Monday, December 20, 2010

Confessions of a Serial Blogger

Dear Doctor,

It all started a year back as a hobby, I just did it for fun. It started out as once a month, or at the max maybe two. But as months went by the urge started to increase, December is yet to end and this is already my seventh time in this month. I feel I have gotten addicted to it, it all started with that first one, we all remember our first time. I remember mine, after which I intended to continue this only as a hobby. But things changed as the frequency slowly but steadily increased. And before I knew it, I was doing it more than ever. It was then I realized, I had become a blogaholic.

I visited random websites and numerous blog profiles as I read studied their posts. From aping their design to their profile pictures, I had done a research on everything like a thorough professional killer who was profiling his target. I needed a reason to expand so I divulged in writing memoirs and short stories and things which affected me in some way. But I realized that I was not getting recognized, so I started spreading the word. I made new friends on Facebook where I sent friend requests to men and women who shared the same interests as I: Blogging!. I joined Indiblogger hoping that this would be a perfect platform that would help me get noticed. And it did.

And then a strange thing happened, I saw random people commenting on my blog. It was as if I were suffering from itches. The more I blogged, the more greater were the chances of people commenting on it, and more were the chances of my blog address being spread all over the blogosphere. It was much like the more I scratched at my itches, the more it spread. I consulted my fellow blogger friends who said that I had been showing the symptoms of Comment Moderation Syndrome (CMS), and also suggested that I needed to consult a doctor for the itches.

The Comment Moderation Syndrome (CMS)

Every nascent blogger when starting his/her blogging career undergoes this nauseating (for the lack of a better word) feeling when right after publishing their post they would check their blog page every now and again to see if anyone had commented on it. You know you are struck with the CMS when:


1. The first site you check every morning is your own blog page.

2. You go to every random blogger's site and post a comment that says "Hey! that was a wonderful post. I could almost connect to it. Beautifully written. Do check my posts at ishityounot.blogger.com" 

Although you actually mean 

"You call that a post? I can write better than you. Check me out at ishityounot.blogger.com and be jealous of my awesomeness."

3. And when somebody does comment on your page, you reply by typing out a lengthy "Thank You" speech to them for having commented on it and invite them to come over and read more of your posts. You play the generous host where you are kissing their butt in the virtual world.


4. You introduce yourself as a writer to all the people you meet hoping that they will raise their eyebrows and say "Ah! a writer?", although you are hardly four posts old. That is more like "I-hit-a-six-the-other-day-while-playing-with-a-bunch-of 12-year-olds-so-I-consider-myself-as-a-cricketer"


I have been through the above mentioned phase, and if you noticed my comments section of my blogs you would see that I would have tried to reply to all the comments in the same way that a best selling author would reply to e-mails from his readers. Although I hardly get more than a couple of comments. 


Now, returning to the itches. I always wanted to know where my itches were originating from. I am using the itches as a metaphor for the readers. So in a way, I am trying to figure out from the places where my comments originated. So to keep track of my itches readers I had Feedjit installed on my blog page which would keep a track of the location where my itches... ummmm... sorry readers are situated. As you can see, it is located on the right hand corner of my blog page, and it is now showing the place from where you are reading this blog. I hope you are not reading this from the loo Good Doctor.


There is a saying that blogging is for the fat and the ugly and the socially inept. Well that is not true, and it is not a saying. Even good looking and charming people blog, take me for instance. Ok, that was a bad joke. I may be deemed as socially inept, but my blog has made me feel that I am virtually virile. And if not for my blog, I feel I would have no virtual identity.

It is always every individual's dream to read their name published in the papers for what they are good at. But for a blogger it helps in two ways, 

a) People other than the blogger now would Google search the blogger's name
b) It helps increase the traffic of the blogger

But with great fame comes great responsibility, or in my case with little bit of fame came a little bit of responsibility. Thanks to the theatre group Stray Factory's novel venture in converting blogs into plays there was an alarming increase in the rise of traffic in my site once one of my posts got selected. And with the increase in readers, there came an urge to increase the posts all the while improving the content.

Yet this fetish for blogging coupled with the hunger for fame and pursuit of more readers has made me socially stunted.


1. I now live every day expecting that something blog-worthy would come out of it. I get so involved with finding a topic to blog that I forget to live the moment.


2. I remain indoors on weekends canceling out any potential plans with family and friends sitting in front of the computer with my blogger window open as I peer into the screen with my mouth agape and confusion written large over my face on what to blog.


3. And when I am struck by a concept to blog about, I find it necessary enough to write it down on a piece of paper or save it as a text message in my mobile. That is one of the reasons why I never use my brains while I am in the bathroom, thus denying myself with an Archimedes style "Eureka" moment in which, if and when I am struck with an idea for a post I jump out of my shower and run around the house shouting "Eureka! Eureka". 


The world deserves better sights and sounds than watching me running around stark naked shouting "Eureka! Eureka!".


A Blogger and his many Faces
  
A blogger is the virtual version of a Superhero. If Gotham City has a Batman, then we are VirtuoCity's BlogMan. We may not wear our underwears over our pants, we may not be blessed with the Batmobile, or we may not be as gifted as Spiderman to shoot webbings from our wrists. We possess none of those superpowers or hi-tech gadgets. 


Our superpower is the gift to communicate what we feel by weaving it into words, sarcasm and wit is our secondary weapon, and our hi-tech gadget is not a James Bond style laser-watch but an ordinary word processor. Blogger dot com and Wordpress are our playgrounds where we unite and express ourselves and the world around us in our own way. 

The blogger community has many faces. We are activists blogging for a cause, we are movie reviewers suggesting you what to watch and what to trash, we are poets whose poems you can use and pass off as your own to impress your girlfriend, we are storytellers who keep you hooked till you scroll down to the end, we are political satirists who educate and entertain at the same time, we are philosophers finding and expressing joy in every moment that we are gifted with, we are chefs who give you recipes that can lead you to your man's heart through his stomach.We are superheroes with gifts, it is upto us on how to use it.

There are two kinds of bloggers, those who never talk but blog and those who talk a lot and still blog. There may be some of us who may seem demure in person, and you may wish that they often speak a lot, but haven't you heard the saying that "Still waters run deep"? We run deep, and it is in the virtual world that we let our words flow and possibly drown you to death. And there are the second kind, it is not enough that they talk a lot in the offline mode, they even want to have their say in the online mode. It is in the virtual world where they have no fear of being cut short when they are in the midst of making their point. They seldom use the delete or the backspace key, they hate going back on their word.

The Blogger's Wall

Our greatest gift could also be our greatest curse. During the blogging life of every blogger a time may come when he hits the wall after which his blogging spree would come to a halt. He may become lethargic enough to sit in front of his computer and he would lose the will to exercise his brains to come up with content to write. The comments on his post would dry up which would further demoralize him to not write. He would plan to abandon the blog which he once looked after as his own baby by feeding it with posts. But to break the wall and overcome the Blogger's block is one of the toughest period for a blogger when he searches for a motivation to write.


But right now doctor, like the serial killer Jack the Ripper I am suffering from an insanity that involves serial blogging. And the only cure to my insanity is that I get to hit the wall.


Yours Insanely,
Raag the Blogger

16 comments:

subtlescribbler said...

wow! bingo i would say 1st of all ,and no i m not just commenting for the sake of saying 'go check out my blog' coz u write soo well! i m new to the blogging world and u beautifully expressed almost all the stages tht a blogger goes thru.
'keep writing and realizing ur dream' thts wht a medical student says to u ;)

good luck!

sarah

Anuraag said...

Hey Sarah,

I am glad you could relate to the blog. And i am not commenting because I have to, its just a way to say "thank you" for reading my blog. And thanks for adding me to your blog list :-)

Siddhartha Joshi said...

hahahahah...this is extremely well written! completely enjoyed reading it...not sure if am already an addict, but am on my way to becoming one :)

deep said...

Hilarious it is.

And this is what is called blogging about a blogger's block. :)

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