Sunday back-of-the-book…REALLY???

back of the book

 

~ I’m taking the morning off from my coffee shop article series for a much needed day off……but if you’re interested in a few of my ramblings read on – Kenneth

What’s the point of blogging?”

That’s the subject of both an email conversation I had with someone this past week as well as a conversation I had with someone at coffee……what do you think the point of blogging is?

Here’s my take;

First there are the obvious reasons;

—-) Some people blog as a way to meet people via the Online World

—-) Some people blog as a way of self-therapy

—-) Some people blog because they love writing and it gives them an opportunity to write publicly

—-) Some people blog as a way to showcase their artwork, poems, writing, etc

—-) Some people blog as a way to market themselves to a larger audience in the hopes of selling a book, artwork, etc.

There are lots of reasons people blog………but one of the most important reasons that I believe has yet to be fully analyzed by the psychological community is that more-and-more writers are blogging because the Western World has begun to change. Thanks to reality television, Social Networks, and other direct-to-audience type mediums, more and more readers want to connect more with the authors, journalists and writers that they read.

‘Back in the day’ people were satisfied with reading a weekly column in the local newspaper by their favorite journalist…..but now people want to connect more with the personality of the individual journalist or writer; people want to feel a closer affinity to the writer.

One of my favorite novelists is Michael Crichton the Sci-Fi writer who died a couple years ago….I always enjoyed Crichton, but it was after I read his memoir “Travels” that I felt even ‘closer’ to him and who he was…..through reading about his personal experiences, his private life, I felt that the chasm between him as a person and me as the reader decreased through my reading of his memoir…..and that is what blogging allows; it gives us a bigger window into the life of the writer that we have come to love.

—) Have you ever watched a movie or read a book in which you became so connected to the characters that you wished the story would go on longer?

—) Have you ever seen a documentary or Hollywood Movie based on a true story and after you finish watching it you find yourself on google looking up more information about the characters or events?

I became a big fan of Grace Kelly when I was younger and not only did I make a point to find and watch all 11 of the films she starred in….I also started buying up every biography on her life that I could find (I think I have six or seven Kelly biographies on my shelves). She died when I was only a couple years old but through watching her films I wanted to learn more about her life.

And so blogging gives us a deeper dimension between the writer and us the reader. It’s for this reason why it can feel like we’re losing a friend when a blogger goes away; we’ve come to feel like we’re a part of the blogger’s life and then they announce that they are no longer going to publish their writings….this can be a very sad experience for readers.

For the blogger, the experience of writing publicly can be a bit overwhelming. What began as the simple task of publishing a couple of their personal thoughts, pictures, or art…..has now skyrocketed into unrequested popularity. Now the blogger feels ‘guilty’ if they don’t get their articles published on time or they feel guilty if they don’t interact with their readers……….

It can also be a bit daunting to come face-to-face with the reality of blogging as being an important component of society. Writers effect the culture. Whether a writer recognizes this or not is irrelevant; but the fact of the matter is that as people interact with your writings day-after-day they cannot help but be influenced (whether negatively or positively) by your articles.

—) Charles Dickens changed the culture through his writing

—) Karl Marx changed the culture through his writing

—) Authors and writers throughout history create both positive and negative change within society

And so the growing awareness that your ‘writing matters’ can intimidate the bloggers who don’t want to be responsible for other people and their lives, “I’m not my brother’s keeper” the bloggers says as they mimic Cain…but ultimately in our heart we know that we are responsible for our actions.  Everything was fine when 15 people were reading your blog…..but now that 10,000 people come to your site every week your perspective toward blogging has changed dramatically.

And so it’s for all of these reasons and more that I keep certain elements of my private life…private. I admire bloggers who post pictures of their family, who talk about private arguments they’ve had with relatives, and who get into the personal nitty-gritty details of their relationship with their significant other……but unfortunately, that is not my style. Thus, since I believe one of the reasons people come to blogs is for a deeper connection to the writer…..I’ve had to develop my own method toward conveying a sense of the ‘personal me’ while at the same time retaining as much privacy to my personal life.

I’ve also been aware for some time that I need one day a week to rest from my writing. At times it can be a herculean task to put together a 700-900 word article about the interactions I have with people at coffee. Not because I am at a loss for material, I actually have hundreds of encounters I’ve yet to write about…….but rather due to the time it takes to craft the real-life-conversation into a story that is readable, interesting and palatable enough for readers to bite into.

Therefore, I’ve decided to turn my Sunday post into my day off while at the same time giving me the opportunity to write about things that I’m thinking about….such as today; “What is the point of blogging.”

I’ve never been successful in my blog at doing a weekly
theme; every time I tried last year the response was dismal to say the least………so this time I’m taking the pressure of myself; Today is my day of d**n it! So I’m gonna write about whatever I want to write about and it doesn’t matter if anybody reads it!

 

My Drinking in the Culture Tour resumes tomorrow, some of my upcoming articles are;

A pastor’s secret sins…REALLY???”

I got yelled at in church this past week…REALLY???”

Popularity sucks…REALLY???

 

Kenneth

BTW) I’m currently on a national and worldwide tour of 100 coffee shops in the Central America, the United States, and Europe…..my next stop is Atlanta on the first Saturday in March. Check out my homepage for dates and locations; I’d love to have coffee with you!



Categories: Culture & Society

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

44 replies

  1. I certainly don’t know how you keep up all your correspondence, Kenneth.

    I chose to….. stop replying to every comment on my blog mid last year – I couldn’t keep up and I’m single & retired. And this year, well, I’ve decided to ‘wipe the email inbox clean of unread new blog post notifications” at least once a week, or more. I follow too many blogs and every time I UNfollow a few, I find even more interesting blogs of highly creative and interesting artists to Follow.

    I blog to share my photos, nothing more, nothing less. I’ve changed from 2-3 posts a night to once or twice a week. Soon, I hope to dispense with ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ completely – I spend too much time on the computer at home and not enough time outdoors in the fresh air.

    I’m a very fast typist, but you, Kenneth, must be a typist of Olympic Standards – LOL.

    • Lol…. well when I was thirteen I used to have to work in my dad’s office 50 hours a week during the summer (I’m sure it was not government approved via child labor laws lol) and when I wasn’t answering the phone I would sit at the computer and the ONLY game he had on it was a typing game that helped teach you to type faster. I’m sure my skills have decreased in all these years… but I’m still pretty fast and back then in my ‘hay-day’ I got up to around 100-110 words per minute 🙂

  2. I consider blogging the only way I have to share the spiritual (non religious) lessons that I have learned, as well as the experiences I’ve had in learning them . . . especially since the sound of my voice these days has such a profound clouding over effect on my wife’s eyes.

    • JJ, and you’ve got some AESOME lessons. I still can’t figure out why you haven’t published a book yet…. I mean you built a house in the middle of the wilderness like the Ingalls! And Laura was a bestseller 🙂

  3. Ha! And, I thought you were going to take a day off!

    It’s interesting, your comment about creating a deeper connection to writers and people you have read. Although that did occur, it was not my impetus for blogging. I originally started looking at blogs, quite accidentally. I was sick of the crap that was on my Yahoo Home page and tried other ones without much luck. I don’t remember how I found WordPress but I ended up finding a “Freshly Pressed” article. I was so excited to read something from a genuine person that I created my own blog a wrote an article (since removed from my blog) titled, “Goodbye Yahoo, Hello Freshly Pressed”, The rest is history.

    One of the things that I discovered while doing genealogy is that those people who took the time to preserve their life are the ones we learn the most from. If I apply that to current times, then it is the writers of the world who will provide our greatest source of information, although photography and videography in particular are threatening to change that. I do believe that we are becoming a visual society, where visual media rules as the source of education. Look at the influence it has on the younger generations. Some, older than I, may say the same thing occurred to my generation with the advent of television.

    I completely understand what you mean when you are talking about having a blog with thousands of followers. I had seen those types of blogs and was actually quite intimidated by the responsibility of having a large following. I saw that people who had large blogs, wrote daily. Because of that, I made a point early on, to never write daily. I love the people I have connected with through blogging but I never want to feel that I am obligated to blog. I blog because I want to…whether it is for reading pleasure or for writing. I do try to take care to acknowledge people who write comments but I don’t want to spend all my waking moments doing so.

    I admire those people who do write well and consistently. You really are quite a good writer, Kenneth and you talk about things that a lot of people wont touch…subjects that cross the PC line, so to speak. But, these are also subjects that people want to talk about and no longer feel they can. I really do get all the work that goes into writing an article. And, YES…you should take a day to write WHATEVER you want…it’s good for the soul.

    Enjoy your day!

    • Well for me, being able to ramble on-and-on with and not feeling confined to 900 words or less is in my mind being able to take a day off! Ha ha….

      The only time I log onto Yahoo News now-a-days is if I want to copy and paste the headlines if I’m writing an article about the absurdity of NEWS journalism today. Its SO common to read Huff Post and Yahoo News headlines like, “Miley Cyrus gets naked”, “Reality TV Star in a scandal”, etc…the stories are absurd and they are a joke.

      I often get comments and emails from people that say, “Kenneth, I love your writing but i can only read your article periodically because they take so much of my energy to think about”…. and I would rather get emails like that than people who accuse me of triviality 😀

  4. I blog for a totally different reason. Four and a half years ago I moved to live in China. Family and friends were curious as to how I found life there. So I started blogging about things in China that I had learnt, or which intrigued me. Over time I realised that there is a lot of wrong/negative information about China in the west and that people have a very skewed impression of what it is like as a country. I would hate to be thought of as an apologist for the regime here, there are (as in other countries) many things that are wrong, but there are also interesting people and points of view and knowing about them can help westerners have a more balanced view of the place. When I eventually leave China I doubt I will have a blog – it is certainly time consuming.

    • yes, its VERY time consuming.

      And I think you’re providing an awesome service to culture and humanity because I’ve read a couple books about china and I totally agree with ya that there is a lot of wrong/negative information about the place

  5. All I wanna know is….is that Peet’s Coffee???? 🙂

  6. Happy Sunday, Kenneth!! Peace 🙂

  7. we all need a day of on times. clear our heads and make sense of our own created chaos.
    And what ever we do should be fun doing. even if it is blogging 😀 enjoy my friend the coffee to

  8. I don’t care what you write about, I’m still reading your blog, not that I don’t have enough to read.. Your thoughts are interesting, provoking and funny.
    It’s amazing how you even deal with and make it through all this interaction between up’s and down’s of the life. You are right, here we make a connection, social chain. I admire your talent , but I think you deserve and need a day off.
    Looking forward reading your book 😊

    Expresso taste good 😃

  9. When someone asks “What’s the point of blogging?”, I could ask them what the point of talking is. People want to communicate with others. There was a time I did not want to admit that I was a social creature. I think the trouble was not that I had nothing to say, but I did not know how. Then I started writing and improved at it like every other skill.

  10. that’s too funny; i don’t care moment:)) yeah i can appreciate that.

  11. I’m going to change my blog for personal reasons. When I finally get it set up, I’ll let you know. Hope you’ll follow. Enjoy your day off 🙂

  12. Mr. Justice,

    Here is a suggestion for another location for your Tour: After Denver, it’s a hop, skip, and a jump up to Bozeman, Montana. Bozeman is the fourth largest city in Montana (over 37,000 ‘friendly folks and a coupla’ ol’ sore-heads,’ as the welcoming sign used to say), and the home of Montana State University. My husband and I could meet you at McD…’s for a medium coffee with one shot of espresso, but I think you would really enjoy observing and discoursing at one of the many popular coffee shops in town – especially when college is in session.

    And, regarding blogging: it is also a way for the world’s people to unite and share their understanding of how to find contentment in life, and how to avoid being taken advantage of by the sophisticated advertisers, so that the future will be a better place for succeeding generations.

    • Hegna11 – I just wanted to chime in and add that my sister-in-law wants to go to Montana very much. We were all chatting over the holidays and somehow the travel topic came up – and she said Montana was at the top of her list. i also think one of the defecting Russians in the Hunt for the Red October wanted to see your sate very much as well. 🙂 anyhow, hope the culturemonk can make it there on his tour – and also – McD…’s has come A LONG way with their coffee bars… 🙂

    • Montana might be out of the scope of my abilities this year but one day soon I would love to come out there 🙂

  13. I think that you are on to something….Blogging provides a way for a reader to learn and understand, but at the same time interact with what is happening. It encourages those who normally would remain silent to put themselves out there and express opinions.

    • Bamauthor,

      If only I had my PhD then maybe I could turn my article into the subject of a research journal study and get published in a reputable psychology journal…. nahhh…that sounds like too much work 🙂

  14. I started blogging to stay current with what’s going on in the art world. I love the beautiful photographs, artwork, poetry, literature and reviews. The Nature blogs are wonderful and I’ve managed to make some sweet friends along the way. Blogging has given me a way to see what artists all over the world are doing and I appreciate that very much.

  15. After our communication, I was able to one again solidify my reasons for blogging. I feel very passionate about the parenting issues I write about. I want to bridge the scholar-practioner divide (bring academic research to parents in a practical way). Finally, I want to be a life-giving presence in the blogosphere, inspiring, vitalizing, and renewing parents on a path to seeking clarity in parenting. P.S. I just KNEW you had an outrageously fast typing speed!

  16. Really enjoyed this post.

    We blog because we can!

  17. Very good post. I’ve asked the question of why blog many times. I started 3 yrs ago. But, I have been a writer and teacher all my life. I taught school 38 yrs. Blogging gives me the forum for continued teaching.

    My following is not large. I would like to have more, for vanity reasons, I guess. The thing that irks me most is the lack of reply and discussion. A blogging site I used to contribute to had lots of discussion and dialogue. It was good to have that. The WordPress experience is very different. Today, I posted a poll to hunt for some insight.

    I decided to follow your blog. You have some very interesting posts. And your coffee shop tour sounds interesting. Is that a one man show? Or, do you have a tour bus and roadies and stuff. [he smiles]

  18. I blog because I like to talk/write about certain topics. The internet makes it easier to find people that like to talk and write about the same things. I don’t think I will be giving away too much personal information to say, much to her chagrin, my wife thinks what I blog about is pretty boring. She likes that I am interested in philosophy and all, but it literally puts her to sleep like chloroform.

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