:: Life on Planet Dan-E ::

Thoughts, observations, and introspections from an art student waiter/bartender in South Beach. Arcane humor ensues.
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:: Thursday, January 20, 2005 ::

:: Why do it? ::
It's been a while since a last blogged since I've been swamped in schoolwork. I finally have a moment to sit down and add a new entry since I don't have class tomorrow but I started thinking about what to write and my mind drifted to why I blog in the first place. What is it about people that make them want to blog? We can't all be trying to be this generation's Orwell or Dickenson can we? Are our ambitions less grand? What is it?

In my case, it started off innocuously enough when I wrote stuff for a friend's website. He mentioned that I'm a pretty good writer so I should think about starting my own blog and hence the birth of Planet Dan-E. It seemed at the time to be both fun and an outlet for my self-perceived witty, uh, witticisms. A little over two years later I'm not sure what to make of it at times. It's easy to say that it's not what I want it to be but I was never sure of what I wanted it to be in the first place. There are completely new people have joined the five or six people who first read it. What keeps them coming back?

There are a few I casually follow but the two blogs I read regularly both share an almost naked, emotional openness that I’m drawn to. When reading about their joys, I smile. When reading about their troubles, I want to embrace them. They write about very personal things that can be potentially damaging and risk some harsh judgment from readers who aren't the most open minded. But that's part of why those blogs are so engaging. They draw you in by blogging like they're conversing with you.

Being a naturally private person, I constantly talk myself out of opening up a little more. The stuff I "open up" about isn't really getting too deep into my life. Blogging about why I haven't dated Asian women in a while isn't exactly a revelation and even on that post I just scratched the surface. I mentioned last week that someone considered me an "enigma" and while that may or may not be true, I'll be honest and say that reading this blog probably isn't going to erase that. Sure it'll provide a modicum of insight but there's still a disconnect between knowing what I do and understanding why I do it. Even friends who have known me for years haven't figured me out completely. Every time someone thinks they know me, I just chuckle quietly to myself.

It's my long way of saying that I sometimes wonder why people read this blog.

I can make a killer ceviche, am unusually perceptive, and play a pretty good guitar but I'll be the first to tell you that I'm not a great blogger. If there is indeed such a thing. Writing what you know is fine for books but blogging requires something... more. It’s deeply personal. It goes back to "why blog?"

There are the disenchanted writers who are seeking some form of gratification. (Before blogs, these types went into advertising. God bless the weblog inventor or who knows just how bad commercials might get). Some might be introverted types who put into words things they have trouble expressing verbally. There are those who keep it to update their close personal friends on the goings-on of their lives. There are numerous subcategories that fit under each of those descriptions and no blogger fits under just one mold.

I've derided the preponderance of reality TV but really, blogs are reality TV in ASCII. Readers have become voyeurs but instead of a keyhole, we're peering through a monitor. Following blogs helps us relate to human truths and it gives us a brief respite from dealing with our own lives. In reading about the personal details of someone's life, we're delighted, horrified, concerned, and/or amused. Us bloggers have become columnists publishing journals where grammar, spell-checking, and editing are tossed aside with the rest of the detritus that accompany our existence. That same detritus is often the subject of our entries. Blogging is masturbation for your subconscious and your readers get to watch.

Maintaining a good blog requires very thick skin. You have to be open and you have to update often since those who are kind enough to bookmark or link your site are eagerly waiting for the next post. But at the same time you can't be worried about how people are going to react. You know that old saying "dance like no one's looking?" It holds true here. Sometimes you just have to write like nobody will read it, then take a deep breath and click "publish." I'm still working on these aspects. But like almost everything I do, this blog, ultimately is for me. It's inextricably become part of my crazy little world and it's at the mercy of my commitment, my candor, and my caprice. (I like alliteration.) Whether or not it's being read.

:: Miscellaneous Ramblings by Dan-E at 1:05 AM [+] :: | 0 comments

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