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Blogs are In Out In

I started out keeping a pretty personal blog—writing about the beagles, of course, but also cooking and baking and reading and gardening and stargazing and history and general barefoot living here in the house with three pear trees. Well, two pear trees now. Vale, third pear tree. But anyway.

Then I got caught up in Being an Author. Everything I read and everyone I spoke to encouraged me to “have a presence” on Facebook and Twitter and Google+ and LinkedIn and every other social networking site in the known universe. Blogging was out, I was assured. No one cared. No one would read anything longer than 140 characters anyway.

I tried. I really tried. But all that social networking is so not me. I feel awkward doing it, just as I feel awkward walking up to a stranger (or for that matter, an acquaintance) at a big party and saying, “Hi, there, here I am, let’s talk about something.” The down-to-the-bone truth is that I am an introvert’s introvert. I like to sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings (sometimes literally, given my favorite subject matter of the sixteenth century) with one other person. One a really good day, two other people. I liked blogging because it was like talking to one person. You. Yes, you.

Then a couple of weeks ago, I came across this on tribalwriter.com, Justine Musk’s intense and sometimes terrifying blog. (A blog? Oh, wait, are blogs not dead after all?) She is writing about reading a book and getting online to “prolong the experience of the novel by remaining in contact with the author’s voice.” She says:

What I wanted to find wasn’t standard self-promotion….but the author’s own personal idea-space, where she had offloaded enough of her mind and voice and personality (through blog posts and ongoing conversations) to invite me in relationship with her brand.

Now I do flinch a little at “offloaded” and “brand,” but in general that post hit me right between the eyes. Maybe I didn’t have to force myself to socialize in a way that felt so unnatural to me. Maybe I could simply go back to writing here, talking to one person in a little more depth and detail. I cannot tell you what a relief that was.

So I’ll be blogging more and social-networking less. I am happy! Thank you, Justine Musk, for twisting the lens and bringing that into lovely satisfying sharp focus for me.

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