Upon reflection

Today a good friend of mine told me that he really likes my blog, and that he also used to have a daily blog for a while. He told me his blog had gotten popular fast, but he had quit because he didn’t like what it had started doing to him. He said he had started to get addicted to having that audience, and so he would find himself writing things just to make his readers come back every day – writing things to deliberately infuriate, flatter, get a reaction. And when he saw what was happening to him, he just quit.

I can understand how a thing like that can happen. You love something, but love turns into an addiction, and that’s when you go through your Smeagol to Gollum transformation:

beginning blogger

seasoned blogger

It seems to me that in the case of blogging the addiction is in becoming outer-directed, in needing to feel the presence of that audience, to the point where all you want to do is feed your audience whatever you think will make it stay with you.

Which started me thinking about who I’m talking to when I blog. I realize that so far I’m not trying to respond to world or political events, nor am I trying to embody any sort of “character”. It’s more like I’m trying to have a conversation with my wide-eyed inner five year old, who thinks that flying cars are neat, who knows that you can find a game within anything, and who really, really wants a pet dinosaur to play with his pet robot. That five year old kid, but with an adult intellectual level, that’s my blogging pal. I think that if I can just keep talking about things with him honestly, then I should manage to maintain a healthy relationship toward this whole experience.

My Mom’s older brother Abe, who sadly passed away much too young, was a great folk singer in his time. Our family has an old and dearly cherished phonograph recording of him singing traditional folk songs (coincidentally, years ago I gave a copy of this very recording to that good friend I was talking about, the one who used to have the blog). There’s a moment on the recording where Abe turns to a young lady in the audience, just as he’s about to sing a tender ballad, and he gallantly says to her: “I sing this for you.” And then he says to the rest of the audience, not unkindly, “You others all may listen.”

My uncle Abe was a very wise man.

3 Responses to “Upon reflection”

  1. Speaking of robots and dinosaurs (and puppets, which I know you like too) I thought you might like this video. I really enjoyed it and so did my 5-year old (my son Daniel).
    It’s the making of a dinosaur show in Dubai.
    dinosaur show

  2. I’ve enjoyed catching up with your new blog. My concern is not that you would start pandering to keep your audience but that you would burn out. Writing a thoughtful essay each day is a lot to add to an already busy schedule. Maybe you aspire to the discipline that requires, even when you are tired, even when no topic presents itself. An alternative is to post on an irregular schedule, give yourself days off to break the post-every-day pressure. RSS feeds don’t care about regular schedules. But then, I’m just listening in while Abe sings to the young lady.

    I want my flying car to be autonomous, natch.

  3. Zabador says:

    Muahaha, for the moment, that’s people commenting who burn out with their busy schedules 😉 lol

Leave a Reply