When Bloggers Meet
This Thursday, I took the day off from my normal life to meet some bloggers in real life. As all bloggers will testify, we lead a virtual life in the blogosphere . Our daily or sometimes occasional interaction with a fellow blogger makes us believe that we actually know the person.
One of my favourite games has been to imagine the person at the other end of the voice. This was particularly true when we didn’t have Facetime and a telephone call meant a voice at the other end of the line.
For instance, I imagined Mr. A, the man from Kerala who sold rubber gloves to be a middle aged man with a middle aged spread, thick rimmed glasses, the mandatory moustache and a stern appearance. I was surprised when I found out that he was not middle aged, not at all fat, didn’t wear spectacles and was a very pleasant person who enjoyed a good laugh!
So when I met Shalz of Shalmojo, Shilpa of Metanoia, Sanch of Sanchwrites and Damyanti of Daily (W)rite, I was keen on finding out the person behind the keyboard. Each of these women are bloggers I admire. Shalz has the most amazing travel blog with stunning photography. Shilpa’s blog posts are truly transformative with her motivational posts. No matter what she is going through, her optimism shines through. I fell in love with Sanch’s poetry during the A to Z challenge last year where she wrote a poem in a different style each day. As for Damyanti – I was just intrigued by a person who seemed to be a strident activist and a serious novelist.
I had met Shilpa earlier and de-mystified my image of her. She turned out to be much tinier and older that what I thought she’d be. I expected Shalz to be taller, Sanch bigger and Damyanti a sophisticated writer from overseas.
The sizing was a bit off, but my impressions of them pretty much matched their real life persona.
After all, as Virginia Woolf says:
“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.
And each of these women’s voices comes through in their writing.
However, I was a bit apprehensive meeting them as they are almost half my age . Daughter No. 1 even offered to call me and bail me out if things weren’t turning out as per my expectations.
But it turned out that age was just a number in my head. It was a delightful meeting where eating took a back seat to meeting. Within minutes, all of us were talking as though we had known each other for years.
The ladies very graciously agreed to come to my side of town and the three hours that we spent together went by really fast!
Apart from the many fascinating stories we shared ( particularly Damyanti) the conversation veered naturally to blogging. After all, we shared a common interest and met on a common platform : Corinne’s WriteTribe.
So we spoke about blogging platforms, self hosting, guest posting and various issues that I was quite curious about.
Why do you write?
One of the topics we touched upon ( after Damyanti left) was numbers and why we write what we write. None of them were bothered about the numbers and said that they wrote purely for the joy of writing.
They all agreed as ONE that it is NOT the numbers that matter but the CONTENT.
“If the book is true, it will find an audience that is meant to read it.” – Wally Lamb
Naturally, what we write matters. After all, many of us make the time and take the effort to write good stuff. Because as we all know, if you offer peanuts you will only get monkeys.
And these writers are blogging purely for the love of blogging. And even though they are not chasing numbers, having an audience to write to is pretty gratifying.
While talking about publishing, Damyanti busted the myth that writing is a lonely experience. Instead, she explained how writing is a collaborative process between the writer, the agent, the publisher and the editor.
However, I am not writing a book ( at least not now).
It does stoke MY ego to know that my content is something people look forward to. My words bring them joy. Or perhaps my readers can learn something special from my writing.
On the other hand, I am definitely NOT writing in the dark just hoping for that random reader to drop by and make a random comment ?
So the questions I’m asking all my fellow bloggers are, do you write to be read? Or do you write because you want to write for yourself?
I would love to read your answers so do leave your comments below.
In the meanwhile enjoy your Sunday!
p.s. Apologies for this very blurred image but I have deliberately blurred the image in order to protect privacy………