Friday, June 09, 2006

Remind Me Why I Do This...

Every few days as I contemplate my next blog entry I have the same conversation with myself. I originally began writing here as a way to exercise my writing muscles and work out some of the kinks in my "voice" so that I could be more efficient when I write the book(s) I so desperately want to write.

Unfortunately, the comment section has waylaid me on more than one occasion and I must confess, I struggle to avoid becoming an attention whore because of it. I broadcast the news of my new blog to friends and family as well as some past writing workshop acquaintances and hoped that word would spread from there. I have commented on others' blogs and left my url and check my blog several times a day to see who has commented.

A month ago, I was feeling rather despondent because the comments I receive are fairly predictable (not that I don't love you, guys, so keep commenting!), coming from my dearest friends. In hopes of unearthing other readers who were to shy to comment, I added a map to my site and was heartened to discover that there are some people who read my blog but don't have much to say.

Following that slight rise in my excitement came another dip as I began reading comments on other people's blogs and noticed that some of the blogs I routinely read were being commented on by other blogs I routinely read and I was being completely left out. I'm not sure I could be any more neurotic or junior-high-hormone-driven, but I digress. My newest tactic was to write about some controversial issue that would have people commenting, regardless of whether they agreed with me or not. So far, that hasn't proven very effective, either.

So my dilemma is this: do I continue to write what I want to write regardless of the audience? After all, I started this journey not to please the mass of humanity that will someday come to realize my literary brilliance, but to better develop that brilliance. Or do I become a slave to the comments and hope that this means I am drawing enough of a crowd that magazines and book publishers can only agree that my following is in love with me? Hmmm, sounds pretty petulant to me, how about you?

8 comments:

ammogirl said...

Oh, keep writing! According to my stats, I regularly get about 40 readers a day - but only a few comment, and like you, they are all dear friends. Nobody I don't know.

Besides, what YOU do is writing, what I do is just...chatter. It's a nice change of pace.

Don't stop, girl.

Michelle O'Neil said...

I have to admit I've fallen victim to this once or twice and have subsequently banned myself from looking at my map or my counter more than once a week. It's like weighing yourself. It has nothing to do with your worth as a writer or as a person. Write from your heart and your readers will follow.

XO

Carrie said...

Michelle said it perfectly! I check your blog daily, but don't comment very often, yet that drives me crazy when others do that to me! Sorry! I like Michelle's comparison to a scale, not a true measure of worth, nor even of readership adoration!

Miss Devylish said...

We all do it.. I went thru the same thing when I started my blog. And honestly, a lot of readers came from me leaving comments on other's sites. Lots and lots and lots. Seriously. And I built up a little community, not huge, but probably some that feel fine commenting and like Pomgirl, she will comment once in a while, but she doesn't always feel comfortable or the need. So that's fine w/ me. We call them lurkers and they're just as good.. You should get a site meter and it can update you weekly - which is what I also force myself to do - and I get anywhere from 20-40 readers a day - obviously, they don't all comment and maybe some don't even return, who knows? But you're out there in space my dear just like the rest of us. You gotta be patient.. and I know how hard that is for you. :)

kario said...

Aww, thanks, you gals are the best! I will keep writing, if only because that's what keeps me sane on a daily basis and it's what I'm driven to do. Thanks for the reminder and the little boost on a Friday evening!

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your blogs. I am just an old friend that is very new to the idea of blogging and find what your writing very interesting, real, funny, and touching. So from a blogger virgin keep up the good works and know I will be reading and maybe throw in a comment or two.

megan said...

Here's my comment about comments: It's like reading a book. Do you go call all of your friends after reading every book you finish and tell them what you think about it? No, we ponder, we digest, we sometimes share our opinions and we sometimes keep them to ourselves. I agree with Michelle in that a blog is not the best place for seeking feedback from an audience. Comments or no, do it for yourself. Write for yourself, #$%^ the opinions of others and feedback is what writer class is for, right? At the very least you are brave enough to put a bit of yourself out there and I commend you for that. Bravo.

Anonymous said...

I check your blog several times a week, have no idea who you are, but like your writing and never comment. So there!!

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