Monday, December 18, 2006

Miscellany, Grace and Grit

The whole blogging world is fascinating! It is, for many of us, a way of finding a voice we didn't have in the past. Imagine ten or fifteen years ago even thinking we would put all of our private thoughts and experiences out on the Internet and that people all over the world would read. It would have gotten you a dose of Haldol and a three-day visit to the local psychiatric unit with a fairly serious diagnosis. It's an interesting social experiment. I wonder if we can go beyond the typical social dynamic and really create something with it. I believe we can.

I am new to this and don't know the "rules" yet. especially the unspoken ones. Of course, I've never been good at unspoken rules. We all write for different reasons. Some write for an intended readership. Others are random. For me, this isn't all that different than what I used to do for the newspaper. It's generally fairly topical, sometimes personal, sometimes political, sometimes religious. When I used to write for the newspaper, I had to come up with a different topic each week. My success or failure was determined by the number of letters to the editor received. Letters to the editor meant people were reading ~ hence, buying newspapers. I was encouraged to be controversial and sassy. It was a fairly good match since that's my nature. I'm a born iconoclast. Still, occasionally I'd get lazy. I'd pound something out in an hour on my old Atari computer and call it good. Then would come the dreaded call from The Editor... Himself.

My column ran on Wednesdays. It was a good spot. Himself would call on Monday and say, "You'd better kick it up a notch, Chani. Your numbers are getting low." He didn't threaten or intimidate me but I was able to read between the lines. If I wanted to keep my position, I'd better write things that would draw readers. That was my job.

I'd wrack my brain, trying to think of something to write about. I'd pour over the newspapers and magazines, watch the news shows, listen to talk radio. I had to find something new and different and say it in a way that would draw people, make them want to hear it. My highest-rated columns were vociferous attacks on the Religious Right. Well, I've kind of grown out of that now and understand that everyone has his or her own path to follow. Attack journalism no longer appeals to me. Points are made more gently these days. While the attention was kind of an ego boost and I liked getting invitations to radio talk shows ~ even the Geraldo show once ~ we all grow up and things change. We change.

I was never a "niche" columnist. No reader would know, week to week, what I might write about.

I'm saying all of this for a reason. Honestly, I write this for you, readers who pass through. I want it to be interesting. Occasionally, maybe even a little contentious or challenging. Not in the sense that we will argue but if you make me think... or I make you think.... this blog's purpose is being met.

All of this is to say one thing rather emphatically: If it seems I'm getting lazy... or boring... or if it seems I am prattling on about something just a bit too long, let me know! Send me a note backchannel or leave a comment. I will listen! If there is something you want me to write about, especially when it comes to the Thailand stuff, or if something I've written sounds misinformed ... tell me. I will do my best. I like the idea of dialogue.


I wanted to mention something new ~ a project called "Indie Bloggers". (It's on my sidebar.) The purpose of Indie-Bloggers is to bring writers together, particularly those without a given demographic theme to their writing. There is all sorts of original content, from political to personal. It is an experimental community intended to draw disparate communities together that may not connect otherwise. It reminds me of some of the Internet experiments of days long ago ~ done with email lists or forums. I hope many of you will visit and join up. (Especially you, Gobody... and Sevenwinds, you, too!)





Anonymous said...

For many reasons, I hate the comedy of Christmas, and the best day of the year for me is January 2.

Pam said...

It is not suprising to find that you wrote for a paper, you have that flair. I'm happy that you have decided to take your talent and ideas to a blog page, it continues to be a source of enlightenment, thoughtfulness and humor.
As for the holiday thing, I see both sides. Although I despise comercialism and what seams like screams of " buy, buy, buy" I enjoy my family gathering together to share time. And, fortunately, that's what it is for us, a gathering of love. We talk of many things, play with the grandchildren, eat (and eat!) and celebrate the fact that we have one another. We also keep in mind that Christmas is but one day of 365 in the year and that they are all important.

MsLittlePea said...

Alot of people probably feel the same way you do but won't admit it. Those stupid car comercials with the ribbon on the car make me want to puke-oh and the jewelry comercials! I get that way about Valentine's Day too--I want my husband to be nice to me everyday not just on holidays(and he is). I get joy from giving to my nephews though and that, for me, is a good enough Christmas.

Thailand Gal said...

Anonymous, I'm with you completely. I don't have any particular hostility about it. It's just not something that interests me.

Pam, thanks for the compliment. :) Column-writing is an interesting art form. LOL


Ms Pea, you have it exactly. "Niceness" is something to practice daily. This season though ~ yuck~ It can make me feel exactly the opposite. All I want to do is hide in the house. LOL


Thanks, all :)

Peace (all year),


Gobody said...

I didn't know that you were a journalist; that explains why you can write so well. I always wondered how can people write that much, how can an author write a book and fill it with words that are interesting to read until the end. I have always been short in what I write, directly to the point. I have also been called "a man who does not decorate his words". I don't think it was meant as a complement ;)

Anvilcloud said...

I'd pound something out in an hour on my old Atari computer ...

Which one? My first two computers were Ataris -- 800 and ST 520.