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Blogging, Four Months In

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I thought my last post was pretty great– funny, full of juicy tidbits, images of the party, etc.– and yet the site stats were low, and no one commented.  Now, if I had just wrote that in my journal, or in a Word document on my computer, I wouldn’t feel bad about not getting positive feedback; but because it is on the internet, and I can refresh my dashboard all day long, when the bar graph of views doesn’t spike, I feel down.  So what am I doing here?  Travel blogs, cooking blogs, finding-myself-after-college blogs — there are so many!  I know, we all have our unique experience, but at the same time, don’t all of these blogs just feel redundant?

Here are the blogs that I read:

What do I get out of this?  For the friend blogs, of course, it’s reading about someone I know, hearing about them navigating the same post-college world as me.  And all the cooking blogs– seriously, I spend at least a half an hour daily on food websites, and I just love it!  Sometimes I actually make the recipes, sometimes I bemoan the fact that I can’t make the recipes given my limited ingredients and appliances, but mostly I just oogle the pictures.  I’ve dabbled in other American-living-in-Chile blogs, but haven’t really followed them.

So what is my blog about?   I just updated my About page (along with a site make-over — what do you think?).  Mostly, I know that I like writing here because it helps me frame my experience, consolidate my reflections, analyze my observations, and brag about my cooking.  But seriously, I just keep reminding myself that if blogging serves me, then it is only a “bonus” if someone else likes what I wrote.  That said, I do love comments.

It’s true, though, that as soon as you tell a story, it changes.  But in a way, that’s the same on the internet as it is in person.  As soon as I tell a friend about how my night went, that telling becomes How My Night Went, and when I talk about it with the next person, I’m more likely to remember what I told my first friend than what actually happened.  And so the story gets tweaked, certain parts get highlighted, other parts downplayed, and now I have a neat little version of what happened.  The same is true here, particularly because I write for a very broad audience, including family members and adult friends– there are some details that I’m just not willing to put on the internet for public consumption, despite my admiration of blogs that tell all.  I don’t think the affect of blogging is bad, but it’s true, there are moments when I think, “Oh, this could become a post”, or “I want to get a picture of unloading firewood for my blog.”  Latitude 43 has become it’s own little project for me here.

Let’s end with evidence of my other projects:

Warm chickpea, roasted squash, and cilantro salad.

I love to knead.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Sunday, May 15, 2011 2:27 pm

    I know what you mean. Sometimes you write a blog post that you think will provoke a discussion and nothing appears and then other days you write a post that you think no-one will comment on – it’s more a blog-for-recording-for-yourself and you get an onslaught! There’s no rhyme or reason to it sometimes! I find leaving my computer and doing something else makes the stats go up! A watched pot never boils and all that!

  2. Sunday, May 15, 2011 2:43 pm

    Mmmm, I want this food!

  3. David Russell permalink
    Sunday, May 15, 2011 4:07 pm

    I loved your last post, and I am surprised that no one responded. Sometimes I restrain myself, not wanting to respond every time, and other times I don’t get to it–as was the case this time–as I don’t get to many things I want to get to everyday. The only other blog I read, by Jeff Lowenstein, has a lot of readers but not a great number of responses. I wonder if this is somewhat the nature of blogging. Most people, it seems to me, just consume the information and do not feel compelled to respond. That feels like freeloading to me! If you like what is being written, reinforce the writer and share what the post stimulates in you! At least once in a while. I also imagine that people who read what you post may not feel close enough to join in the conversation or are uncertain about having their comments available to the public. Keep it coming! Your writing is lively, topical, and pointed. The photos are invaluable complements to your words. BTW: I want one of those rolls!

  4. jane woodman permalink
    Sunday, May 15, 2011 8:41 pm

    I admire your honesty Meg. Writing for me too is a way of connecting to myself, to others, to the continuity of experience. It’s such a valuable form of reflection. Your sharing is thoughtful and so true to who you are, xoxo You Know Who

  5. Sunday, May 15, 2011 9:39 pm

    Don’t sweat it. There’s something weird about keeping a public blog…it leaves you with some kind of expectation. I read some blogs that get updated multiple times a day…that’s a far cry from what I do but makes me feel bad about my own (which is a little ridiculous when you think about it). It’s hard to figure out what feels good to write (for you) and what you really want people to share and respond to. Sometimes it’s like a writer’s workshop with no feedback. Anyway, I’m still reading and enjoying Latitude 43! Keep writing!

  6. Cynthia Watkins permalink
    Monday, June 20, 2011 7:30 am

    Hey Margaret,
    I read everyone of your blog entries but don’t comment usually because all I can say is Wow. Yeah. You are so great! And I figure you will get tired of that. And I know others write you directly rather than publicly comment. Or I just reflect back what you’ve already said…The 4 month entry for instance has a fantastic observation about how relating an experience narrows it to what was said (or can do that). Because you’ve written it, now I will think about it. And I will be more conscious of whether I am telling a story or sort of repeating a representation of one. Well when you write about it, it’s fascinating.
    Also, I am filled with admiration for how you are making a life in this tiny village, meeting so many people and learning this culture and dealing with winter in June and heat by fire.
    I am enriched by your blog and really appreciate that you are doing it. It’s a window for me.
    cousin Cy.

    • Monday, June 20, 2011 8:47 am

      Cynthia, thank you for your comments! I know many people read the blog that don’t comment, but it also feels good to get feedback from time to time. I’ve been thinking again recently about how as soon as I tell a story it changes. On the one hand, I am eager to call and email and post about something exciting, but also hesitant, because I know it will change immediately. Pretty interesting stuff, I would say.

      I hope you are well in summer in New York!

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