My Blogging Manifesto

My friend "Joe" and I have a long-standing debate over the wisdom of blogging. (His name isn't Joe, but I am always very cautious about using people's real name on my blog - not everyone is comfortable with the public nature of blogging, and I have strong convictions that one shouldn't be thrown into the public arena unwittingly.) In any event, Joe is vehemently opposed to blogging and has very polarized opinions over this new phenomena. To Joe, a good blog and one worth reading is one in which the individual is making a stand - pushing a cause, or advocating a position. And, he recognizes that it's a catch-22. When one sticks their neck out for a cause in such a public forum, it will invariably come back to haunt you. Ergo, don't blog. Any other type of blog, to quote him "is plain vanilla" and a pure act of narcissism. Ergo, don't blog.

Either way, you lose.

I understand where Joe is coming from, and a recent "blogging incident" served to solidify his opinion. I have the utmost respect for Joe and while I may not always agree with his viewpoints, they are always well thought-out, reasoned and always provide me with good brain food. His comments forced me to sit down and really think about my motivations for blogging. Why do I feel compelled to post entries, and frankly, why do I enjoy it so much? I have thought long and hard about his statements, and at one point, I came very close to pulling the plug on my blog.

I started blogging back in February, and I never expected it to be something to which I would be so devoted. Fomr the beginning, I made the decision that certain topics would be off limits - my work, politics, dating and relationships, and anything else that I might deem sensitive (erring on the side of caution). It also wasn't going to be my place to air out my dirty laundry (other than things like car troubles etc.), or anyone else's dirty laundry.

So, what was left to write about? A lot actually - random observations, humor, and as the title of my blog suggests, any sort of "meandering musings." Does that make my blog vanilla? I m not sure. Of course, my ego would hate to admit that my blog is "vanilla", but upon further reflection, the vanilla title doesn't bother me. I am not looking to be controversial - I don't think this is the place to do it. My goal is to simply put a smile on my face and on my readers' faces. My goal is to help me take my life less seriously, and to help me see the humor in the little things. The past few months have been very personally challenging, and through it all there have been a few beacons of light. My incredibly supportive friends, my family, my dog and yes, believe it or not, blogging. Blogging has helped me view life through a different lens - it has nudged me gently into focusing on the positive even if I've had a bad day, and I love that.

This left me with one more issue to consider - is my blogging an act of narcissism? This one is tougher. I am an actress, singer and overall, performer. Does that make me a narcissistic person? I m not sure. What motivates anyone to write, sing, act, orate or the like? I'd like to think that there are multiple motivations for that, and that they do not stem from pure acts of selfishness. For me, it's the simple desire to connect with people, to share oneself and to find a way to relate to people in a world that seems to be growing more and more disconnected. Don't get me wrong - I am not advocating blogging or any technology (such as e-mail, IM etc.) as the best way to connect with people. I'll take face-to-face communication or a telephone call over this detached medium every day. But, blogging sometimes makes that easier.

So readers, I would love to hear your thoughts/comments on this topic. Don't be shy - please chime in!


Blogger Kala said...

That would be such a travesty to simplify the "act of blogging" of no serious subject matter or issue as mere self gratification and narcissism.

IMHO, we have become too judgemental of peoples intentions. We forget to pause for the simple enjoyments of life. Humans socialize and blogging is just another means by which we interact. It doesn't have to be thought provoking or controversial to have some meaning. A blog can also be viewed as literary art - a well written or expressive blog can also be a source of entertainment and inspiration for some.

When artist post their paintings or other artworks for people to view, are they narcissistic? Similarly, if a writer post writings for others to read, is the writer being narcissistic?

When you get down to it - life is too short to be worried about who is or is not a narcissistic.

People are dying around the world or living in terror. I am sure they would trade places any day to read a "meaningless" blog.

In life, in America, we have this mindless luxury, why not exercise that previlege and spoil ourselves to a moment of indulgence even if that means for some, its narcissistic? Just as one chooses what to write, one also chooses what to read.

That is my melodramatic blog ;)

2:56 AM


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