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online life


Lately, when I haven’t been wheezing, playing out the female characters from Pixar’s “Cars”, or playing out all the characters in the Effing Book, where many interesting things have happened lately, I have been catching up on all the fun I ‘ve missed, including devouring several days’ worth of the NY Times, never a bad thing. And there, I came across an article that got me thinking about a phenomenon unique to this day and age – blogging.

Really, the idea is simple. It’s the Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, London, but you don’t have to get dressed, it doesn’t matter if it rains and anyone at all anywhere in the world can read your immortal – or not – words, argue or agree with you, heckle or harangue you. The word is yours, the floor is yours and if you’re even halfway good, so the myth goes, you might even hit the Cinderella jackpot and go on to book deals and the Oprah Book Club!

Stranger things have been known to happen.

And it can be about anything, anything at all! There are – lifestyle blogs, book blogs, political blogs, animal blogs, blogs about blogs. It is, at least in certain parts of the world, freedom of expression at its finest.

Anything goes, and many things do. There’s just one problem with all that online verbosity. It is, however, a big problem.

Nine times out of ten, nine blogs out of ten – you’re writing for an audience of precisely – one. There you are, blowing the world apart by the seams by your sheer, utter, blinding brilliance – or bs, take your pick – on whatever ails you/grabs you/ills you/thrills you at any given moment, and all you’re really doing when push comes to shove is – showing off? Exposing your narcissism? Polishing your ego? Practicing your writing skills – or the total lack thereof?

Because you’re the only one that reads it! And let’s face it, darlings – after a while, even you can find your own dazzling perspicacity rather – lackluster. You want feedback, you want adulation and accolades, you want that book deal and your bottom on Oprah’s couch, frothing at the gills on camera over the subject du jour.

Oh, yes, you do!

Don’t you?

There’s a certain liberation that goes with online identity, You can be anyone, anything you desire. You can open up your mouth and insert your foot, size 5 or 15, but if no one is listening, who cares?

It used to bug me, that I wasn’t one of those bloggers with umpteen zillion followers. Some of those who have many followers I’ve lurked over, wondering what they were doing right that I wasn’t. I even began subscribing to a “how-to-promote-your-blog” newsletter, and then gave up when I realized that I could write the Effing Book and use this modest little soapbox for a verbal test lab, or I could try to create a total Moltenmetalmama brand – like Coca Cola, Astro-Glide and Metallica – and I could whistle for writing a novel.

It would be a screaming shame to see nearly seven years of sweat, blood and many, many tears go down the drain because I got seduced by the blogosphere. I’m arrogant enough to think I’m better than that. Or if I’m not, then my story is.

That article made me aware of something I didn’t even know. That even as I write this now, I’m still ahead of the game, precisely because I have followers – all five of them, and that I care very much indeed about each and every one of them. Only one of you knows me in the real world. (He also knows what happens when I get too close to a tequila bottle – and may forgive me – some day. )

I’m not here, yelling into the void, to polish my own halo or sell my solipsism. I’m not out to make a zillion bucks in ads or even a book deal, although I wouldn’t protest too much if I had one, and I do think that some day, I will – have one.

I’m here to become a better writer, to get my head out of history, to let rip and let go and see where my words will take me. You, my fantabulous reader/followers, are here because you’ve found something interesting to read – or you’ve found an interesting mind – or – you tell me!

That’s six people right there, who didn’t know each other a year ago, all brought together by a few words knitted together by yours truly.

Not so bad. Now, I just have to stay ahead and take care I don’t bore you all to death, so that I end up as – an audience of one.

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