend, or “give the people what they want” is emptier. Anything you write, you should write because you want to, are driven to. Hopefully people will be attracted to that.
I’m pretty all-encompassing on my blog, talking about writing and parenthood and politics and… well, I haven’t touched on religion yet, and I probably won’t. But even so, there are some things I keep for myself. (1) I don’t give away many specifics about my WIP, because I don’t want to feel locked into anything. (2) I don’t talk about agents or publishers or anything that may impact on my future writing career. (3) I don’t share any stories about my kids that I think they would be mortified about if they were to read them in the future — eg, potty training, embarassing experiences, etc.
Other than that, I’m pretty open about my experiences and my thoughts. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that, no matter what I’m feeling, someone, somewhere out there has felt and experienced the same thing. And someone, somewhere will appreciate knowing they’re not alone.
There have been many of your posts that have been helpful, entertaining, etc. and I appreciate how open you are with your thoughts. Definitely agree with the not embarrassing other people (unless with permission), and the WIP advice is probably good (I work hard but deadlines do tend to slip). Thanks Jo!