24 June 2008

dandelion seeds: i wonder

thanks for the candid votes. it's nice to know what i am writing and/or not writing about that you like/dislike. i must admit, i love feedback, therefore feel free to spill whatever you wish. i will be hoping to add more personal tidbits and crafty endeavors to appease you, my blogfriends.

though sometimes i wonder how much we bloggers should try to win over readers. is that really what it's about? should readers magically find us or should we be on a hunt to scout them out? i feel like this taboo subject is like walking/writing on a tightrope. my main blogging goal is to write it out, find my voice, being true to myself, to whatever is whirling in my mind and just write. yet, i also want to make you love me. you see, a big part of me loves comments and readers and emails and my silly sitemeter.

and the other big part of me wants to simply write without thought of an audience or readers or where in the world my words go. i like the mystery; as though i am just blowing sentences, like dandelion seeds into the universe. as if we could be like writers of old who never knew who was touched or what influence was made. did van gogh realize there would be volumes published of his letters to his brother, theo? and is this why we love him so? because these words were not for the masses, but custom-written for his audience of one? don't we love his words because of their intimate sibling truthfulness? i tend to think so. i tend to think the closer we are to letting our hearts out, the more truth lies in them; thus a more meaningful message on the page.

but then again, there is such joy (be it self satisfying affirmations) in knowing there is some one out there reading these words. i have received lovely emails telling me that my words are somehow, once in awhile, inspiring and thought-provoking. which just keeps me smiling and so happy and thrilled inside, you have no idea. or maybe you do, because maybe that's why you blog too.

my mind wraps around this silly tangent like bacon around a water chestnut. i hope to keep this blog as real as possible. for my benefit and for yours. but is this tightrope of genuinity possible? are we kidding ourselves? can we think about our audience and still be true to ourselves simultaneously? or if we are aware of an audience have we already sold ourselves out? if you are a blogger are you also a writer? can a writer be a blogger? can these two worlds collide/mesh/hold hands even? can we truly have our blogworld cupcakes and eat them too? can we attain van gogh's unaffected truthfulness within a blog post broadcasted online? are attempts to connect even valid if the words are not scripted onto a tear-stained, folded up piece of stationery, stamped and mailed or better yet, rolled up into a scroll of love, tucked into a glass bottle and passionately tossed into the wild waves of the sea?

my attempt will be to be thinking of you and you and you and you, yet also try not to think of you, in hopes to be as genuine of a writer as possible. is that possible?

all i know is, it's seriously time for reinventing. if you're still reading, i am thick in the middle of designing a big project that has me oh so excited and up late at nights. and i really can't wait for the unveil.

(enough deep thoughts for one night.)

I must continue to follow the path I take now. If I do nothing, if I study nothing, if I cease searching, then, woe is me, I am lost. That is how I look at it — keep going, keep going come what may. But what is your final goal, you may ask. That goal will become clearer, will emerge slowly but surely, much as the rough draught turns into a sketch, and the sketch into a painting through the serious work done on it, through the elaboration of the original vague idea and through the consolidation of the first fleeting and passing thought. What has changed is that my life then was less difficult and my future seemingly less gloomy, but as far as my inner self, my way of looking at things and of thinking is concerned, that has not changed. But if there has indeed been a change, then it is that I think, believe and love more seriously now what I thought, believed and loved even then.

- vincent van gogh writes to his brother theo, july 1880


kribss said...

in my opionion i think that a blog is for the writer and the readers come back because what you share is interesting to them.

Anonymous said...

Great underlying questions, Marta!

In my opinion, it is the very nature of audience that is what makes the blog different from a journal. In a journal, one can write whatever one wants. One can spit, glorify, blaspheme, maintain delusions of grandeur, cry, pity oneself, and perhaps, be absolutely true to oneself because the journal is not meant for anyone else's eyes.

In blogs, however, the audience must serve as a filter because not only are all of the above mentioned journal musings rarely interesting to others, they may also be offensive and so personal that you would never want to share them with anyone else on the face of the earth. And I know you know that that kind of writing serves a purpose--just not a very public one.

But therein lies the fascinating challenge. To be true to yourself--which really means being honest, by walking that line of showing the dirt while sharing the joy--while also being able to keep an audience interested in what you have to say. It can't be the same as a journal--your audience doesn't want it to be, but they do want to see that you are real. Because when they see that you are real, it validates their own experiences.

I say that anyone is a writer who writes. Perhaps you are wondering if a person is a good writer because he or she blogs. That can only be determined by the audience. The more interesting the writing/subject matter, the larger the audience. That part takes care of itself naturally.

So I believe that audience is the key to these questions, and I know that for me, I am writing more than I ever have in my life because I know there might be someone listening on the other end of this cyberspace forum.

Audience is everything.

(Sorry. Long comment. Very passionate.)

Jake said...

I was going to post along a similar vein. I believe in both journaling and blogging...because each serves a different purpose.

Writing for an audience stretches me. Writing in a journal cleanses me. Both are necessary for my well-being.

Jane said...

i appreciated the vangogh passage. i come back to your blog time and again, because you have the ability to address universal themes in a very eloquent way.

i don't know if there is an answer to your "why blog/who is the audience" question. i'll keep mine up as long as it is interesting and pleasing to me. i guess in some ways that will limit my readership (even though i too am addicted to the sitemeter!) but it also helps to maintain its authenticity.

christine said...

i like your blog because you are just yourself. people flock to you because of that. if you worry about what others think it looses authenticity and its 'rawness' almost. if i were you just don't think about it so much, just do it. :)

KJ said...

blog first for yourself. if you blog it they will come...or something like that. it's the genuine values that keep people reading. and if they don't read, well, you've got a lovely journal for yourself and your family.

Anonymous said...

It all depends on you. Can you write without thinking about the audience? If you are writing to the audience that can still be genuine, but if you notice yourself changing what you write because of the audience then that is not genuine.

Jessica said...

I never voted in that poll because I like everything. :) Impossible to choose, if you ask me.

Rissa and Jared said...

hi! I just started reading your blog. I'm an Events Management major in Las Vegas, and I love all the stuff you post. I noticed your reading list from a while ago. I just read Colin Cowie Chic--it's fun to glance through if you haven't before.

Jamie said...

I struggle with the same question - I'm a relatively new blogger and when I started I didn't tell a soul I was doing so, I just wrote for my own pleasure as a way to capture my memories and thoughts. Then without thinking I left comments on the blogs of friends and they followed the link back to my blog. Once I realized I had readers it changed the process that went into my entries. I feel almost like I've lost my way as the blog becomes more and more a way to post life updates to keep friends and family in the loop and less and less about a way for me to document the emotions, struggles and inspirations of my life.

caitlin said...

I feel the same way constantly. I don't have as many readers as you, but I do like to please the ones I have.

What it comes down to for me is.. Why did I start to blog? For me it was so I could have an online journal of sorts and my kids could read it and see how I was, what I liked, etc..

So for me, I try to stay true to myself and if I don't get as many comments I tell myself that oh well I felt it, I put it out there for me. But if along the way I have people who like what I write, than all the better. It's hard though. Good to know someone else deals with it.

Love your blog. {all of it}

Christina said...

Great post. I was having a similar conversation recently with some blogging friends. We were talking about as blogs grow, how we seem to be less personal in them because we know certain people are reading that we don't want to know certain things. It is a fine line we walk in the blogging world.

Travelin'Oma said...

This is my favorite kind of post. I just wrote a very long comment, but I decided to turn it into my own post. Why not get double mileage?

all over the map said...

thought provoking indeed!
keep on doing what you are doing. it's working but always remember do what you know and love, the rest will follow.
i love what gab said. so true.
i'm with your mum. i often find responding in comment form gives me material to post about. (i just have to actually post it after i write it out - i'm bad about that).

Carla said...

Well, I found you accidentally and I love your writing, so I think you should just keep being you. And we couldn't vote for 2 things! Or baby prep would have been voted for also. :)

MissKris said...

I agree with your mom...this is my favorite kind of post, too. I've been blogging for 3 1/2 years now and I think I keep very true to myself, even tho I have family and 'in real life' friends who read my blog. My daughter reads it all the time and says my writing is "me" and I take that as a compliment coming from her, my blunt and upfront girl who knows me pretty well, I think! After a few bumps in the road with a family member, I found my voice again and I stuck with it. I figured if she didn't like what she read she didn't have to come by and read. I don't know if she still does because we don't talk about it anymore. We rarely see each other so it doesn't really matter. I never have been one to censor myself when it comes to writing about what I'm thinking or feeling. When I sit down in the evening, I let my fingers go where they will. I had a wonderful Creative Writing teacher in high school who had us all keep stream-of-consciousness journals for the semester we had her class. It was a lesson well-learned by me. My mind just flows and I follow along for the ride.

Bev said...

I loved your post (I could say "your mom sent me!") Between your post and your mom's I was inspired to one of my own: http://randomthoughtsofanagingartist.blogspot.com/2008/06/writer-blogger-both.html

Keep writing -- I'm reading!!

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