In a Snit

I recently told a blogging buddy, and now good friend, that I have been walking around lately in an all-around pissed-off mood. Yeah, I know, not very “ladylike,” but there it is.

Frankly, I’m tired of being in a bad mood, so I’ve been doing that cognitive thinking thing a therapist suggested years ago. “If you’re worried or angry in general —  you know that free-floating anxiety that comes over all of us from time to time — look for the reason. and deal with it.”

According to the good doctor, the cause could be as simple as the dream you had just before you woke up or a passing comment someone made that got your anxiety machine cranked up. So I looked around for a reason for my snit (the great word my afore-mentioned blogging buddy used).  It seems to be related to one question. Maybe if I verbalize (another favored shrink suggestion), I’ll feel better.

Why do we blog in the first place?   When we take the time to write something, whether it’s fiction, poetry, non-fiction ramblings, or a rant… Why do we do it?  And why do it on the internet instead of in a journal? Well, folks, I can think of only one reason. We want others to read it. I mean, what other reason could there possibly be?

If I am a regular visitor to someone’s blog posts, it would be nice if they came by my place once in a while in return. A fellow blogger (one I mistakenly thought of as a friend – silly me) told me he and his friends laugh at this attitude, calling those of us who admit to wanting visitors “Comment Collectors” or “Follower Fishers.” Huh. Well, okay, guilty as charged.

I participate in a lot of memes, aka writing prompts. Nearly all of them ask that, as a matter of courtesy,  participants visit the efforts of the others and leave a short comment or bit of feedback. And for the most part, participants do that. Oh, sure, some of the sites can have over 100 links to a single prompt, and none of us have the time (though I can think of one extraordinary exception) to visit them all.  But if I’ve taken the time to visit participants on a meme, I’d like to get a return visit from at least some of them.

So, yeah, call me a “Comment Collector” if you want. But if you don’t post on a blog so people will read it, what the hell are you doing out here? Get some paper.

***

Okay, that didn’t help much. I’m still in a snit.

What’s your thinking on this?

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19 Responses to In a Snit

  1. mumsthoughts says:

    I agree that it’s lovely to get comments, and as you know some real friendships can be formed via those commenters, but leave blogland fot any length of time and you soon find out who is just commenting for the hell of it and who really is interested in what we post. The bottom line is that most of us crave some validation and often commenters provide this. Just be leery of believing all you read. As for blogs like our writing group, that’s a little different because it invites criyicism, and some writers being what they are, don’t take too kindly to that. If it makes you happy, keep it up.

    • Patti says:

      “Just be leery of believing all you read.” Hells, I think you’ve nailed it. I made exactly that mistake.
      “If it makes you happy…” Ah, that’s the question, isn’t it?

  2. Kathy Pinkerton says:

    you are correct…who wants to be out there just floating words around in a void.

  3. titaniumvertical says:

    There’s a huge difference between being a “comment collector” and simply desiring the joy of a conversation with other like-minded folks. When we write, we share a part of who we are. We give something precious, something valuable: our time, our carefully-chosen words and our thoughts.

    There are a lot of reasons why people read without commenting; one that frequently crops up is “I didn’t feel like I had anything to add that was worthwhile”. It’s one thing to be at a complete loss for words, but if it happens every day for eleven months…. it might be mental constipation or something worse.

    I can speak for myself, only- but I treasure the comments I receive and look forward to the quiet moments (accompanied by an internet connection) when I can join in the conversation and share my reflections in the form of comments. My internet connection is sketchy at best, at worst… it’s simply non-existent. It does affect my friendships and my social tendencies; I have fewer friends than I have fingers. However, those few and precious folks are the sunlight on dark, winter days. I’m proud to count you as one of those *amazing* people, Patti.

    You’re feeling the casual neglect that is absolutely pervasive in the online universe, these days. I can’t say that I’ve discovered any particular solution, but I can say this: your writing is simply magnificent. You are the curator of a comprehensive museum of ideas, thoughts, information and the delicious ability to translate it into stories, poems, prose and succinct one-liners that simply ROCK.

    If folks aren’t sharing their words with you… it is indeed their loss. Conversations with you are time well spent; you don’t simply blog… you create. Craft. Construct.

    Kudos to you for giving the world of constipated comment withholders a much-needed kick in the pants. 🙂

    *accepts kick*

    • Patti says:

      You are, and have been almost from the moment I began blogging, a real friend. You are a wonderful writer, and your kind words about my efforts mean the world because they come from you. I relish reading your words. There is always such beauty and truth in what you have to say.

      You put your finger on the essence of it: conversation. I truly value my conversations with you, Ti. Sadly, for some, it is a one-sided convesation. “That’s my opinion. Now let me hear what you think about my opinion.” Meh.

  4. Rachel says:

    I know what you mean! When I used to blog more I liked knowing what people thought of what was there too. Hi 🙂

  5. Tara R. says:

    I’m with you on participating in prompts/memes and trying to spread the love. Some have so many who join, that it’s unrealistic to visit them all. I try to get to most of them, or at least the ones who visit me. I’m not always successful, but I to try to be a good bloggy pal. I’ve never heard the term ‘Comment Collector,’ but I’m not ashamed to admit I like getting the occasional feedback.

    • Patti says:

      Tara, I think you and I approach blogging in very much the same way. I think we are in it for similar reasons, and feedback from readers is one of those reasons. I try to be a good blogging friend. It’s enough for me for others to do the best they can as well. It’s the hypocrites who drive me crazy. If a blogger says feedback doesn’t matter, i think… well, you know what I think. Thanks for being a good blogging pal, Tara.

  6. What I enjoy most about blogging is the chance to exchange comments and have some wonderful conversations. I like the reality of virtual friends (like you, Patti). They might be few in number but satisfying. Be a good citizen of the blogospere and befriend others who are as well. It’s all we can do.

    • Patti says:

      Exactly right. It’s amazing to me how one can form strong bods of friendship sight unseen, but there it is. In general, people write as themselves. Last year, a blogger we both know and his wife came and spent a week with us in our Florida condo. Our daughter was worried. “You invited a total stranger to stay with you?! You’ll probably end up dead in your bed.” My answer? “Relax. I KNOW this guy.” And I did. We had a wonderful time.

  7. Lou Lohman says:

    Guilty as charged. And I’m someone who loves you. If I’ve been a bad boy, i suppose those who are less connected to you than I am are even worse.

  8. Jamie Dedes says:

    Yeah! Ditto that. I don’t participate anymore in memes because I know I can’t do all the visiting.

  9. 2zpoint says:

    Well Hello Patti!
    Are you feeling a bit of a snit and needing some attention? I know what you mean but I believe in writing my thoughts down and letting them go and from time to time I go back and read them. It’s funny to me because I have noticed there are some articles that I wrote and received very few comments that I thought to myself what was I thinking….and still others that I feel I said it right and measured. I have to believe that comments from others are prompted by like minded thoughts but if the writer is truly unique those thoughts need time for reflection and human nature doesn’t allow for engagement when you are simply out of the readers league! So write what you will and become legend instead of of snitting over intellectual lacking! You are a superstar in my mind. Peace be with you.

  10. Chartreuse says:

    I can only say I agree wholeheartedly: why have a blog if you don’t care about having readers! Might as well keep a journal instead. I read a different point of view on the blog of a man whom I follow. I think he’s an excellent writer and always offers provoking thoughts in his posts. But he says he rarely comments on others’ blogs and isn’t bothered by how many followers he has. You can read his post on the subject here: (http://snowbrush.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/about-blogging.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+blogspot/tXOU+(Snowbrush)). I thought you might find the exchange of views in the comments on that post as interesting as the post. I commented there, too, offering my views on the subject. One of the things I said in my comment was this:
    “One other thought: I bet women comment on others’ posts more often than men. We are, after all, more used to functioning as the glue that binds the social fabric. In a previous working life, I often had to travel long distances in cars with colleagues. It used to amuse me to keep a tally of the number of times women initiated conversations vs. men doing the same. Women seem more than men to NEED or WANT the social reinforcement that conversational to-ing and fro-ing offers. Might that be a factor operating here too? I suspect so. NB: Comments welcome, but not expected!”

  11. “Get some paper.” What a great line – and so true! Just wandering around today – glad I stopped by!

  12. James says:

    Sometimes we just get behind in our reading, and make up for it in fits and starts. A wise man once said (or maybe it was an episode of Star Trek) “Time is the fire in which we burn”. It cam be hard to set aside some of the flame when the conflagration get out of hand and we are scrambling for more fuel.

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