One of the biggest benefits of taking up this blog again start of 2015 after a long pause, was my best friend also starting her own blog, as I’ve told you. Years back, when she visited me in Berlin, she had a first peek at how to install and write on blog.de. She then made two entries and stopped again.
When I restarted my blog this year, it somehow triggered her into taking up her own blog for real. But she did it for friends, only. So I knew, my sweetheart and I were the only ones able to read whatever she wrote. Then she added some other friends and family members. But this was it. From my personal point of view, this was good for me and the chosen few, but a loss for everybody else, who didn’t have the opportunity to follow her. But now she is considering to go public. Hooray! At long last…
There is an inherent pleasure to writing a blog, that has nothing to do with audience. Closest to that pleasure might be the impulse, that makes people keep a diary. A platform to put in words, what is going on in their life. To me, it’s comparable to taking snap-shots of my present state of mind. To be reviewed later, perhaps. As seldom as I take out old photo albums, as seldom do I browse through old posts of mine. But whenever I do, the effects are quite similar. Two things frequently happen: the past draws closer and presents itself vividly once more, enabling me to recall everything attached to the particular moment, I made that picture or wrote that entry. At the same time giving me the opportunity to look at it and myself from a distance – the distance of time and change. Personally, pictures don’t give me as much leeway for this latter introspection, maybe because my memory works in pictures, as I recently found out. So, looking at old pictures just beams me back into the time and place, they were taken at. Old blog entries, however, also give me an opportunity to revalue events, opinions and thoughts with some desistance.
But there is an additional thrill to writing a blog, knowing everybody can read it, that in my case makes me pay attention to spelling and wording, to name but one effect. Often to no avail. And considering readership, I also try not to write stupid entries. Which I would do more often, I guess, if this blog were for friends only. Relying on their good will to forgive me, if I aired any stupidity going through my mind without any reflection at all. This is the difference to keeping a personal journal, where one can be fairly sure, no one will ever read it apart from your next of kin, maybe. Discovering them in a suitcase in the attic, when clearing out your stuff after your furneral. As long as you have taken good care not to become real famous, lest your diary entries are exploited for a biography or, worse, a sensational peek into your private world by some member of the yellow press, after you deceased, that is.
Considering, whether my friend should go public or not, neither phrasing nor content are of any concern. As far as I know, she never had a single stupid thought in her life. And she is a native English speaker and a great writer.
I hope, she will go public. Because I truly believe, whoever gets hooked on what she has to say, would not only benefit from her writings and enjoy it. But also could not be a bad person. So, what is there to be afraid of?
During all the years writing my blog, there was not one single negative experience with any of the recipients. No vicious comment, no bullying, not even unfriendly reactions. To the contrary: all I ever got, was positive feedback. Or further, sometimes very interesting, information on the topic at hand. And I found new friends, cyber friends, but friends none the less. Kindred spirits, whom I keep in touch with, on and off, on this and other platforms. So my initial worry, lasting ten minutes or so, before pushing the “public” button for the first time, wasn’t substantive, I learned.
Another point in favour of me wishing her to go public; this platform needs more high quality entries! Maybe I don’t spend enough time browsing through other blogs. But I try to read at least one new entry each day to see, what co-bloggers are going on about. I wish, there were more writers of my friend’s ability around, to be honest. There is no shortage of offers, but my oh my… some things best stay unsaid. Or unwritten.
And last, but in no way least, is the satisfaction of knowing, that there is a readership at all. It is one thing to know, that personal friends and family follow your blog. And another, to see, how many folks are taking the time to follow, whatever it is, you are going on about. The statistic function on blog.de allowing me to see, how many people were on the blog and how many entries were clicked on every day, I am sometimes awed by the sheer number of readers. But moreover, their interest makes me happy and inspires me at the same time. I can’t explain the reason for this, as I write my blog solely for my own benefit. But am I? Writing this, I am not so sure, all of a sudden.
On the other hand, is writing in itself not an exercise to leave a record of some sort? Keeping track and in memory, for oneself and for others? What good would that be, if the idea of recipients were barred to begin with. Would anyone in history ever have gone through the trouble to put a chisel to a stone, if there wasn’t an inherent wish to have others know, too?