August 15th, 8:16 PM. Preparing to crack the seal on the raku kiln that is my mind.
Skipping through the electronic poppy field that is the Internet this fine day, I caught a blurb that made me nervous and made me laugh. I think it was in an email newsletter from a website devoted to the craft and business of writing, a 'Tip Of The Day' type thing that is supposed to reel you in to spend more time on the site. No problem with that, but I was skimming and distracted so I didn't go beyond the tagline.
The tagline was this: "Your blog posts should be like dating-site profile information..."
'Scuse me? (nervous laughter)...good thing I'm not writing to get a date.
I am not (fortunately for me) out on the dating scene, so I will not worry about that aspect. But I get the perspective being out forth by the writer of that little gem: if you want your blog to attract others, then it must be written to maximize your attractiveness. Am I understanding that correctly?
Hmm. This does present a bit of a quandary. We are told on the one hand to write authentically, to be ourselves and to write from what we know. Supposedly this is what "blogging" (in its nascent sense) is at its core. Yet dating sites, to some degree, are about salesmanship and packaging. They are about being attractive enough to attract ideal partners for whatever motivation one chooses.
So to push the analogy, in order to make my blog more attractive to ideal partners, I should write only the things that would increase my 'dateability' vis-a-vis the readership. The implication is that potentially less desirable things (quirks, foibles, emotionally-charged topics) should perhaps be avoided. Heavens, we wouldn't anyone to know those "real" things, would we?
This begs the question of authenticity, does it not? I'm all for maximizing the positive, but for what one hopes to be a long-term relationship, how can we ignore the reality of ourselves? It seems a bit misleading to put hyperbole before truth. Yet that little dot on an otherwise pristine page could lead to heartache and regret down the road. I know this to be true.
To be fair, I acknowledge that a blog has more latitude than a dating site. It could be said that the very idiosyncratic nature of a blog is what gives it enduring appeal; after all, it is your blog and you can do what you want with it. It doesn't have to be, and perhaps shouldn't be, perfect. That is because we are not perfect.
I didn't start my blog to attract potential partners, or set up a string of dates. I had no idea that is what I "should" (metaphorically) be doing. I started it out of a need for expression, as a way to get the noise out of my head and out into the universe. I didn't know any better than to be anything other than what I am, and hopefully the writing reflects that outlook. I don't need a date (I have great love and companionship), but I am very grateful for all of you who choose to come visit with me, and stay awhile.
And there's no need for a monthly fee, either. We are here because we genuinely want to be here. That is a lovely thing, indeed.