Thursday, November 23, 2006

Its All About the Blog

So, its come to this. A blog about blogging. (yes, dear... I can hear you correcting my choice of words. Its really a post about blogging but that doesn't sound nearly as interesting).

Why do I do this? Why would anyone voluntarily serve up their heart and their personality on a virtual platter for anyone and everyone to judge, or enjoy, to appreciate or midunderstand at their own leisure? Without either of us having the additional communication of body language, or any typical componants of reciprocal relationships?

My answer to these questions may or may not be unique to me. They are questions I ask myself, and questions that have been raised in one way or another by friends and readers. Questions of privacy, and I think- questions of why it is that I would choose to make myself so vulnerable in so many ways.

Here's what I think. If you read a personal blog, you do so voluntarily. You are not stuck at a plywood table with a relative known for her halatosis and long renditions about harrowing, or farrowing, or whatever its called. You can come, or you can go. No need to consider social graces. If you stay, and if you read, you will form an opinion. That opinion is YOURS to own. We don't have to agree.

I write. It is like music to me, or poetry, or satisfying therapy. I used to sew for those same reasons, but in my current place in life, I simply can't spend hours with sharp scissors or straight pins. The computer keyboard is accessible. It can be used for five minutes at a time, and never gets misplaced.

The spin-offs have been indescribable. Really.
The sense of loneliness related to working from home has become a non issue. The meeting of minds is rewarding. The confirmation of struggles in life being universal has increased my sense of community.

Recently though, I have noticed myself feel.... Something. Is it fear? I have been thrilled, and mildly unnerved, when people who I never could have imagined would be readers have "come out of hiding" with generous words of encouragement. I have wept after telling conversations that were spawned from some little thing that was published in this spot. I have posted personal things in vague reference to situations in my life and have left out details to respect the privacy of others who are involved. And enough people are now reading that they know exactly of what I speak, even without all the details.

It feels like a sense of responsibility in a way. The more reading and writing that occurs, the greater the possibility of misunderstanding and discord, and conversely, of understanding and can-o-worms opening. (that's a word, I promise). And at the risk of taking myself too seriously- how responsible am I?

Here's where YOU come in. Why do you blog? Why do you read? And what do you think?


Romeo Morningwood said...

Well Joyce I was in it for the money, fame and chicks but now that dream is gone and I think that we should discuss the real reason for all of your crazy talk...the real 800 pound gorilla in the room that we can't ignore any longer..
yes I'm talking about
the &*^%$#@ Canadian Blog Awards!

Like you, had I won this would have been a vindication of sorts for all of my heart wrenching revelations and soul searching. Now that my dream has been smashed against the rocks of public opinion it is time to wash my hands of the whole sordid event.

Since your do-gooder husband nominated me and is therefore directly responsible for giving me all that false hope I hold him entirely responsible for ruining my life..
Ptooey! He is dead to me!

As a housebound worker like yourself all I wanted was a chance to share my 'little' life in some small way with the outside world..was that too much to ask!?
Now I suppose that I will have abandon this new fancy schmancy blogging and resort to the time honored standard of human interaction, idle gossip.

Hopefully with the passing of time you too will be able to one day salvage what is left of your soul.

Pearls before swine!
Now let us put this ugliness behind us and never speak of it again.

joyce said...

Oh, that is TOO funny!! I had no idea that round one was over!

Anonymous said...

I read everyday for purely selfish reasons. I can take, take and take and never have to give anything didn't start out that way. At first you just made me laugh and you made me think. And now, DANG NABBIT! are as close to "devotions" as I can get. Please don't start writing in fancy hard-covered journals, don't join muffin mom's or book club or whatever else there is these days...because then I am out of the loop!

joyce said...

"Muffin Moms"?! oh boy. then I'd probably have to host some home parties too- those bring out the WORST in me.
I'm really, really glad you commented, but who are you? Dufrost, who are you?

Anonymous said...

oh I know who the mystery person is....I'll tell you if you guarantee me a coursage! And by the way "Muffin Moms" is a bunch of bung...cause I love muffins and Im a mom and I have not heard of it yet. Thus it is make believe. And about the blogging.. this is yours...your vent...and it is free therapy!

Anonymous said...

I read your blog because I like you.

I post on my blog because I like me (sometimes), and if I don't write down what I am doing or thinking I will never remember it.

To me my blog just represents my thoughts at that time. It's not a researched book.

I'm one of those people who does better writing my thoughts and feelings than trying to say it.

Judy -

Alex Pendragon said...

Posting on a blog is a delicate balancing act, and the longer you do it, the harder it is not to let it "all hang out". You are so proud of your baby you let everybody know about it, hoping they will tune in and discover what a remarkable writer you are, but then you realize that you have to be careful what you say about whom, especially your wife, on the offchance she overcomes her disdain for your work and decides to read doghouse looms.......andyway, the only way around that is to have a seperate blog that you don't announce to people you know, but then, if you have issues that require that kind of camoflauge, then maybe you DO have issues. Well, think about it, how bad can it be? Salmon Rushdie wrote things and next thing you know the whole Islamic world has him on a hit list. That the likes of US could be so infamous!

it's a gong show... said...

Joyce, I read your blogs for numerous are a fantastic writer and I can sit at my computer and laugh out loud at the things you blog about...I can relate to a lot of the things you talk's reassuring to know that there are others out there like myself...scary thought eh?!

I blog because I find it very therapudic (not sure if that's how it's spelt)...and I have a question for everyone too...I have had a few negative comments about blogging and this is my question...I wonder why, if people don't like the blogging world, WHY READ IT????


esther said...

I blog because I needed a place to vent and talk...I wanted people to listen only if they wanted too, not because I just happened to be in the room.
and I read because I LOVE it...and it's addictive!!!

MissKris said...

I'm a first-time visitor, coming over from Judy's blog. I enjoyed ALL your posts on the page, but this one really struck a chord with me. I echo your thoughts on the reasons you blog, and I also feel that sense of 'responsibility' in a way as well. I write about a lot of personal issues, past and present, and it's been a wonderful way for me to 'purge' as well as to learn there are others out there who have experienced similar things or who are kind enough to reach out and offer support and/or kind words of encouragement. I'm a stay-at-home Grandma now, taking care of my 8 mo old grandson, and I don't have nearly the amount of time on the computer I used to have, but I enjoy the friendships I've made on here the past almost-2 years I've been blogging. Some of them are as near and dear as my face-to-face friends. Please stop by sometime if you get a chance...the door's always open! :-)

Anonymous said...

I blog because it is a good place to put the stuff that none of my face-to-face friends are interested in. Makes me feel as if someone cares and is listening...

I blog because I can put my poems, my essays, my thoughts, and my photos all in one place...

joyce said...

Okay, muffin-lady. I think I know you for your strategically placed fuzzy bits that are cute and bouncey... much like a 14 year old?!

Shelley- NO ONE wore a corsage as well as you! FLIRT! flaunting that sweater like you did!

Judy- you said that all so well. And it all resonates. Thanks for taking some of the complications out of it all for me. Sometimes it helps to raise up the old acrnym: K>I>S>S: (keep it simple stupid)
(I don't either mean that you're stupid.... here I go getting all paranoid again...)

the Michael: WElcome! Yes, so true. In the secret narcissistic spaces of my heart, I have fancied myself as a bit of a cult leader, with this massive following... Har, Har....
I even did the "separate blog" thing, but I never write in it, cuz its no fun when no one reads it. Yes, some of my issues require some camaflouge, but then because of that, I think professional help is the only way through all that... silent cyberspace just isn't cutting it.

Esther-- so, so very true. And that one resonated with me-- its one thing for a live person to say "How's it going?" and then you proceed to tell them, never sure whether they really want to know. When you post on your blog, and people voluntarily read, and say things back, it indicates a genuine interest. And it makes one feel genuinely heard and cared for.

Brandy-- thank you for the generous compliments. And you have a fantastic laugh-- now that I've heard it in the real world. I'm so glad that you've joined both the virtual and the real worlds that involve the both of us. Really-- thank you so much for coming.

misskris- for as many people who understand and relate to the personal laundry we air, there may be an equal number who misinterpret and misunderstand. If that's the trad off, then maybe its a worthwhile one. Judgemental people exist everywhere, miserable souls who enjoy poking at the weaknesses of others. They will not control my desire to stick my neck out and live in authenticity and arms-wide-open loving.

ME: Yes, sometimes our friends (wonderful though they are) resonate with parts of us, and not the whole. Little bits of heaps of people through the blog world somehow feels like a complete understanding. We all seem to have the desire to be completely known, and LOVED anyway.

All of these responses really and truly helped with my angst with the blog thing. Thank you for the validation, the identification, the justification to continue with my current addiction-- WRITING!