One of the things that fascinates me the most about the blogosphere (not to be confused with the Buffyverse for those keeping track) is the trends. One week, I'll read 15 posts about stomach viruses and the next week, I'll read 12 posts about cats. I am not making this up.
What amazes me more is how I get sucked into them. I am not a trendy person. See my closet, my CD collection, my minivan or my jewelry box for confirmation. And yet, after the 10th or so post, I feel compelled to chime in. To lend my voice to the cacophony hollering on and on about ring tones, or whatnot.
This week's blogoverse (see what I did there) wide theme is why do we do it. Why do we sit down at our computer keyboard everyday (or every other day, every week, every once in a while or every ten minutes, whatever) to spill out our thoughts and feelings, diary style. Who are we writing for anyway, and what do we expect them to get out of it.
Her Bad Mother (see the links to the side, because I'm hating the stupid linking tool today) asked if we were all making each other miserable by over-sharing our pain. Maybe. There's also been a recent flurry of plagiarism, making people ask why people even care so much for their rambles.
Immediately, I think to myself that I am writing this for me. I am writing because I love to write, because my book is going slow it's only a few minutes to feeling accomplished. But, if I write for me, why do I care so much that I only have one reader (Hi mom!)? Why do I keep putting myself out there, "promoting my blog?" Why, in fact, do I even publish it in the first place?
And here is my answer (this ten minutes, you understand). Because reading and writing is a relationship. See we have a relationship here. I write, you read. It's a two way street. There is no purpose to my writing if it's never read. That's why I never kept a diary. I always loved the idea of a diary, but I never wrote in it more than two days because, well, what's the freakin' point. Instead, I wasted my expensive pink diaries with locks on them and scrawled poetry in 99 cent notebooks. Compulsively (you should see the stack!)
Stephen King (insert girly screaming) uses the phrase "Constant Reader" always capitalized like a name. He uses it in forewords and afterwords and yadda, yadda. And when I read the phrase Constant Reader, I feel like he is talking to me. To me! Not to you or to my husband or the 50 people who read this one copy of the book from the library before me. ME!!!
You see, Stephen and I, we have a relationship. Albeit, a I-would-so-stalk-you-if-I-could-move-to-Maine, kind of relationship. But a relationship. He writes, I read. When I pick up one of his books, an oldie but goodie that I've read 50 times or a new story, I feel like I'm having coffee with an old friend. I fall into the book, the way you fall into bed at the end of a really long day. I read the way he writes and it's comfortable to me. Because we have this relationship.
Some relationships (like mine and Stephen's) are like a 50 year old marriage. They are home and they feel comfortable and safe. Some relationships are new and fledgling, rocky and exciting all at the same time. But that's what happens when you read, you start a relationship with the writer.
And that's what happens when I write. I start a relationship with you. Everyday, all over again, because I don't really know you (Hi Mom!). So, I have to just put myself out there, laid on the line, filleted like a fish, so to speak. I don't know if you exist, but I want you to. I don't know if you like me, but I want you to. I don't know if you'll come back, but I want you to.
Do you get it? Do you hate it when I go three weeks without writing anything funny? Do you hate it when I think I'm being funny? Do you wonder what I'm whining about anyway? I just don't know.
Maybe that's the excitement of blogging. The reason everyone and their brother's dog does it. Because I don't know if you care, but I hope you do. Because I love that part of the relationship where everything is new and sparkly and every word you hear is a new discovery. And I love that part in the middle where you think there are no surprises left but there always are. And I love that part where you've been together forever and you can read in your pajamas without feeling naked.