Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Capturing the Color

Blogging, which, to be fair, I’ve only done for a month, has its drawbacks. It feels something like hollering back into a long dark tunnel, as you’re walking out. Or maybe it’s more like setting off one of those parade poppers that have colorful streamers – there’s a big beautiful burst, but then the streamers fall to the ground behind us, ignored.

OK, I’m still working on my similes.

Writing a blog is homework for a Memoir class at Chatham University taught by the extraordinary Sheryl St Germain.* It is intended to be a place where we can respond to the prompts from "Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir," by Natalie Goldberg, or respond to assigned readings. In short, it's a place to exercise our writing muscles.

It’s a pleasure to read my classmate’s blogs, on which we are to comment. And I enjoy reading what others say in their comments, but here’s where it gets cumbersome.

Everyone is busy, and I’m lucky that am only taking the one class. But even for me, it feels too time consuming to track back reading the comments about the comments, and then, days later, more comments back. I suspect readership, even among the willing classmates, falls off quickly. So final comments remain unread, ignored, mere litter at the parade.

And, darn it, there’s some real interesting writing going on there.

So, as I sit here exercising my writing muscle I realize it is time to come ‘round to a brilliant conclusion. Maybe it’s this: if they’re beautiful, let’s pick up the streamers, hold on to them and run with delight.

*read: apple


  1. I agree. I wish that Blogger had a notification system like facebook which alerts you when someone comments on your blog, and then when someone comments on that comment. But having to drag down the list and remember, were there four comments on that post yesterday, or three, is tiresome.

    But comments are the best part of this gig. It lets you know that someone is reading what you're throwing out there. That there's someone listening in the dark cave that you're shouting into, etc.

    And p.s. I think the metaphor of comments being strewn about like parade litter is a lovely one.

  2. Thanks, and btw: you can get an alert when someone comments on YOUR blog, (--> Dashboard, Settings, Comments tab, Comment communication)

    What's hard for me is trying to follow the comments that add up on other people's blogs.

  3. I'm still annoyed that it doesn't let you know if someone's commented on a blog that you've previously commented on (someone else's). Facebook is all over this. It's actually very annoying. If I've commented on someone's picture a year ago and some stranger comments on it later, I'm notified.

    But I wish blogspot did this! You're all not strangers and I want to know what you're saying!

  4. i was just coming back to tell you that. excellent.

  5. When I log on to blogspot to see if there are any new comments...it's like checking to see if you got any mail...real tangible mail in the mailbox...old school style. I didn't realize until just now that you're right. What makes this blog so great is that OTHERS read and comment. I can't imagine how I'd feel if it was just my own page that I wrote blogs on that no one ever looked at....maybe that's the essence of writing in general for me.

  6. Blogging has become a part of my daily schedule and I am glad that I have a place to practice my craft (most importantly receive comments), but I do agree that keeping up with comments and commenting can be chore. However, I don't know if I would look forward to blogging if I knew that no one would read it.

  7. i hope you don't think i was saying i don't like the comments, i do. it's just that they fall away into nothingness with regards to readers. wonder how many of us will read this one?

    if you're reading this, please 'comment' just to say so ... I'll count.

  8. I read it! But I'm way behind on reading everyone else's blogs.

    My only semi-useful suggestion is to revisit these posts later. Maybe the ones that stand out to you, or ones you want to imitate or take an idea from?

  9. Maybe you could just set one day to check blog posts? Like Wednesday? If at least class members (and me) agreed to have our posts done by then you'd only have to check once a week. But I'm glad you brought this up. Let's talk in class about it.


Please feel free to jot down your thoughts. I would appreciate knowing your reaction if any, to what I've written, and/or your feedback on how I've written it. I am actively trying to be a better writer.