Monday, January 19, 2009

Why I Blog

I've been meaning to talk to you for a while about this, ever since I read Andrew Sullivan's blog in the Atlantic Monthly about why he blogs. Sullivan inspired me and made me think about the rationale behind writing this blog (which is purely its own reward, because while Sullivan gets paid to pontificate on this new world means of communication, I do it gratis).

What really hit me in Sullivan's essay was this quote:

"Alone in front of a computer, at any moment, are two people: a blogger and a reader. The proximity is palpable, the moment human -- whatever authority a blogger has is derived not from the institution he works for but from the humanness he conveys. This is writing with emotion not just under but always breaking through the surface. It renders a writer and a reader not just connected but linked in a visceral, personal way. The only term that really describes this is friendship. And it is a relatively new thing to write for thousands and thousands of friends. "

And right now, we are those two people. I hadn't really considered it before, but blogging is the most direct and purest form of writing I do. My books are edited and polished, first by me (which I also do here), but then by at least one or two more people. A cover artist gets involved and puts his or her spin on my work, giving it a face he or she finds appropriate and/or marketable. Marketing people decide the best ways to tantalize a reader.

None of that exists with a blog. It's just you and me. Sure, part of the reason I blog is a hope that I will tempt you into buying one or more (or all) of my books and stories. But more and more, I have found that I love the one-on-one contact this affords me. It truly is more like a conversation between friends.

I love the freedom of this blog, with no editorial intervention telling me what or how to say something. Aside from the occasional posting of new releases or reviews or things along those lines, I'm free to talk about whatever I want: my personal life, issues that matter to me, trends of the day. And you can talk back. Immediately. I start checking, obsessively compulsively, for responses about five minutes after I post a blog. This factor is what really makes this blog more like a conversation between you and me, between friends.

And for someone who really has little contact with the outside world (I write from home) and my only office mate here is Lily, my Boston Terrier, your comments and the thoughts you send my way mean a lot.

So I didn't write this little blog to echo Andrew Sullivan and his eloquent musings about blogging, but to thank you for being there, for reading and subscribing (you did subscribe, didn't you?)...and for being a friend. I hope I've made you think, laugh, or get a little excited, in whatever way excites you.

I will refrain from closing with the lyrics of my favorite sitcom of all time, The Golden Girls. That would be corny, but you know how the song goes. And I do.

2 comments:

  1. It's amazing Rick what you find out when you start doing research about someone. This post shows a totally different side of you - dare I say sensitive? *g* I know, guys don't like to hear the 's' or 'e' as in emotional, words.

    I wish I had a Lily (your Boston) because I also work from home. My 'Lily' was a male Doberman named Jesse, (hence the name of the blog) who is now in dog heaven chasing cats and finding bones. This is such a wonderful glimpse of another Rick Reed that I wonder who is the real Rick -- Is it the Rick R. Reed, horror author? Or the very sensitive introspecive person who penned this piece? Or a combination of both? I guess I'll figure it out.

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  2. Somehow I used the wrong profile -- don't know how *g* but you know where to find me.

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