When I started this blogging lark I didn’t expect it to teach me more than I already knew about myself and my ‘journey’.
- A continuing vehicle to channel grief and all the ‘doings’ in my head that Bronnie would normally hear, I didn’t expect my blog to provide commercial opportunities. It has done that.
- I didn’t expect to connect, in any real way, with people I met online, but I have. I haven't just made useful contacts, I have made friends. People whose opinion I trust and would go to for sans-bullshit feedback; a chat or to collaborate commercially.
- I did not expect to find a now favourite author among the web pages of the unpublished. At the risk of swelling his head to the size of a big swelling thing, I would say that Mr London Street’s blog (http://mrlondonstreet.blogspot.com/) is some of the best writing I have ever come across. Nathan takes ordinary words, wraps them around ordinary people and ordinary circumstances and, in that seemingly straightforward alchemy, produces irresistible reading. I love his work.
Another discovery, and a sense of freedom, came when I closed comments on two areas of my blog. ‘The Black Widow Chronicles’ and the photographic posts in the ‘Silent Sunday’ series - the brainchild of Jay Mountford (www.jaymountfordphotography.co.uk), and which also helped me answer a recent question put out in the blogging world by David Goddin, a blogger and performance coach at www.changecontinuum.com.
David holds that if we truly blog for ourselves (as many of us claim to do) we would not publish. As David knows, this is not a premise I agree with. I do write for me AND I like to publish and have people enjoy (or read) my work. Not necessarily the same thing, I know!
I am touched and proud of my subscriber base figures and the thousands of views each month. It would be disingenuous to say anything else. I learnt, though, that my happiness or unhappiness with a piece of writing had no correlation to how many comments - or not - the piece received. That, while I like having a fan base, my decision to post takes no account of whether it is geared to attract comments - which often takes place off-blog anyway.
And, as many of our readers say, you can read a post and be moved to tears or laughter but struggle to come up with a comment which is intelligent enough; funny enough; worthy enough...anything enough. Or you just want to read a post, enjoy it and move on. That is, after all, what we do with other published work without that small 'pressure', for want of a kinder word, to comment.
That is not to say I will not comment on or promote other bloggers’ and writers’ posts I am affected by. I will. And, yes (to answer a friend’s question at the weekend) I will still enjoy arguing the toss about a post I have written; pimp it out and happy to talk about it online or offline; it will just be minus an inline blog comment system.
Not having a comment system on the blog doesn't negate opinion. I love opinion. But that gaping 'Leave A Reply' hasn't felt right for my blog for a long time. (And a little word of caution for you new, would be writers. A blog is a great way to get your work out there, but be wary of 'comments' as a way of validating or measuring the quality of that writing. The two often have little to do with each other.)
Anyway, all of that to say what?
That I understand the comment system and its value to some blogs, but it's not for mine? That I am immensely grateful for the learning, the commercial opportunities and the continuing support and engagement of a loyal and growing readership?
Yes. All true and valued...and yet that still isn’t quite ‘it’ for me.
The answer came in something I tweeted once:
My blog has become an important legacy to my children. A place they can visit time and again to view their mother's authentic self.
and for which there is really no comment.Melinda
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