Menosophical [men-oh-soffy-cul]; the condition of waxing introspective - an occasional series on the more deep and meaningful.


A passing comment by one of my lovely new "connexions" got me pondering.  It was in relation to the early days of blogging.  She remarked how it was both fun yet scary.

Scary?

It never even crossed my mind to be in a state of fear about this and I wondered how one could be.  I do not wish at all to belittle the sentiment.  This is merely the curiosity of the counselor and philosophical seeker, ever introspecting about the nature of Mankind and how it can help myself, the individual of the species, to grow.

The thought arose, "ought one to be scared of letting the greater world into one's own little, hardly-worth-a-pinch-of-salt, world?"

Certainly there should be some level of circumspection; all the warning notices when setting up point to the fact that there are plenty of folk who perhaps have no limitations or self-restraint.  Indeed, as mentioned previously, when simply following random threads in Blogland it soon became clear there were places to avoid.  Each to their own, of course.  Live and let live and all that.

A censor rating system for bloggers might be an idea though.

How would this cause one to feel in any way timorous or even fearful?  Then it struck me.  Comments.  Or worse, NO comments.  Writing and posting (or photographing  and posting or whatever) is all good and well.  The purpose of blogging though is the sharing.  Sharing implies feedback - touchy/feely - possible criticism - maybe even downright castigation.  That last one is unlikely, unless one has gone online with a thunderous roar of one's own.  The first two would generally be accepted as welcome. 

Many folk though have trouble receiving criticism.  Multiple factors are involved of course and this is not the place for a treatise; it is, however, worth noting that the baseline factor is ego.  Not in the megalomaniac sense, but in the sense-of-identity scenario.   If someone has a difference of opinion and we are super-invested in our 'product', it can prick the hide somewhat.  But at least they cared enough, felt enough, to respond.  Why do we tie ourselves in knots about such things?  Particularly if we are running a simple life-interest type of blog with no special axe to grind?  Have a say then get out of the way.

Ah yes, but then one realised that there was a desire for comments.  Any comments.  Connection.  This of course is a form of validation.  No matter how independent, mature or detached one is, connection matters.  Finding common ground, comparing notes, even getting helping pointers.

That's where insecurity, if it is allowed, can seep in.  Will anyone want to bother with a mid-aged-mudhead and her ramblings?  With so many incredible photos already out there, what difference is my attempt going to make to anyone's day?  Creative writing? Tell 'er she's dreamin'! Who - for crying out loud - is ever going to want to look at mandalas?  Phah!  

Strewth!  What was I thinking???

There. I found a bit of deep scary-fication.  What on earth was I doing, flaunting myself upon the ether?  Our Gurudev wrote "If you can't stand your own company, why inflict it on others?"  So it didn't last long.  I am not by nature fearful.  Doubt-filled yes, fearful no.  I am also very content and have no trouble being in my own company.  As a general rule in the 'actual facing' world, it seems my company is enjoyed, so why would it not be so in Blogland? 

That brought up the next potential sticking point.  Finding one's voice, as they say. Well, call me strange (or anything else, I can't hear you after all), but it all just happened.  Perhaps because I am secure internally, as well as never having been one for 'putting up a front', the voice you read is pretty much the voice that speaks - just a wee bit more coherent.

(which should have you worrying about my state of speech!  Think menosappelled.)

There has been no great planning.  There still isn't.  Except now there is a notion to grow things such that "The Serious Blog" can get built at a later date.  So I write it as it is and however it decides to fall out of the brain.  Sometimes that's okay.  Other times mediocre.  It's all fun.  It's all learning.  It's all practice. It's all sand-papering the rough edges.

Scary? 

No. (Not yet anyway…)

4 comments:

  1. Brava, Yamini.
    I really enjoyed this, Yam, and I love the way you phrase things. "I write it...however it decides to fall out of the brain" is wonderful, and "the voice you read is pretty much the voice that speaks - just a wee bit more coherent" is so true. I can edit my blog, I can't always edit my mouth, no matter how much I might wish to.
    And "It's all sand-papering the rough edges" is perfect, too.
    My fear with regard to my blog is one that happened several years ago now. I lost my voice...not my talk-out-loud voice (wouldn't my husband be thrilled if that happened?) but my writing style.
    My blog started off as a book about our travels, written in short chapters in a style that was definitely "mine own" and which I love. Then it stopped.
    I haven't been able to retrieve it in years.
    I would have said this in an e-mail but some of your readers might relate to it, or even have an answer for me. In the meantime, I post photos on memes, and write poetry (and some prose) with an online writers' group, and wait for the day my lost voice decides to speak out.
    K

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  2. Hari OM
    Oh Kay! Firstly thank you for the kind words. I truly appreciate your input.

    I am flattered you think I may have enough readers that someone will add to the matter of 'voice' - but at two months, it is still only in the double figures each day - that's not to say there's no interest. It's that SEO thing I have to get worked out!! I am impressed that it has got an established return readership already though and must just keep plugging away.

    Kay, I think you are perhaps 'dissing' yourself a bit. Having read your blog every day since discovering it, I believe you have a firm and wonderful voice. True, it may not be the 'pet project' - but what you have is certainly yours!!!

    I have been writing in all styles, for myself mostly, occasionally in print, since childhood. Different mediums naturally demand different 'tones' but the voice remains the same. I think if you look back, you will find it IS the same voice, but the blogging medium defined the 'tone' for you.

    My tuppence worth would be - take the 'book' portion out into your private space again. Keep blogging as you are. Let the book grow like a mushroom in the dark recesses of your PC and your own good self. OR; don't think of it as a book but as a traveblog and separate it. as I have with the 4 aspects of YAM. Make it a longer, weekly or even monthly post in the style of Paying Ready Attention - you see the link in my blog roll.

    I am glad you felt free to write this here and if anyone else drops by, all the better!!! Hugs, YAM xx

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  3. I enjoyed this, Yam, and you make some excellent points. I think my main emotion when I launched my first blog posts into the ether was curiosity as to whether anyone would ever find and read them. :-) I was lucky in that an established blogger had promised that if i started a blog she would put it on her blog-roll and it went on from there.

    Finding my voice just happened without my noticing it. I didn't start a blog to prove or sell anything, but simply because I enjoyed reading glimpses of other people's lives and felt drawn to share a bit about my own.

    Like you I value above everything else the comment conversation with those who read what I write, which is why I always respond to every comment. You can't really have a one-sided conversation and the comments can be more fun than the post itself. :-)

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  4. Hari Om
    He He - "comments can be more fun than the post itself" - so true Perpetua-ji!! It also fascinating to see which bits of the post someone picks up on. Also totally agree with your second paragraph.

    HHmmm getting onto someone else's blogroll would be a 'feather'.

    Currently things are a bit too up and down - that's partly a conscious thing as I wish to find out the sorts of material that is drawing the most interest. One thing has become very obvious, very fast. Animals. Anything with animals. Photos. Fiction. Menosukhi. Monday is far and away my high-traffic day!!!

    And klutzy YAM. YAM the nut seems to be popular! It's ALL me of course, but for this purpose, one needs to find the balancing point. Early days.

    Thank you sooooo much for being one of my early 'returners' and your feedback and observations are always welcome. YAM xxx

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