"Have you ever unfollowed anyone?" he asked everyone around the table.
Interesting, I thought to myself. I was with a group of bloggers and we started talking about why we "follow" the stories of a certain writer. And why we stop.
Nine years ago, I opened a blog to serve as a repository of things that I liked; quotes from films, books, articles, poems, and songs.
I started writing regularly last year as a way to make sense of a breakup then. I also read more and more blogs and became acquainted with their owners' stories. It was a distraction then, and it was fun reading the drama of their lives, whether it was a fuck in the gym, a fight between best friends, or another love affair ending.
People at the table started offering their opinions on what constitutes good writing. One said he doesn't like reading stories of overly gay men. Another feels some stories are fabricated. Someone said other people's writings are difficult to decipher; too cryptic. And some said most people's stories are simply, well… boring.
I was curious. When I checked the number of blogs I was following, I was astounded. Wow, apparently, it's either there are almost 200 very good bloggers out there or I'm not very discriminating in my taste.
While browsing these blogs, I realized most bloggers are able to churn out one or two amazing, brilliant pieces that really blow you away. That one story that made people fall in love with you. Usually, these are the stories that are the most personal, the ones closest to our hearts.
But sooner or later, the drama in our lives end and our stories become, well … ordinary.
Still, there are those who can bring the magic out of the mundane. As Mary Norris, copy writer at The New Yorker, once said, "A good writer can make you care about anything."
There are stories from our daily lives that can transform from just an anecdote into an experience.
Something we can tell our friends about. Something that made us laugh. Something that made us think. It is our personal reflection that makes our experiences unique.
When I examined the kinds of stories I like, I realize I am a very conservative reader. I like form and structure. I like grammar and spelling. I like economy and precision.
But that's just me. Blogs are a person's private kingdom and in that space, their rules govern.
"I'll write what I want to, how I want to."
And I respect that.
Every now and then, I stumble into a writer who reminds me that writing can be elegant. That reading can be a joy.
They shock, they surprise, they titillate. They make you cry, remember, or forget.
And then, once in a while, you discover a writer who changes you.
"I need you to understand something. I wrote this for you. I wrote this for you and only you. Everyone else who reads it, doesn’t get it. They may think they get it, but they don’t. This is the sign you’ve been looking for."
---I Write This For You
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