Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Learning Process

Life is like playing a violin solo in public, and learning the instrument as one goes on. --Samuel Butler

This quote from Samuel Butler has been popping up in my mind, because it is exactly how I feel about blogging. I opened this blog nearly a year ago. A friend pointed out to me in February that I hadn't done anything with it. "I don't know WHAT to do with it," I complained. I think I was actually whining. Like most things in life, it has required that I jump in and figure it out as I go along. I hate that. I have issues with doing things wrong.

It seemed first of all monumentally egotistic to think anyone would want to read my rambling thoughts, and I didn't have a single, specific passion that I wanted to make my focus. Then I decided that, since no one was reading it anyway, I might as well just write and let it develop; then, if one particular thing kept coming up as a theme, I could always start over with a new blog on that subject. One result has been that the writing is getting better, slowly.

Reading other blogs has helped, since there are as many types of blogs out there as one could imagine (see Blogs I Follow on my profile page for some that I like). One I just discovered and love, is http://www.schmutzie.com/. Schmutzie was recently the "BlogHer of the Week," (see http://www.blogher.com/). She writes with a unique voice, and inspires me to trust my own voice to develop.

Now, I know there are a few people who read my posts. That's fun, but at the same time I feel rather like a nude art model, except the exposure is all from the neck up: I expose how I think. I feel the same way every time I read a poem in public, or email it to friends for comment. It is very, very much about exposure, which can be uncomfortable, but it is worth it when the result is a connection, when someone else completely takes in the experience, and shares in it for that moment, feeling it is his or her own experience that I have put into words.

I still wonder, with all the blogs that are out there, what place could mine have? If nothing else, it is my quiet space to develop the habit and craft of writing. Some friends who have read it come back to check for updates. One told me that he didn't understand a word I had written, but I think I have that effect on some people, even when I'm speaking to them. Best case scenario is that the writing itself keeps getting better, and that I have more of those, "a-HA!" moments, when I think, "this is something I can write about." Just maybe, I could someday be a BlogHer of the Week!

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