Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Writing

I’ve met some amazing women and men in the blogosphere. I've enjoyed the powerful yet simple stories offered by everyday people—creative, caring, concerned, need-to-be-heard, can’t-stand-it-anymore, look-at-my-new-puppy people. And it all stems from the writing.

As vast as the blogosphere is, it can be as familiar as the coffee shop down the street where you may greet a neighbor, or have a heart-to-heart with a friend. It’s really a personal space. Yet the most public of venues. People everywhere share the breadcrumbs of their lives with the utmost detail. Someone posts a haiku about a dragonfly with a dragonfly photo. Someone posts a letter written to her dead mother. Someone posts her daughter's picture and talks about the first day of school. On and on it goes: the human condition. In this space, the ordinary details become extraordinary.

Why do we come back to the blogs we visit? What is here in the blogosphere that we can’t find in the real world? Think about it—we’re reading other people’s stories. Every time I post something, the subtext is saying, I don’t know you, but here I am and I’m sharing this piece of my life with you. Please read. Technology has made it possible to find something funny, or larger than life, or thought-provoking with the click of the mouse.

And the writing. Let’s not forget the good writing that makes me, as a reader, care about the small stuff: a list of words that you absolutely hate; the last bloom of the summer hydrangeas; a homemade chocolate cake; how you don’t like your kids sometimes; how hard it is to make ends meet. We forgive a lot here—the typos and sometimes poorly constructed sentences. It's not about that. It never was.

That’s why I come here to the nebulous. It seems as if we write about the truest part of ourselves, and our responses can be a pat on the back or a kick in the pants. And I don’t even know your names. Or how you really look. Or your job. Or the car your drive. Or how you take your coffee in the morning. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you’re a jerk. Or an insomniac. Or on the edge of financial ruin. Or terrible at sex. All I know is that you have something to say, and I have a moment to read your story.

For more of the small stuff, visit Sunday Scribblings.

12 comments:

Jo said...

I really like what you're saying here, especially the last paragraph!

Amber said...

How well said. The blogging thing is so strange, and I think many are still finding what it is for them. But all the things you said here are true for me. ;)
I can't tell my non-blogging friends what it is about. They wouldn't get it. So I will say something about my "online writing group"-- and that is what it is, as you said. It comes down to writing!

:)

gautami tripathy said...

That is best part of blogging. The bonding through writing. It gets us closer.

No wonder we were all sad when PT was closed. For a moment we felt lost. We needed to be with each other. Do we know about each other other than via writing? No! That's what bonds us..

January said...

Gautami--I'm still saddened by the loss of Poetry Thursday. But it's nice that we still keep visiting each other. It is the writing that bonds us all.

Amber--My non-blogging friends don't get it, either. But I think that's what makes it special. I feel like blogging is the best-kept secret out there.

Jo--thanks for the kind words!

Becca said...

"We're reading each others stories."

And writing our stories to share. Isn't it amazing how many writers there are out there in the world that might never have found a place to practice if it weren't for blogging? I love it that people are writing again!

Great post!

Jone said...

Wow. We are such a community and our stories are being read. I enjoyed reading this. I agree, the last paragraph is powerful.

LJCohen said...

January--well said. Perhaps there is a gene in our makeup that codes for needing stories.

January said...

Lisa, I think we're designed to make and maintain connections. It's our stories that bring us together.

tumblewords said...

Yes, indeed! And here we are. How lucky can we be that the blog life came when we most wanted it. A truly well-written post.

GreenishLady said...

I love the details that might be from any blog which you list here. Why am I interested in someone's potty-training dilemmas or how someone cooks zuchini/courgettes? I don't know, but it's lovely to be trusted with these things, to have someone share, and to have people say "I know, I know" when I write about some bit of my life. Blogging is a mystery. A wonderful, surprising new part of my life, and you've described what's so good about it here.

pepektheassassin said...

January, I agree 100% with you, and with everyone here -- all you invisibly real people out there somewhere (or alive inside my computer).

I miss PT, too, but I am trying WI tonight, hoping it will work the same....

Wenda said...

I've heard some say we can't really know anyone by what we write in our blogs, but I believe we get to know ourselves when we tell our stories to compassionate listeners or readers and many of us didn't begin to be heard or to hear ourselves until we wrote here. I like this post. It provokes me to think again about how fortunate I feel to be blogging.

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