29.7.08

Blogging Hospitably

I've always been bothered by the idea of bloggers tailoring their blogs for readers. It's a bit irrational I admit. But there it is.

I guess that some of it comes from the fact that I view blogging as so personal. The blogs I read and love have so much of the blogger's personality tied up in them that it seems to change the blog to be what other people want to read is like changing yourself so that other people will like you. And that is where I find it bothersome, because the idea of anyone changing themselves just so that more people will like them bothers me.

Not that I am saying that this is in fact what people who change their blogs a lot are doing. Just like people who change their shirt a lot aren't doing it so that more people will like them either. I'm just trying to explain the personal obstacles I have had in thinking about what the people who read this may like.

And then, I had an epiphany. Meredith, the lovely and gracious host of Like Merchant Ships, which I read every day and keep forgetting to add to my side bar, wrote a little post a month or so back. In it she compared her blog to her home and her readers as guests. And suddenly it all made sense to me.

I usually quite enjoy entertaining. If you, dear reader, were to enter my house I would have made preparations for you. If you were coming to dinner I would have planned the menu a week ago and done all the shopping ahead of time. I would have swept the rugs and made the Boy clean the toilet for you. I would have drinks that I know you enjoy available, and I would offer you one when you came in the door. I'd also offer you a seat.

If you just popped by when I was in the middle of something for an impromptu visit, I'd still offer you some water at least and clear a space for you on my cluttered couch. I'd still be glad that you were here and take some time for conversation.

And so I realized that this blog isn't about me. It's about you lovely people who take time out your day to come and visit me. Sure it's still my blog, just as my house is still my house, it has stuff that I like and care about in it. But it's there in the service of entertaining and providing care and comfort to to the people there. Mostly.

So with that revelation...I don't know that there will be any noticeable change in She Laughs at the Days or not. Perhaps my attitude change won't have any practical implications at all.

But from now on I will be blogging with an eye being more hospitable towards you, the people who keep coming back to visit. Your friendship, even the electronic version, means a great deal to me.

6 comments:

  1. Becca5:10 PM

    I'm really not much of a comment leaver, but I wanted to say how much I enjoy reading both your blogs because not only are you able to communicate articulately but I also really feel that your personality and intent come through (even though of course I've never met you).
    I hope all the right doors open for you guys, and that you continue to let us share your thoughts and experiences.
    Becca

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think you already to a fine job of being hospitable on your blog. I love reading your blog because I feel like I know you. Your personality does come through which is what I love about your blog.

    I look forward to reading about your preparations for Thailand as they unfold.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Um, looks like I got a little redundant in that last comment. Sorry about that. What I was trying to say is that I LOVE your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous12:48 PM

    why? don't change! I like the way you blog.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Becca-Terri-Thank-you.

    Anonymous-don't worry. I'm not likely to change the way I blog. I just had an attitude shift about blogging in general. And thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Becca7:24 PM

    I'm really not much of a comment leaver, but I wanted to say how much I enjoy reading both your blogs because not only are you able to communicate articulately but I also really feel that your personality and intent come through (even though of course I've never met you).
    I hope all the right doors open for you guys, and that you continue to let us share your thoughts and experiences.
    Becca

    ReplyDelete

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