It’s interesting to see how whenever I talk about more personal topics, I get more views on my posts. Or maybe it’s because I’m more thoughtful about how I tag this type of post, who knows.
Anyway, since many of my readers who don’t actually follow me (as in clicking “follow me”), are Facebook or Twitter friends, colleagues or, in general, people who know me personally; most of the feedback I get is by comments voiced when passing each other in a corridor, or via message, or at drinks. “Hey, so I read your blog the other day…”
It’s quite interesting for me, as I guess for anyone who writes, to find out what readers think of my pieces, if scary at times. When you write a blog, or a book, or something that will end up being public, you always fear the negative feedback you might receive. I tend to find that since the Internet provides you with anonymity, as I mentioned in my previous post, negative comments can be harsh and hurtful, rather than constructive. Sometimes you need to choose whether to write about a controversial topic, and risk the backlash; or keep writing about mellow subjects and have it easier. So far, I’ve wanted to write controversial posts about race, religion, politics at times… I say controversial because no matter what your thoughts are on any of those topics, there will always be many people who will think differently, and who may (will) take offence with whatever you write. When I’ve had that urge, either I haven’t written anything altogether, or I have written it and kept it private, just as a way to let my thoughts out of my head, to relieve the pressure they’re inflicting when trying to get out, like a pressure cooker, and make room for other (safer?) posts to be created.
I am aware that it’s not a very courageous stance, but when you personally know people whose opinions are different from yours and who might not like what you write… Some writers will want their opinion out there, no matter what; I instead think it’s not worth it, when there might be other topics of interest I also want to write about.
Anyway, getting side tracked, as usual!
I could argue I write mainly for myself, and I wouldn’t be entirely lying, but there’s a big part of me who writes for other people’s benefit. I write because I have an idea I would like to share, because I like to communicate, and I like the exchange that is created between two people. When I pose a question, is not usually rhetorical, and I love it when you guys take the time to respond. If that wasn’t my objective, I would keep a diary instead.
For someone who writes, I believe the most enjoyable part is how the piece is received, and whether it creates a debate. I like to think that’s the case, anyway, although maybe novels and other forms of literature work in a different way, so for the sake of this particular case, let’s focus on blog writing – bear with me. Personally, I love it when I get a message from a friend asking me to expand on a post I wrote, or asking me where I found an idea for a project, or this or that information; or challenging my opinion.
After last post, a couple of people have asked me about the whole dating thing, so it’s a topic I will probably write more about. I have to decide however how much of my personal life I want to share with the world because, not only complete strangers read what I write (hello! Thanks for taking your time to read all these ramblings, you are amazing!), but also friends and family. There are certainly some aspects of my life I wouldn’t want every person I have on my Facebook to know about because it’s none of their business. There are certain topics or comments I wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with my closest family, as well as other aspects of my personal life I wouldn’t want to share publicly on the net.
A friend told me the other day that the posts he finds more interesting are the ones where I talk about experiences, the ones I put myself out of my comfort zone and then share my perspective on the whole situation; as well as those when I just pick a topic, unload my thoughts and then make you all think, which is pretty much what I try to do all the time and the reason I write – to make people wonder and ask themselves questions.
A good chunk of what I write here comes from the questions I ask myself, of the random and endless stream of situations that I find myself in everyday life, and wondering how I would react if my personal situation was different. I enjoy observing people, I’m a people watcher. Human interaction is something that amazes me, how we behave in different situations, depending of who we are with. Many of the thoughts on this blog come from an idea formed in my head around a situation I saw on my commute to work, or a reaction, or a video, or the news. I observe the situation, and then I wonder. Sometimes I find an answer to my question, sometimes the question goes unanswered because it leads to a different question; and other times, after much wondering and thinking, I finally arrive at the question I present in the post.
Where am I going with all this?
I have no idea.
Ha! I do, I’m just teasing.
Often a small gesture, or a seemingly unimportant interaction, is what leads to unforgettable experiences and conversations. Someone asks a question, and everyone in the room gets engrossed in trying to find the answer. Everyone exchanges their opinions. That’s where the long late night conversations come from (that, and usually alcohol!)
Having access to the Internet in our hands has made this sort of interaction less frequent. You have a question, you Google it. We’re losing that debate, we’re losing the feeling of an intellectual exchange, the feeling of the human touch. When I ask people for a restaurant in a certain area, I know I can Google it, but I’m not asking about any restaurant, I am asking you what your favourite one is, and why. I want to know what you think, and learn from the exchange.
So when you stop me at work and tell me what you thought of my post, or ask me to write about a topic, or want to see photos of my new craft, trust me, I feel extremely grateful that you are taking the time. When you send me an email, or simply click on the like button, it makes my day!
So thanks for all your feedback so far, I love hearing what you enjoy, and what you don’t, and please, keep it coming!