Blog Stuff, Feedback, Social Media, Writing

Dear blog readers, you are being used!

Confession of the day—I’m a vampire. If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ve probably figured out I write many of my posts ad hoc—in essence they’re Tweets with no character limit. Often, not always, I write these posts because I need your help. I need you to help me sort out what I think.

We’ve all heard the purported Flannery O’Connor quote: “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” I’ll paraphrase that to say, “I post because I’m not sure what I think until I read what you say.” That’s why your comments are so important to me.

Whether you agree or disagree with what I’ve written, you help me refine my thinking. Sometimes you give me affirmation. Sometimes you point out that I apparently have a screw loose. Sometimes you take my thoughts in an unexpected direction, inspiring and challenging me.

I’m not a teacher. I’m not an essayist. I don’t blog to give you something. I’m selfish. Oh sure, occasionally I share something I’ve learned by writing, or reading … or gardening, shopping, or cooking. Often I point you to another blogger who writes the lovely posts I wish I could write. But mostly I just blather on some topic or another and hope you’ll help me make some sense of it.

My husband doesn’t understand the point of social networking. He converses only face to face or by telephone. Then again, he’s not a writer. What comes out of my mouth is rarely what I spend most of my time thinking. My written words run far deeper than my spoken ones—blog posts excluded. I even find it hard to voice record notes to myself—my mind tends to go blank when I open my mouth. I express myself much easier in written word. Blogging is a natural for me.

Unfortunately, I mostly blog my half-formed thoughts, my questions, my theories, and expect your comments to complete the equation. Sometimes, even when I felt I’d formed a complete thought, your comments reveal another aspect I hadn’t considered.

So, yes, my friends, you’re being used … but I hope you don’t mind.

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26 thoughts on “Dear blog readers, you are being used!”

  1. I feel the same, in that the blog post is the start, and the dialogue continues on in the comments. It’s great when it goes off into new tangents, all sparked by one idea!


  2. Hi Linda,

    I’m totally with you on my thoughts coming out easier in writing. I once read an interview with Jane Hamilton and she commented on how she could never really think fast enough to respond quickly like others do. I completely understood. It’s easier for me to write my response than be put on the spot. Maybe, it’s a writer thing.


    1. I considered it being a writer thing, but I know writers who dictate their work easily.

      Your comment reminded me of my school days. We used to have spelling contests where the first person to write it correctly on the board won, and no one could beat me! If we’d had to spell aloud, I probably wouldn’t have been the champ.


  3. HAHAHA! I laughed when I read your post and then all of the sudden that fear and panic set in. You do realize that I come here to read what YOU are thinking and to see how YOU have got it all figured out, don’t you? Now you are telling me that you don’t always have a clue either! What? This suprises me.

    Your post are like pudding in my mouth. Your writing is smooth, your thoughts well received, and no matter how you approach a subject you always find an angle that makes me ask, more please.

    I don’t always comment, because not always do I have something to add. The group who you have as followers are so far advanced in the field of writing that a novice like me usually just needs to listen.


    1. Now you’ve panicked me, Trista. Please, tell me you’re joking when you say you look to me for answers. I’m happy you enjoy my posts, but I’m mostly befuddled. And maybe some/most of my readers are “far advanced in the field of writing” but I am not. To be honest, right now, I feel like a total beginner.


  4. I’ve noticed it’s easier to comment on an incomplete blog post. A post that covers every angle on a topic doesn’t leave room for anything but a tiresome “Good job.”

    One big difference between a blog post and an article is that commenters are expected to add to a blog post–in a sense, completing it. Showing off your personality in each post also allows us to connect to you as a person we can befriend.

    Linda, a dozen or so people frequently comment on your posts. That’s more than I see on some professional authors’ blogs. You’re an effective vampire, if that’s how you want to think of yourself. But more accurately, you’re someone we your readers want to spend time with.


    1. Ann, I think you’re probably right about the “incomplete blog posts” because most of mine are. Like I said, I don’t write essays. When I read the comments, I see how I didn’t follow my thought or argument through. That’s why I need you guys.

      I’ve always been mystified why people return to this blog. I’ve wondered if it’s the same reason people gawk at people pulled over by the police or gather to watch someone threatening to commit suicide. Don’t get me wrong; I’m glad to have you all. It’s lonely out here.


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