I think it’s a little dangerous to be the friend or relative of a writer, because you never know when your story or quote will be grist for their story mill. And so I try hard to respect the privacy of the people in my world, and not exploit them or our friendship.
But I think that if someone has a blog, that’s not a private thing, and I can talk about that here. And so I want to say that my friend Gideon just started a blog here and even though he says that reading blogs is a waste of time, he is happy if people have time to read his musings.
It’s something to think about: blogs and how homogenized they can be. There’s a language people can adopt, a persona they can hide behind. While I love words and want to write and am a bit of a blog junkie, I think about blogging and how it could change the way I think/read/write, and maybe I shouldn’t read as many as I do. I don’t have answers, only lots of ideas and questions. And what’s true for me isn’t strictly true for everyone else.
My goals for my blog are to use words well, and to inspire. To lift readers’ eyes from the mundane to the transcendent. I don’t use photos, though some good blogs do, because I want to learn how to convey thoughts and feelings with words. I try not not expose my friends and family so I don’t use many names (except if they have blogs or books!) and I try not to talk too much about myself because I’m 1)a little self-conscious, and 2) want to retain some mystery.
So everyone has different goals for their blogs. Matt started his blog to update his family and friends about his life in Poland when he moved here a year ago. Gideon just started now because he likes to write. If I would read only their blogs, I wouldn’t get an accurate picture of who they are, their humor and heart. They are stellar, gifted men whom I’m proud to work beside. Both of them know how to use words well, and how to hear and understand people. And they play some mean Scrabble.
Words on a page or computer screen are one-dimensional; you don’t get to know the real person, the whole of their personality, wit, tendencies, and quirks. That’s why it’s scary to write; I’m often afraid that people will be disappointed when they meet the real me because they thought they already knew me through my book or blog. It terrifies me, actually.
Probably sometime I’ll blog about some lady bloggers with whom I’ve had amazing exchanges electronically. I’m convinced that technology changes the fiber and quality of a relationship, but I have been hugely enriched with some friendships with ladies whom I’ve never met.