Thursday, January 17, 2008

Of Obits and Blogs - Wegner

Sometimes I wonder if my reading habits should be labeled “somewhat askew.” Let me explain: one of the first sections I check in our weekly newspaper is Obituaries. On the odd occasion I purchase one of Vancouver’s daily papers (or take advantage of the free copy at the local coffee shop), I can spend a good cup or two’s worth of time pursuing the death notices.

That all started when I became a member of the Cancer Victims Society of the world. No, I’m not aware of a formal organization but there’s a bond that automatically enrolls you immediately upon diagnosis. I’d read the obits daily to see if one of my fellow travelers had succumbed. Some days I felt so lousy, I checked to see if I was in there. Years after I was declared cancer-free, the practice, now a way of life, continued. The difference now is in how I read each entry. I wonder if that one knew Christ as Saviour? Or, just think, that one is in the presence of the Lord! Gratitude for life and a driving motivation to live what’s left to the fullest have replaced my angst that I or someone I knew had died.

I rarely read fiction and can’t imagine that I’d ever have the skill or desire to write a mystery or romance. For those reasons I feel disconnected from most Word Guild conversations and activities but I do read the blogs.

Please understand that although I make my living as a writer and researcher, I spend no more time on the computer than I have to. Technology and I have this mutual understanding: you do what you’re supposed to do and I’ll do the same. I sometimes browse radio and newspaper sites just to find out what’s going on around the globe but since I have less than zero desire to surf the net for the sake of surfing, reading blogs has to be meaningful. They must be because I keep going back to them.

But here’s my “somewhat askew” reason and modus operandi. First, I scan the piece to get a “feel” for the conviction of the writer. Sometimes I’m so moved I go back and re-read the piece right away; other times, I don’t. Next I check out the section that reads: Comments. What intrigues me is that except in rare cases, the space always contains the note: Zero Comments. How come? Why do we hesitate to encourage or challenge each other? I know opinions are just that but what’s the point of providing an option if we don’t use it?

Finally, I always go back, re-read the blog, and then mull over what comment I could add. But, and in this I am in unison with my The Word Guild friends and associates; most of the time I don’t say anything either.

As askew as my methods may be, these are the thoughts I’ve pondered this week in anticipation of adding my two cents worth. Any comments?

Linda Wegner


violet said...

How can I pass up such a challenge?

I've learned one thing in my 3+ years of blogging - comments don't hurt. And when I think of the lift comments have sometimes given me, it would be well worth making one to lift the writer even if they did.

I enjoyed this post Linda. Keep writing and reading askew.

The Koala Bear Writer said...

Just to give you another comment... :) I usually try to leave a comment when I read a blog, just to let the blogger know that I was there and reading. I often wonder what people think about what I post, and no comment isn't very encouraging (of course, at times I've been just as discouraged by a barrage of bad comments...). But you are right: Why do we hesitate to encourage or challenge each other, especially when blogs have such handy commenting features to give opportunity to do so?

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