Message in a bottle

Sometimes blogging feels like sending a message in a bottle. You write out your thoughts, bundle them tightly in your post, and send them out into the ocean of cyberspace. Can you imagine how you would feel to see that bottle wash up on shore with a reply scribbled on the note?

Everyone who commented on the survey mentioned that they found community in blogging. Some blogged because of community and some found community as an added benefit to blogging. It’s as if our Bridge games of old have been replaced with World of Warcraft (not me) and the religion blogs have replaced the old rabbis debating scripture in the temple. We no longer gather around the soda fountain on the corner — we eat “virtual” ice cream together. Instead of reading the newspaper and chatting about politics, current events, and sports, we read it online and then blog or comment.

Many of us desire to be professional writers and blogging is a way to refine our craft. Writers tend to be perfectionists and very self-critical, so I think it is also a way for us to get feedback, encouraging us that it’s worth the pain and effort.

There is such a feeling of accomplishment when you can take your thoughts and form something that elicits emotion. I think that is the essence of why I write, and I think the online conversation keeps me blogging. One thing that was also mentioned or alluded to was how we learn and grow off of each other — we read each others blogs and comments and then it helps us to look at things in a different way or to show us that we aren’t crazy. Blogging gives us something that writing in isolation cannot give us.

I thank you all for taking the time to comment and for giving me this enjoyable community. Although you might think I only wrote this post to solicit comments, there was another reason as well — I think we learn from questions. I think by answering questions — or at least taking the time to ponder them — it helps us reevaluate our purpose, our goals, our dreams and to find meaning in what we do. I guess that is the lifecoach/existentialist in me.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thecrowsdream
    Mar 16, 2007 @ 17:27:14

    I think that requesting comments is a valid thing to do. I know I do sometimes. I think people blog because we are mute in the world, and because we know there are some people out there who want to listen. I blog because it’s fun and it’s good writing practice. I blog for the feedback. Many of us do.

  2. Jenna
    Mar 17, 2007 @ 07:06:31

    I came across your blog because you commented on my friend Luisa’s blog over at novembrance. Your quote of the day cracked me up (about the flies), so I had to keep reading. You kept my interest….I’ll check back in. You’re fun to read. Have a good one!

  3. Alien Drums
    Mar 17, 2007 @ 13:30:26

    I liked your comment, “Blogging gives us something that writing in isolation cannot give us.” Well said.

  4. mystupidmouth
    Mar 17, 2007 @ 13:36:02

    Although I must admit that it was really nice reading this blog entry of yours but in my opinion there is very big downside to blogs.
    people are not all well and good…up there(in there heads). so when they express themselves on the net, they dont really think about the content as they would when talking to someone. I mean we have had a life without blogs till a few years back so we are somewhat sure of what’s right or wrong based on our morals, ethics that we get from our parents, friends, schools and come to think of it even TV. But what about kids who start blogging/ chatting on the net at an early age they’ll be blogging random crap that has not been passed any social test and are going to get feedbacks from god knows who. And looking at blogs these days I think it has already started happening.

    Man i never get anything when i want to write in my own blog and here i am writing away such long comments

  5. rjlight
    Mar 17, 2007 @ 17:33:39

    thecrowsdream thanks for stopping by–very insightful comment

    Jenna — thanks for stopping by, and hope to hear from you again! 🙂

    Aliendrums–as usual you encourage me!

    mystupidmouth — I think there are many blogs that are rough around the edges and some that are quite scary. Kids need to understand that a blog — or a myspacepage with pictures could get unwanted exposure. I guess that is what you are saying.

  6. Hector
    Mar 18, 2007 @ 15:15:03

    Mystupidmouth– I know exactly what you mean. I am studying education, and I plan on making “netiquete” and blog writing an important part of what I teach. I think it is vital that schools pay attention to these things. 🙂

  7. rjlight
    Mar 19, 2007 @ 08:23:29

    Well, apparently, you can put just about anything on a blog and the more salacious the better. I don’t know how many times I have read advice that says “you don’t have to be a good writer to be a successful blogger”–I am sure that is true but I would think you could try to be an adequate writer!

  8. Hector
    Mar 19, 2007 @ 13:05:42

    rjlight said “Well, apparently, you can put just about anything on a blog and the more salacious the better.” A lot of people are unaware that blogs are public. . I’ve heard of people losing jobs because of what they write. I think people should assume everyone they know will read the blog. Now, I’m newish to this–still figuring out what I’ll tell my students. Is it ok to post more than one answer? Thanks!

  9. rjlight
    Mar 19, 2007 @ 18:27:50

    You can comment all you want, Hector, well, as long as you show proper “netiquete!”:) What’s amazing is that they even have a blog term for that — being Dooced–named after a blog “Dooce” –she was fired and got tons of publicity and now she is doing just fine. I guess you can just point your students to professional bloggers that are good examples — Problogger– one of my links has made quite a bit of money on the internet– he is a great example of “netiquete” and success.

  10. Trackback: Be a better writer « newHoosier

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