Am I a dinosaur?

 

Yee gads! Are bloggers like the dinosaurs? If so, will we be allowed to go softly into the night? Or will we be suddenly eliminated from the cyber world just as the mammoth reptiles were frozen out of our physical one?

A couple of weeks ago, a favorite blogger announced that she had written her last post. And just the other day, another popular wordsmith threatened to do likewise. And have you noticed that even the most prolific of the English-language blogs, Mexfiles, no longer appears daily.

Fortunately, my colleagues had a change of heart. They are in fact still blogging, but perhaps not with their previous regularity or enthusiasm. And there are others like me, who have changed their blog’s focus as well as their publishing frequency.

Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and a host of special interest social media groups are now more popular than blogs. Anyone who has a tablet or smart phone can easily post – with or without photos – about whatever interests them. Dogs and cats (especially rescue ones), parties and other social events, home renovations, the mysteries of the Mexican Immigration law, intricacies of banking, and surprises when shopping are all popular topics. Scams and scandals in the community are circulated. But the lion’s share of polemic is reserved for politics.

Some bloggers write politically, but after a few forays into that particular Never-Never Land, I have opted to skirt around it. I have NOT changed my views but discretion is the better part of valor – why risk getting my name on some no-fly list or worse?

Indeed, from time to time, bloggers are accused of writing tepidly. Actually that is one of the hardest parts about blogging – we want to be brave, to let the truth shine, to write with integrity, and from the heart. But we also need to keep one finger hovering above the “auto censor” key – we are lone voices. We don’t have the backing of a newspaper chain or the legal protection of a publishing house. We put ourselves out there and because of that, I think most of us have had some negative experiences. I’ve asked myself why we persevere.

Do we think we have insights that no one else has? Do we presume we can educate and inform our readers? Well, maybe a little bit – but mostly it is the process. The bloggers I know truly enjoy writing. They love searching for just the right words and composing sentences that express exactly what they need to say. It’s easy to write a few lines of facebook feed but a well thought out blog post takes time. Sometimes I spend ages getting the language just right – and appropriate visuals also take a while to find.

I enjoy getting comments  – I’ve been blogging for a long time and it’s easy to get stale.  I appreciate those who faithfully read Changes in Our Lives – they know who they are – and so will you if you scan my comments. Some of them contribute almost as much as I do.

This has been a different year for me and if not for my blog, I would have done precious little writing. Getting regular practice is another advantage to blogging. So, provided no meterorite crashes into Earth, I plan to keep on just as I am, and I hope my colleagues will do likewise.

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20 thoughts on “Am I a dinosaur?

  1. Blog on! Please! On and On and On!

    How crucial that you pointed out the act of doing benefits the writer. And the universe as well! (I never forgot that when John Denver released his album “Higher Ground” (“…but given the possibility, of living up to the dream in me, you know that I’ll be reaching for higher ground…”) on his own label after his “heyday” was done and RCA dropped him, no one seemingly purchased it. A Jesuit friend heard it in my car, and was blown away. When I said “no audience for it” he said “That doesn’t matter. He’s a prophetic witness at this point. All that matter is that he does it.”

    I suspect a blogger only hears from a tiny, tiny fraction of folks that read their posts and benefit from them, just like people in the service professions often never get the feedback. (Or the astute, helpful readers’ comments we read after a magazine article.) The rippling effect goes positively out…and may not return. At least in the way one might expect.

    My son keeps tabs on all the popular youtubers, and their schedules for releasing new “episodes”, and just yesterday we were comparing them with podcasters and bloggers– we mentioned yours– and how crucial all forms are to have. I think your points are so important. Just about anyone can make a movie now, but where are you without a good script? Anyone can sing with a vocal processor, but the few who don’t are now successful by default, even if they are “average” in ability.

    I think the tech backlash is well underway.

    And I think certain cultures are far more in tune with the damage that’s been done, and the essential person-to-person “key to life” necessary for survival. And how tech can add without robbing. You can tell by where they are heading. (I remember a phone company commercial from not so long ago. There was a businessman in a Manhattan penthouse calling a man riding a burro at a ranch in Mexico, and they both communicated joyfully, each completely understanding the world the other one was in.)

    As many others have said, I enjoy reading your blog, and am thankful for the benefits I gain.
    It is clearly a lot of work. It’s not the easy “twitter way” to serve (or diss-serve) the world.
    Grateful for your generosity.

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      1. Great! Looking forward to it. Yes, please send the information for the memoir class. Have been working on the “30” you suggested we gather. Hope to be back in early 2018. Can’t wait. Thank you.

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  2. OMG! I view this from another whole perspective, I think. I am not a writer. although I am a foracious reader and they somehow seem related to me. When I see a writer has used the exact, perfect word to express an idea or an emotion, it just thrills me. It is clearly a moment of direct communication between the writer and me, the reader. It is a moment of pure, mutual understanding. Getting back to the topic of whether bloggers are destined to go the way of the dinosaurs, I cannot believe that that could happen as long as writers have ideas of value to convey. Who could possibly compare a Twitter “blip, blip” to a well-constructed, well-thought-out sentence or paragraph? And, incidentally, weren’t those 11 minutes of Twitter silence from Mr. T’s account just blissful?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment Chloe… I am pleased you enjoy my blog. I know you are great reader. I belong to a book club here in Kamloops. It has been at least a decade since I belonged to a book club and I have enjoyed the experience all over again. Maybe we should get one up and running for ourselves in Merida?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with Harold and Chloe’s comments 100%! I’m a blogger, too, and just like you, Joanna, to construct a well written blog takes a LOT of time, editing and re-editing. Being a blogger, especially a good blogger, is not for the faint hearted. — I think addressing the spirit in people is just as important as addressing “real” topics like politics, events, cooking, “what I did this summer” sort of topics. Any idiot (I won’t mention names) can post a poorly constructed Tweet. But it takes thought and effort to inform and entertain in a way that’s interesting to readers. – No, Joanna, you are not a dinosaur – you are a thoughtful writer with lots of heart. The world needs writers with heart more than it knows! Write on, Scribe!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Alex… I m glag we have each other to share our stories about blogging and other writing. I have also found a generous, creative writing community here in Kamloops. We are all over the map… literally and figuratively!

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  4. I posted a comment yesterday, but for some reason it isn’t getting through to your blog site. I will make a second attempt – probably not as good as my first, but I know what it is like when you work hard on a blog post and don’t get any response. We are both writers because we enjoy writing and sharing stories and our experiences. I have come to the conclusion, that if you put it out in the universe, someone will read it – and if just one person gets something out of it, that makes my day.
    I read a lot of books on Amazon. Unfortunately. I’m one of those people who rates the book but I don’t give it a review. So, I too am guilty. I want people to read and review my books. I want to know if I am making someone smile or shiver in suspense. So I give myself a bad grade for being a reader who responds and promise to change my habits.
    Do not. I repeat – do not stop blogging! We should continue to blog until our fingers can no longer manage the keyboard – but we will always have stories to tell.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad your message got to me the second time. You are right… many of us are less responsive than we think we should be. But I think we should not confuse commentary with critique. It is a good thing to make comments to authors. But I think the rating gameis over rated. A lot of people spew critique when they have no authority to do so. I feel the same way about restaurant and hotel reviews. I think there are people who like to have “fun” at others’ expense.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hear you loud and clear. Being on the receiving end of serious critique is not always pleasant, but it can often be helpful. Having owned a hotel and restaurant over 22 years, when we got a nasty reviews, which was rare, it helped our business. More people would visit us just to see if it was as bad as the reviewer said – but they left us with high praises – realizing who was wrong. If I review a book, it is because I enjoyed reading it and I do not offer any critique. I’m not a literary expert anymore than the writer next to me, and editors rarely catch every mistake or typo – even large publishers who have a bevy of editors. Just read some of the best selling authors and you will see what I mean.
        Opinions are a form of free speech, which seems to be in the news a lot now days. However, we are fortunate that we live in a society where free speech is allowed (at least for now). It it is hurtful and hateful commentary, one must consider the source, as others will do, and move on to a higher plane.
        I have learned to accept critique, even though I defend my reasoning with strong conviction – I’m often wrong. When it comes to editing – well that’s another story.
        “Fun at other’s expense” ? In my opinion…they are envious, or people that just like to complain. My advice to them – Get a Life!

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      2. Ah David… we are of one mind. Constructive is the key word when it comes to critique. I look forward to reading your mysteries when I am in Merida… although I have seen Word versions… it i altogether different to read a “book”. Congratulations!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. No, you are not a dinosaur.
    A blog is an opportunity to spread a short, concise piece of writing. It takes much more skill and determination than writing a long, rambling piece. Don’t stop.
    Long ago, I had a history prof at the University of Calgary, when it was young and brazen, who would only read the first 500 words. Facing the almost impossible task of expressing and proving our arguments in 500 words, forced us to hone our writing skills. How many times since have I instructed my students to be ‘concise and precise’. That is just what a blog forces a writer to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was contemplating whether to write my blog this year. I posted this on Facebook that I might not and go a tremendous response with others asking me to keep wrotiing. Some of my friends travel vicariously through my blog and don’t want me to stop. I shall start it next week once I’m feeling better. I got sick the first day here in Chicxulub. Someone in Merida must have given me this flu!
    See you on the 20th at your party!

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  7. Alas, YouTube seems to have sucked a lot of air out of the room. I don’t know about your own stats on page hits, readers, etc. But my own pale in comparison to even fairly quiet YouTube channels which have thousands of subscribers. And of course the successful ones get millions of subscribers and make nice livings for their creators. So yes, I think blogging is a bit of a dying art. Which is a pity, because there’s a lot of enjoyment in the written word, both creating and reading. Not to mention that creating a good video is WAY harder than banging out a few hundred words with still photos on a blog. No matter. Vlogs seem to be the future. One of these days I’ll give it a go. But I need to get back to Mexico first.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where we wanted to make a video about driving along twisty mountain roads, but even that didn’t get much beyond the stage of considerations about gear to use.

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