Outside of a Creative Writing course that I took for a semester in my Senior year of high school and a Modern Poetry class I took the next semester, both taught by the same teacher, Ms. Hartley, I have never taken any writing lessons of any sort. Can you tell? I rattle and ramble. I create my own sentence structures. I start sentences with "And..." and "But...." I write like I think, not by what grammar rules or writing instructors tell me is correct. Am I a writer? I like to think I am. There are many here who feel the same way.
As Twitter and Facebook and other social networking sites attract more and more traffic I've noticed how blog posting has begun taking a back seat, riding shotgun. Kind of quietly sitting there biding its time while Twitter and Facebook are sitting up front chatting and schmoozing in their mostly inane way. Conversation is fast and furious up front. Blogging, meanwhile, gazes out the window, listening to Twitter and Facebook with half an ear. Blogging knows fads come and go. And it rests on the knowledge that it is not a fad. It knows that its popularity may wax and wane. It knows Facebook and Twitter and others named Bebo and MySpace will show up on the scene with all kinds of glitz and glory that will titillate the sensibilities of the public. But pretty soon they'll be overtaken by some other new, fresh contender and their popularity will begin to decline.
But blogging? Well, blogging is here to stay, I believe. It has much more to offer than a place to read that this celebrity is going off to have lunch with a publicist. Or that celebrity thinks Orange Crush is the greatest soda ever created. Or people who purchase 'Friends' so it looks like their site is popular with thousands. I mean, who has 10,439 friends?! Most of us are lucky to have 2 or 3 good ones. Blogging, in the general sense for most of us, is a place where life is lived. Where others come to read what a blogger has to say. It doesn't matter if it's silly or stupid or grumpy or whiny. It shows real people living real lives, people who are willing to let the rest of the world come in and see who an ordinary person is. How they think. How they feel. How they function on good days or bad. How they deal with tragedy or joy. Unless you put your real name out there for the world to see, most readers don't have a clue who you are. That's a very liberating element right there and I think it also helps to keep us bloggers real. If we don't have to worry about what people think of us because they don't even know who we are, we don't have to pretend to be any one but who we are. I do believe that bloggers are some of the most genuine people out there.
Journalists can say what they want about us. I don't care. I'm thick-skinned. I've been judged because I'm not "educated". Well, so what? A degree makes you a purist? A degree makes you good and professional? Maybe it does. I don't know, since I've never had one. But I will tell you who my best teacher has been. It's Life. And it has taught me so many more important lessons than any text book ever has. And that is what I write about. I've lived it and I've learned from it. It has a vast classroom that's never filled up, at least until the very end. And I believe even the last lesson learned will be the most awe inspiring of all.