Yesterday was the anniversary of my first real blog post. I had been making sporadic entries on the first blog I started (Snippets) in 2007 to capture some of those little bits of conversation we overhear out in the world. Then, a year ago, I accepted the challenge of the first creative writing meme I found, and I was off and running. At the time, I wondered if I’d ever be able to keep it going, but as I said to a blogging buddy recently, I am a talker at heart, so no worries.
During this first year of blogging, I’ve made a few interesting observations. Here are five that surprised me.
1. Blogging is addictive. And I’m hooked. Should I be joining BA (Bloggers Anonymous)?
2. I’m keeping some pretty great company. I’m so taken by how warm and supportive people are. I’ve said this before, but it amazes me to think of so many complete strangers, people I likely will never meet, as friends. It reminds me of the way people used to (and maybe some still do) have pen pals with whom they exchanged letters and developed close relationships, even though they would never meet.
3. The world is small. It staggers my mind that people from all over the globe visit my blog and I theirs. We each share our culture and our history, sometimes deliberately, sometimes simply by virtue of our posts and comments. Like most of you, I’ve had visits from people on every continent except Antarctica. I won’t hold my breath on that one, since it has no permanent residents. Still, Wikipedia tells me that there are 1,000-5,000 people there on research expeditions, depending on the time of year, so who knows? Nah, those folks are probably too busy just trying to stay warm.
4. There is one characteristic of this blogging thing I find especially interesting. There is something about it that makes us (or maybe I should say “lets us”) bare our souls, on the Internet, for heaven’s sake, to be read by who knows how many strangers. Maybe it’s the fact that we probably will never meet these people. Or perhaps it’s the relative anonymity of it. I don’t know, but it’s a very strange phenomenon, I think.
5. I suppose that this is a not-surprising outgrowth of Number 4, but romance sometimes happens out here in cyberspace. Through reading posts, exchanging e-mail, and maybe chatting via Skype, people fall for someone they’ve never met. Is it real? Who knows? Many people have married someone they met on an online dating service. I’ve got to believe that a blogger (at least those I read) reveals more of his or her genuine self that someone registered on a dating service.
So there it is. I often think I’m spending far too much time in this brave new world (the addiction, remember?). But it’s not as if I’m not learning something. My world view is expanded. For that matter, I think that now I’m really looking at things in my own backyard too. I’m reading much more poetry than ever before. I’m finding inspiration in strange places. And I know my writing is improving, which was why I got into this in the first place.
I’m reminded of Commissioner Dreyfus, driven mad by Inspector Clousseau: “Every day and in every way, I’m getting better and better.”