Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Life Worth Reading


"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


Mu[g]en said...

"And then, once in a while, you discover a writer who changes you."


the geek said...

as they say, never underestimate the power of words...

~Carrie~ said...

Blogging is life, not just a way it.

paci said...

..and words are very powerful in the hands of someone who knows how to use them.

engel said...

And then, once in a while, you discover a writer who changes you.

- very rare. and very precious.

i remember this conversation. =)

Kiks said...

discover is a good word. it is very apt.

some bloggists aim to change people's lives with their stories. only to experience the futility of their purpose after.

Nimmy said...

I stumble into a writer who reminds me that writing can be elegant.

perfect words to express how i feel about your blog. :)

Guyrony said...

After all, aren't our lives written in some form more than on paper? ;)

Alterjon said...

Blogs are lives in pixels - i can feel everyone.

rudeboy said...

That was an interesting blog you linked, Kane.

Everyone sees the same words, but imbues them with different, very personal meanings.

Anonymous said...

kane, another good one.

i read you for content and form. i patiently wait for your next post because I know it will be as good (or more often better) as your last.

♥N said...

I follow people who can write, really write. Someone who doesn't tell me what he or she ate for breakfast, but rather someone who can tell me how that breakfast made them feel. I love reading blogs with depth and soul. Yours is one of them.

red the mod said...

To write is to distill one's soul unto the written page. It is cathartic and scary all at once. For when you bleed yourself into your words, you become more that the prose. An extension. Vulnerable to interpretation, and misconstruction. Open to the perusal of those who read you.

The opportunity then becomes to be more that what your circumstance can afford. To affect change, and catalyze lives. To see how the lessons of one's experiences can be the inspiration of others' journeys.

I also wonder if my life is worth living, only because I feel that I choose not to expound on personal experiences in my blog, believing it too be too personal, albeit exquisite, to be shared so openly.

I wish I had the audacity of some, or the tact of others. But there are days that all I can offer are my thoughts, contextual ideas without sharing the full story, but rather realizations from a point in time. Great one K, as always.

Si Chong said...

This piece is all about you. :)

ʎonqʎʇıɔ said...

very interesting. i suppose we can't really define blogging as of the moment because everyone does it for different reasons. personally, if it makes me think, kebs na sa grammar and style. haha

i remember what you said that night and it really made me think. consistency is so important these days and that's something that you have tons of. good post!