To blog or write (are they the same), that is the question. I’ve given this question a great deal of thought, I have a tendency to over think. What sometimes seems an impulsive decision to someone else is something I’ve more than likely been pondering for ages. On occasion I share my perceived dilemma with another, someone who’s opinion I respect and value, but not always. There are times you follow your own instincts and carry on.
Why does a person start a blog? Why do people write books? One must expect someone is going to read it, our words, our opinions, our thoughts, knowledge on a certain topic, our creativity, whatever the topic of the book, the blog. I found myself wondering why do I think I have anything to say, share or expound on that other people might want to read! And then even promote it! Seemed rather self-serving and ‘looking for attention’ kind of an adventure. What’s left of those thoughts is: I really enjoy writing, even if it’s not profound or going to change the world.
Today we live in a world where social media has become a way of communicating, a way of life, blogging certainly is social media and a way of sharing our thoughts, although at times like all good things extremes happen. Look at Facebook, I’m afraid I don’t have 498 friends, I don’t know 498 people! I have a handful of friends, my family and people I’ve lost touch with and this enables me to stay in touch, so used properly it’s a good thing ( I sound like Martha Stewart). And I do enjoy following my children’s friends and see (is that creepy?) as they become interesting (most of the time) adults and sometimes parents themselves. It’s an easy leap from Facebook to writing a blog, technology, which I’ve always loved, makes it very easy. Everything you have is at your fingertips and instructions make even a novice like me able to come up with something that’s easily read. Getting people to read, to follow, is another story, I do have some friends
that are still concerned if they read my blog a world-wide network of spies will find them!
Some people who write a blog are planning to write a book. I have no intention of writing a book (never say never). I don’t have the ability to make up characters and complicated plots. The abilities of writers is amazing; how a tidbit mentioned in passing at the beginning of the book somehow ties in to the very essence of the story or plot. So many talented writers and so many topics and styles of writing; books are wonderful!
My writing could only come from what I ‘know’, what I’ve experienced in life, people I’ve met, enjoyed, disliked, or simple observation of life. After 65 years you tend to learn a lot about people, yourself and how life takes us on paths we’ve not expected. At times we meet people whose lives seem to be always the same, they live and through good fortune or choices made, their life seems a ‘cakewalk’. I don’t believe anyone’s life is a ‘cakewalk’. Truthfully all of us have a life worthy of a good story. That’s the problem I find if I were to ‘really write’. I am left to write the truth!
It would be easy to offend someone, it’s difficult to disguise a person in a story of life, they know who they are. You’ve then hurt someone or maybe many others. Even if there is a good story sitting right in front of you, maybe more than one, waiting to leap on to the pages and you expose it to the world (perhaps world is an exaggeration). What have you done? If you are not famous perhaps only a handful of people will read or care, if you write and you’ve done a fair to middling job of writing what will be your reward or punishment? Will it have been worth your poetic license to write about people you knew/know? Does this mean we can only write about people who are dead? And how long do they have to be gone before we can ‘not hurt’ anyone who cared about them?
Writing ‘vanilla’ is a term that I’ve heard. It’s safe, it touches the surface of the story, and it doesn’t dig deep into the soul of what drives the characters to behave as they do. There are times that finding out the unsavory secrets of a persons past shines a light who they’ve become and why. The truth helps us to decide if we care or understand a person/character. I like this form of story telling, it helps us to understand human nature, what makes us tick and sometimes not tick so well. It is how I would like to write if I were to write a book. I’d like to tell the truth and nothing but the truth so help me god. And of course use a little poetic license!
In the meantime I will continue to write my blog. It’s bits and pieces of what I know and enjoy and sometimes it even comes close to the ‘real’ truth. As for what do I get out of it, I enjoy writing, I enjoy the communication, I enjoy hearing from other people and I have a place to share and use my mountains of photographs. I will continue, at least for now to write a ‘vanilla’ blog 🙂