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

2 comments:

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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