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CREATIVITY IS THE POWER TO CONNECT THE SEEMINGLY UNCONNECTED*
How often should you post, when you blog? Should you post every day? Every couple of days, every week, once a month? I know that when some of my favorite writers are posting daily it feels like Christmas every day to me. But, sometimes it seems that if I post too often people don't have time to read it all or that they miss things, and only see the latest. How much is too much? Does it even really matter?

I suppose it is the writing urge that should steer and not the desire for validation or comments. I don't have a stats meter on each post, so I don't have any real idea how many people are actually reading, unless they leave a comment. I don't expect people to respond to every post or comment on every post, by any means. Goodness knows: I don't. There are many blogs I read that I never, or at least very rarely, comment on, for one reason or another. But I suppose I do make more effort for people I have become close to. Even some little smile or nod of acknowledgment means something, at least I know it does to me. This isn't fishing for comments, honestly. I get this curious feeling of weirdness about the way this online interaction works every so often. This blogging thing screws with your head.

I write because I want to see my words come alive. I write because I want to get better at writing. My writing voice becomes stronger with every sentence I pluck from my (often) seething brain and pin down. I don't normally write to vent or gush or unload in this space. It's not about that for me. I admit that I think, probably much too often, about my audience, as I write. Will what I am thinking about today be interesting? Will anyone care about what I have to think or say or feel? How can I write it down in such a way as to touch a chord in YOU, my reader? How can we connect?

Often the posts that engender multiple comments are the ones I think are complete throw-aways. Tossing a bunch of words out there and mixing them up like salad often turns up surprising results. It's a virtual crap shoot. Snake eyes! Baby needs a new pair of shoes!

Yesterday I talked to my mom, on an international connection, for TWO hours. I forget I have Skype. So stupid. But the phone bill, and in conjunction, the internet bill, are two bills I NEVER mind paying. They're always worth it, for what they give me. I called her, and we talked for an hour. Then I realized how much time had gone by, but we were in the middle of something, so I blurted, "Hey! Call me back!" and she did and we talked for another hour. It was just what I needed: catching up, talking through, laughing a lot, and getting some clear advice and help with a decision I've been batting around for awhile.

How often should you call, when you're far apart? The answer is probably the same as with writing and blogging: as often as you can.

*Title from a quote by William Plomer
 hopeful
mood: hopeful
music: Phoenix—Lisztomania


Comments
(Anonymous)

Writing should be for you- what YOU need/want to say...forget the reader. When you write about what something means to you, it becomes real and that is with what we(readers)actually connect. AND of course, there's never enough phone calls, and they are seldom ever long enough, but I feel that way with all my kids! Love, Lizardmom

Can't forget the reader, not completely. I think it comes with the territory. Even people who write novels must think of their audience, at least sometimes. :)

(Anonymous)

I do know what you are talking about. I think the two go hand in hand- writing for yourself and wondering what others think about it. Because if you didn't care, you'd be writing on a word document or in a notebook. But your mom is right (I love how you both share so much with each other. I can not do that so much with my mom) write when you need, write what you need and the rest will fall into place.

And though I am not writing in my own blog (good one to give advice, huh?) I will be creating a new one since I feel the old one is just that- old. But I am waiting until the time is right. I am about to make my move (to TN for graduate school), then I will see. :)

I also wanted to share with you...you know how I've said I am all alone? Well, I go to this message board and I was feeling like I needed advice about my move. I wrote and five or six people responded right away and shared their thoughts and listened to me!! It was so lovely and I do indeed have friends there. Like here too! Isn't the internet an amazing place?

So, my finally advice- just keep doing what you are. Your blog is a nice place to come and I may not always comment, but I'm here reading, finding out what you are up to next! :)

Joy

The internets are so lovely! At least I've never had any real problems. I think most people out there are great: regular people who just want to either get help or give it.

Hi there Liz. Just getting my head above water here after our yearly yardsale and a recovery day, so I popped into you journal for a moment before opening my book and getting ready for sleep.

I think we need to be writing for ourselves but for some of us, and some of the time, writing for ourselves here at LJ IS about connecting and hearing from others. So you just keep doing what you are doing. I know that you are not always happy with what you set down here, but I am.
Forgive me for not being more responsive lately. I've been in yardsale overwhelm and haven't even peeked in here that much this week.

Earlier in the week, I read through some of my archives. Every now and then I wondered, "Who is this woman? And where did she go?" I was fascinated. Maybe you could spend a little time looking at some of your writing and appreciating it?

Oh, and I always really love the effort you put into those "little nods." It feels like a friend has waved. I love it when I am more here at LJ more then I have been this week, when there is almost daily interaction with a handful of friends, even a nod. Warms my heart.

apologies for the sleepy typos

I do sometimes read back over my archives here and there, and it's always a weird feeling. I know what you mean: where did that woman go? And then I realize, she's right here! Amazing!

Usually when I feel like it. There was a time when I felt I needed to write all the time, and had this strange guilt when I didn't comment on what others had written, but that's gone now. I am not posting that much anymore and that's OK, maybe one day I will be posting all the time again, but there's no pressure to do so. I remember a time, many years ago, before the internet and when I didn't have a telephone, that I didn't call my best friend for two years, but when I did we just picked up where we left off, as though no time had passed at all. I like that.

I remember that time, and I remember that guilt. I felt it, too. I don't feel it nearly as strongly as I used to, thankfully.

Unrelated to this post at all... Last night I closed a book, heaved a deep sigh that it was over, and immediately wondered who I could infect with its deliciousness. Your name popped into my head! The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen was so, so enchanting. There's a website, too, but don't go too far into it! www.tsspivet.com

Oooh! It looks really interesting! Thanks for the book rec! I'm adding it to my wish list!

(Anonymous)
From Megsie

I don't have a blog but I love to read blogs. You have introduced me to many blogs that I read, because of your recommendations. I only recently began to comment, I was a lurker extraordinaire. Then BP stopped writing. I was, and still am, devastated. I had to comment. She had filled me up in so many ways. I decided that I needed to comment on the blogs that I read regularly so that the authors would know that they inspired (and continue to inspire) me. However, there are some blogs that I love and read daily that I don't comment on. If there are hundreds of comments, I don't have time to read all of them. I like the comments that respond to each other, and that I have the time to get through. So, although I love Dooce, I will probably never comment there. She has 1,000 comments, she doesn't need mine.

I still don't know if my comments are relevant or meaningful in anyway, but I know that they at least convey that I am here and I appreciate what is shared by all you famous bloggers.

I love it when people blog often. It really is like opening a present. But, I am 100% behind your mom. Write for yourself, and we will see the authentic meaning behind and through your words and that is what keeps the connections strong.

Re: From Megsie

Your comments are DEFINITELY relevant and meaningful. You're an honest, thoughtful commenter, just the kind people who write appreciate most. And I'm hardly a famous blogger! That made me chuckle :)

(and I know what you mean about being devastated by BP's closing down. *sigh*)

I am guilty of two things:
a) not commenting nearly enough (but reading nearly all the time)
and b) not posting nearly enough, and loving comments probably more than I should.

I wish I could post every day. I want to. And I wish everyone who came to my blog would comment all the time. Alas, neither are practical or possible.

But know: I adore your words. Love your photos. Am inspired by your ideas and your ridiculous voracious appetite for books.

:)

I am guilty of those things, too. :) I can totally relate. I wish I could post every day, too, and want to, but it's just not humanly possible.

And ditto, ditto, ditto!! You are such a wellspring of motivation and inspiration for me. :)

I must admit that I didn't miss blogging when I was (mostly) away from it for awhile, but I did miss reading all of your blogs. Yet being back at it (daily so far) has made it feel like I never stopped. I think for those of you who've been at it for years a break every now and then can be/feel healthy. I learned years ago to not worry about comments because, like you wrote here, I've often been shocked by some of the craptastic (quickly tossed off) posts that have garnered many comments, only to have some posts that have meant a lot to me be greeted with [crickets]. :) I'm enjoying the routine of it these days. And if it starts feeling like I *have* to post (and it's reached that point in the past), then I know it's time for a break.

Oh golly! I'm guilty of the ranting, the venting and yes, some validation. But I find also (and more valuable) the ability to write out rather than paint or draw or plink away at the keys on the piano, a drive within that is a creative outlet. Despite the fact I have little knowledge of how to be a good writer, it is certainly a great way to be expressive. Something I never intended to do when I began blogging. And the other aspect of this here blogging, engaging with others is so valuable in this busy world. Connecting with others, even with long expanses of time between engaging, can be fulfilling. I think, call your loved ones often, as often as you can. And blog, or connect on the internet, whenever you feel moved to do so, never out of obligation. With that said, you are ALWAYS a joy to read!

You have a book?

I just started blogging... well, first I posted an old journal and some stories/poems that I wrote ages ago, and then I finally caught on to the nature of blogging... it's supposed to be a chronicle of your present life, right?... so I started an intermittent 3rd Blog which I've decided I'll try to update every other day just to keep in the practice of writing. But we'll see... ho ho... by the way, I don't think I have any readers cause I only have one person who comments, but she's worth a million !!

Re: You have a book?

Well, I think the best way to get more people to visit and comment on your blog is to go visit and comment on others. The ones you are interested in, the ones you think you have something in common with, the ones whose writing you like.

Blogging can be whatever you want it to be. It can be your life, your essays, your photos, your poems or your random thoughts. It's totally up to you to make it your own.

And yes, I have published books of my blog. One for each year so far, plus a "best of" :)

(Anonymous)
Technical Difficulties

I've been tring to respond with my blogger URL but its not letting me, so let's see if Anonymous works ....

That's great that you have published a book from your blogs. Every Bloggers secret dream ! I've added you to my blog list so I can visit more often. See, I have taken your advice and am commenting away !

Caroline

Re: Technical Difficulties

I went and checked out your blogs, but was, I confess, a bit confused...which one is the one you "prefer" ...do you write on all of them, all the time? (just the thought makes me want to lie down for a bit)

Looks like Modernist-Me is your "now" blog, so I'll read that one :)

Strange that LJ wouldn't let you post with your blogger ID when it did the first time...it usually prefers OpenID or else you have to be anonymous, unfortunately. OpenID doesn't always work for me, though, on Blogger, actually. Most of the time I use my google/gmail account instead.

Forgot to say that my book is totally self-published. I'm no Dooce or Amalah. :)

Edited at 2009-08-13 08:23 pm (UTC)

Re: Technical Difficulties

Hi Liz,

Thanks for visiting my Blog(s) ! The only current one is Modernist Me -- the other two -- Dratski & Book of Crow -- are works in progress only in so far as I haven't finished uploading all my journal & poems, etc. So I'm not nearly as prolific as I seem !

Caroline

(Anonymous)

Can you tell I'm a little behind on my blog reading after our technology-deprived vacation? :) I love your philosophy about communication: "as often as you can." Sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed by all the people I should do better keeping in touch with, but the time it takes to write a letter or craft a blog entry is always worth it. (The problem is when I can't find the time in the first place!) I do love your tossed-salad entries, so please don't let self-analyzing (of which I am the queen, but still) stop your lovely self from meeting us on the page.
~ Bethany (http://www.coffeestainedclarity.com)

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