I'm afraid I'm on a blogger's block. These past few days have been uninspiring despite the many materials I could use for this blog. I have a notebook filled with quotes from friends as well as ideas that pop into my head when I'm in the bus or when I stare at the clouds from my bedroom window.
But I can't seem to write anything coherent, much less sensible, lately.
I wonder if, as bloggers, it is our responsibility to be sensible at all? Or do we write for writing's sake -with sense or without sense?
I've talked to quite a good number of bloggers and it seems that the drive to be sensible varies from one writer to another. It mainly depends on what their vision for their blog is.
Some simply write like no one's reading them, a style that I call babbling but still written in an endearingly raw voice. While some bloggers churn out post after post of well-thought and well-structured entries (gosh, I envy them for their clarity). Either way, some are effective in expressing themselves in certain styles.
I'm not the kind who says which of these two approaches is better as long as they write well (posts should have at least some coherence and preferably tightly-written). In fact I read many blogs that are on both sides of the spectrum or somewhere in between. The variety of writing styles out there makes the whole community as vibrant as ever.
Meanwhile, I always ask blogger friends if they ever think of what their readers say about their entries or their blog as a whole. Again, the answers vary, but most of the time they do care about the feedback they receive. It does not matter whether they write anonymously or not.
(Well perhaps it's the fact that many of my blogger friends are actual writers who know that one of the basics of good writing is to keep your audience in mind.)
When talking about blogs that we read, my friends and I seem to be kind of emotionally invested in our favorite blogs... well, sometimes. We have long been spectators to other peoples' "lives" that we have somehow developed expectations and even made judgments about them.
I realized, readers can be quite critical, if not outright demanding sometimes. Oh, count me in that crop of readers. Sorry!
It's quite odd that we feel entitled to "participate" in the way our favorite blogs are shaped, with remarks such as: "I don't like how he's writing more of this when he should be writing more about this," or "He has completely gone nuts," or "What is he thinking?" and so on.
Maybe as readers we've treated blog authors as characters who need to PROVIDE us with some level of entertainment, if not amusement. I shudder at the thought of people thinking of me, as a blogger, that way.
Are bloggers responsible for how readers perceive them?
Bloggers would understand more than the regular reader that even our blogs are entities on their own, at least to a certain extent. Our blogs may represent a fraction of who we are, but that's just on a minuscule scale. I believe some blogs are even alter-egos of their writers.
So as readers, I don't think we should take blogs THAT seriously. Well, OK, I take the blogs I read seriously coz I realize the posts take a lot of effort to put together. But content-wise, I read my favorite blogs with a certain degree of detachment and oftentimes consume them solely for their entertainment value.
I'm a bit perturbed, however, when bloggers need to defend themselves from some nasty comments. It seems some readers believe they know the authors well enough through the latters' blogs and have thus the bravado to pass judgment. On the other hand, putting themselves in the open, bloggers have to be ready for criticisms as well. Comments are supposed to be not taken personally though.
What do we do when comments are way too personal? Delete them. I have yet to defend my self from nasty comments. I choose to optimize comment moderation instead.
But we certainly love feedback... the positive ones at least. We love throwing around adoration and receiving double that, chai mai?
I chose to write about bloggers' interaction (if not, relationship) with their readers because for the longest time I've been having many discussions with friends about our favorite bloggers or the ones we've discovered recently. Gosh, if only some bloggers know how much time we spend talking about their "creations"! (Yeah, coz we have boring lives.)
Sometimes I guess it's worthwhile to take a step back and ponder on these things, as both a "producer" and "consumer" of blogs.
With the multifarious purposes of blogs, they oftentimes act as refuge from the craziness of daily life. It may also serve as a platform for expression, sharing, and reaching out to others.
But the bottomline is blogs are mostly personal spaces. Readers are invited to step inside these realms of introspection and as guests they are expected to be nice, at the very least. Do not be too engaged, dear readers. It's JUST a blog!
(No, the pictures in this post are not exactly related to the topic. Tse!)