Saturday, February 18, 2017

Blogging Is Not Dead

This morning on Facebook - the proclamation on one of my friends posts "Blogging is Dead".

And I look back on a year of blog posts. Hundreds of blog posts. Posts about an old black lab, of firearms, and fun, and more saturated fat than should be allowed by law.

One year.  Such much can happen in a year

For me it was the year 2014. One new grave, surrounded by flags.  One wooden box, bearing in cold air a warmth that can't be replaced.

On each are short simple words that do not begin to carry the weight or the sharpness of their past. Which is why I wrote something longer than a blog post and  placed in the grieving hands of my family.

But as a new author, everyone said "you need to do all of the social media"
I did my first twitter.  It had all the literary grace of Rodan. #Ineedmoreroomforwords

I started Facebook.  It's like the school yard with free ice cream and magic. I am having some fun with it.

But it also leaves me wanting for something---for it does not feel like writing. It's fun, but simply that---fun. To me, it's not flight or mode of combat, words that take on shape and form, Even as I shared in the laughter and offered short comforting thoughts, I missed those long tales that are born from a soul that's an irrepressible retailer of words, a shopkeeper of phrase, an enabler of intent. Facebook is like hanging out with your best friends with beer.  Blogging to me is sipping single malt scotch in front of a typewriter, which is where many of my stories started.

Still, where else can you post a cat with a gun, riding a fire snorting unicorn.
So I'll have my fun on Facebook even as I quietly say into the silent night - Blogging is not dead.

Book #2 was born, out of a blog post that became a chapter, than another, and another. Because I am a writer and my world has too many words.

The year after that, Book #3 rolled out, my first fiction (dialogue.  Ack!!!)

But for now, no book, just blogging.

I sit here now, no music playing, no noise---just the soft breathing of a dog and my thoughts, words almost imperceptible to the senses, hanging on the air to be plucked by my fingers and laid upon this white table.  This computer is my accomplice, guarding me with its quiet accord, bearing with me the seclusion, the mystery. I should probably get up and do some housework, but while the words are still within reach, I am imprisoned by the very freedom of my hands.

I think of the classic writers - would Jane Austin been a hit on Pinterest? Would Hemingway have been popular on Instagram? How many Twitters to win a Pulitzer prize?

Creativity can be short bursts of color and forms and words.

But not in the world that I like to live in.
I am a writer and I have too many words.

I am the run on sentence. I am the "too many commas".  I can't take a morning standing out among broken trees, red and blue lights flashing as words pass over the forest floor like the sound of big guns and make it a quip.  I can't look out upon the hills, the top of one wreathed in billowing smoke, as around me there are shouts and hollers, ringing out like war cries, yet spoken in hushed tones so as not to disturb the dead, and express it with a hashtag.

For words are my truth immense and they are my voice.

Blogging is dead.

It is not dead, it's strings of thoughts that you would have to travel far ahead not to hear, before you outrun the reach of a voice.  You can turn off your modem, but the words still exist.  For they are my words, and though confined to a virtual reality, they are words that exist, in my head and my heart, their tone from the stillness and gloom of a life with a past where my words were my one truth in each passing day.
You can chose to turn away, or turn off and not read.  It does not mean that the words are dead.  For I am a writer, and that is what we do, sharing the nature of that internal silence that follows us down into the depths of our soul and brings up a bucket from a well---one brimming with words that spill over, to quench the thirsty hearts of whispering men.

I will still enjoy my Facebook, it's like waving at a neighbor you like as you pass each other coming out of your drive.

I'll still fail at Twitter and most other forms of social media. I'm just not interested in being connected to the whole world 24 and 7 and I'm perfectly happy being friends with only a few dozen people who realize that friendship is not a button, it is a gift.

I've realized that those that truly care for us don't require constant validation, and if I don't send someone a Facebook "Like" on some un-posted socially acceptable schedule, my true friends will just chuckle and move on. For I am a writer---that solitary person that stood in the corner of the school yard and just looked on at the popular kids. But I always had the words, even when I was too solitary to say them.

I can go weeks and weeks and not talk to people I love. I will continue to be bad at responding to emails. I will love a few of my friends more than I can ever say. There are a dozen of you I would take a bullet for. So, I say it on here, this is the place where I go to tell you the words that I meant to say, to offer a kind touch, or wake you up from some slumbering place where shadows may soon pounce.

It is what it is, a way to capture in words on a screen instead of a page, pages that can be held close in, or telegraphed to the world. It can be whimsy, it can be fun, it can be as disturbed as the mind behind it, or as calm someone one can stare at in wonder, words that reach out like a consoling whisper. It can be as intimate as a kiss or as impersonal as the wind.

It can simply be a piece of bacon and a smile.

Blogging is not dead.

It is alive when the muse fails and the hands stay still in the air with an honest idiocy of objective which made their fruitlessness both profound and poignant. It is alive, when the fingers dance over the keyboard in a frenzy, grappling with ghosts in one final act of common courage.

It is alive when the keyboard is silent and the house stills and the one you treasure more than anything on earth looks up from the smart phone that you will never own and says "I love what you just wrote".
It is alive because it is here my voice has no word count, it can be black and white or filled with color.  It will be stories of battles fought and won, of great mysteries, and simple pleasures. It will be warnings that the younger self will not grasp until the older self  breathes its last. It will be joys and sad caresses, tender words laid out upon the tongue like a wafer, a benediction, a blessing, a self-communion of one, formed of two hands. If you do not read, I will still write as I do not write so you can claim some part of me. But if you come out from beneath that place---that conception of existence we hide under like a tortoise in his shell and listen---the words will draw breath, even after I am gone.

Blogging is not dead.

It breathes as long as I do.  Because I'm a writer and there are so many words.
 - Brigid


drjim said...

Wonderfully put, Brigid.

The thing that bugs me about FarceBook are the people who "friend" you, and then tear you to shreds about what you post.

Civility seems to be in *very* short supply over there....

Phil said...

They tried to proclaim Blogging had died years ago before Twitter even got popular and here we are still.

I have yet to find a platform that is so utilitarian and has so many options for expressing your thoughts.

Facebook is for kids and Twitter is for people who can't form complete sentences to begin with.

In five minutes time, I can whip out a Blog post with video, gif's, charts, PDF's or pictures that can express my feelings without me ever typing a word except for a title or I can spend days or weeks researching a subject that I feel strongly about and publish it to the entire world with the push of one button.

You are truly a wordsmith of the highest order but Blogging can let anyone express their thoughts no matter their mastery of language or it's nuances.

According to the hit counts I see at some of the blogs run by solitary individuals putting out posts day after day, millions of people still read blogs, every single day.

To paraphrase Mark Twain,
the rumors of it's demise are greatly exaggerated.

Anonymous said...

The writer ... and the appreciative reader.


Rich in NC said...

FB is like pizza and beer with friends at a sports bar.

Blogging is like an evening at a great restaurant with great friends, sharing and enjoying every last delicious thought, morsel, and sip, not wanting the evening to ever end.
[at least, it is when Ms B posts a pile of words like these ones she's posted here]
Thank You

Rich in NC

ambisinistral said...

Eh ... I keep clunking away at it.

Patrick said...

Blogging allows writers a place to develop their skills as well. I like to sometimes go back to earlier posts in some of the blogs I follow and see how the skills have developed over the years. In some cases, such as this one, they have a natural talent that seems to be innate and required little to improve, at least within the sample I have to review.

Rev. Paul said...

It's those words ... too many or not ... that keep me coming back for more.

John said...

I started reading in the late 1950s and it was an age when books magically showed up at the library. Later, as my awareness changed, I knew that books were written by human beings. But the writers were a breed apart, living in some magical land where galactic spanning organizations fought against evil, detectives always caught the bad, where magic and reality crossed, writers created worlds in which great people did great things, and even average people had extraordinary lives.

The dry prose of book jacket blurbs didn't really make the author seem like a living person. But when I began reading blogs, I found that authors had good days and bad days, they had families, they had day jobs, they had successes and failures, and they were real people.

Bloggers have opened my eyes to how much writers are like me, and then made me see how wonderfully different they are.

Thank you all for your writing, and by doing so, making me a part of a bigger and greater world.

Borepatch said...

Twitter? 140 characters? Too many words is right.