Monday, January 17, 2011

Self conscious

I never wrote on this blog for an audience.

There was always the feeling that, yes, someone might happen across this site and read an entry or two. The knowledge of that possibility was good incentive for me to self-edit, something I have trouble doing when I write privately in a notebook in my bedroom.

But I never wrote for an audience. I never tried to "monetize" this blog to sell advertising and make money. I just stopped in now and then to download an essay that ran through my head during my morning shower, or to recount something funny or sad or (to me) interesting from the family life around here.

I am pleased and flattered if anyone ever reads this blog, and especially if anyone comments, but my goal has never been to attract readers. It is a very selfish kind of writing that I do here, writing just for me so that I can record memories that I want to remember, sort out my own personal feelings, catalog a few family favorite recipes, that sort of thing. I wouldn't mind making a few friends. I believe I have made two new friends through this vehicle, although I haven't heard from either of them for a very long time; maybe it's just life, maybe I'm just that boring. I don't need advertising stats, but I do hate to lose friends.

I ran into a discussion on another blog a couple-few weeks ago, a discussion about how writing drains you and drains the lifeblood out of you. Naively, I commented that I felt that writing was therapeutic. Then I sat back and blushed to the pores of my being as I realized that everybody else was talking about professional writing, and that they see their blogs as professional outlets where they actually do try, along with other things, to attract readers and sell advertising. I felt so bush, so gauche, so stupid.

It got me thinking. About blogging. And, along with the realization that I do it all wrong, I realized that in the moments when something flows from my fingers to my keyboard to the great electronic nexus that is cyberlife, something that is actually worth reading (it happens once or twice a year), I do not own the rights to it, Blogger does. So if I ever did collect my more worthy pieces to try to form them into a book, I don't think I could even use anything that had ever been published here.

I am wondering whether I will ever write on this blog again.


Anonymous said...

O PLEASE blog some more.....I love knowing you, again, and being "in touch" with Anoka via you, if only in my thoughts. I pray for and want to know how DJ is doing and also the girls and Jon...would love to meet your husband (a great guy, according to my son, Phil).
Forteen years ago Karen slipped away and just last year (this week) Walden was promoted, so many of my thoughts are memories which are enriched because I made daily notes in simple spiral notebooks.
Please keep writing and I'll read
~ Pauline

Hope T. said...

Hi Ruth,

I read all your posts. I even figured out how to use Google reader recently and subscribed to some of my favorite blogs (which, of course, includes yours). You could definitely write for publication, in my opinion. I keep thinking of that piece you wrote about the baklava. That is as good as anything I have read in a magazine. But even though you could publish, I am wondering if that would take some of the fun and relaxation out of it. I think that is what the "professional" writers were saying. It becomes just a job.

Your writing resonates with me. Perhaps that is because of the similarities between us but there are many differences, too, so it could be that you are just a good writer :). Though your audience may be small, it is appreciative.

Here is a poem that I love and has just come to mind for you:

DOWN in a green and shady bed,
A modest violet grew;
Its stalk was bent, it hung its head
As if to hide from view.

And yet it was a lovely flower,
Its colour bright and fair;
It might have graced a rosy bower,
Instead of hiding there.

Yet thus it was content to bloom,
In modest tints arrayed;
And there diffused a sweet perfume,
Within the silent shade.

Then let me to the valley go
This pretty flower to see;
That I may also learn to grow
In sweet humility. - Jane Taylor

Ruth said...


That is probably the nicest thing anybody has ever said to me.

Thank you so much.

I am crying, and I don't do that very often. Probably I am a little overwrought from yesterday's bout with Laura's flu.

Thank you.


Ruth MacC said...

Ha Ha! Like the last bit...!