There’s a fourth wall to blogging, which I’m really trying to break.
It’s all very well to write things – to share your life and your stories and the thoughts of your heart and the wanderings of your imagination – but sometimes, in a way…so WHAT? What then, once you’ve written and hit publish and people read your words? What further impact than sparkling the insides of someone’s mind (all well and good, but SO much Blogosphere writing is interwoven with Real Life, or drawn from it, at least)? What is it going to DO?! What ACTION will it inspire in a reader of mine?
And does it really matter?
I really think it does, and I feel as though an important part of the Blogosphere is the relational aspect of it. We all sit behind our screens, cosied up and insulated from the physical beings we interact with on a daily basis, but there’s no reason to classify those interactions as any less real or any less valid than those we have face-to-face; they’re just different.
Behind the blogs are real people, with real feelings and lives and dreams and triumphs and challenges. Behind the ‘face’ they present to the world, there are innumerous levels of self to be nurtured and managed and extended. Beyond that, there is the real world that each of those people interacts with on a daily basis, and somehow as we develop friendships with other bloggers, perhaps we begin to bear a certain responsibility towards them – certainly insofar as our influence is concerned – that we encourage them, in their worlds, to do good.
It’s a tough wall to break, I think, because it’s easy to read words and forget them, or to enjoy stories but let them flow over us and away. I love (particularly with this hop) that as I look around the people who seem to visit me, and with whom I share groups on Facebook, there are a large proportion of people who seem willing to break that fourth wall – whether it’s to take an attitude of thankfulness into their lives, or to promote compassion, or simply to write in support and encouragement of another person who’s having a hard time. When I see connections which result in glitterbombs or fruit-cakes sent across America, or birthday capes and balloons taken across state, or those moments of shining brightness where a group of people who know each other online, meet for the first time and take photographs together, or celebrate with an author whose crowdfunding campaign has enabled them to publish their book – THEN I know that the fourth wall – the one which keeps us as entities on-screen, is truly SMASHABLE.
My message to you – KEEP SMASHING!
(And in the interests of transparency – don’t be a complete dickhead and smash the wrong bit (like I did) with rudeness. Snark can upset people, so find a hidden corner to do it in, otherwise people get hurt. Lesson to self – be KIND!)
I have so MUCH! I guess I often overlook how much. My body is intact and working. My brain is (mostly) completely functional. I have more food than I know what to do with. I have a car and clothes and books and SO MUCH STUFF! I have a flat where I live, and a Husby to live with. There is money in my bank account and my job is secure. I live in a country where many freedoms are afforded to me and laws protect me and there are people who enforce them. I have friends I speak to every day, beautiful surroundings to look at, and access to The Online, where I keep so many more friends. I truly have more-than-is-mentionable Abundance in my world, and too often I take it for granted.
My online world is also graced with a wonderful Blogwife, who made me laugh so hard today that my tummy hurt, but who also offers good advice (which I don’t take, to my peril!) and who I would be quite the worse off without. For these, and so many other reasons, I recommend you visit her site and take her writing for a test-run.
You’re going to hear a lot about this, but I’m still amazed/astonished/elated/thrilled that #1000Speak for Compassion is still going SO STRONG
subliminal message about ‘if you’re not part of this yet, I really think you should be and please come and join us’. We’re nearly at 1000 members (maybe this weekend?) and there is such commitment and community spirit there, and so much energy focussed on writing to make a difference, and to inspire Compassion. Added to which, I woke up on Saturday morning to discover WE MADE THE THOUSAND! (Roll on 10,000!)
I recently got pestered by my boss to get my act together and take my holiday allowance before the end of the holiday year. I took some of it this weekend and am having a delightful four-dayer, just because I can. I spent my Down-time on Friday getting up late, writing, going out for cake with Husby, and visiting my Mum and WonderAunty. It’s been glorious. And all the extra time made me no earlier with the TToT.
For all I write about how writing can inspire and sparkle the mind and take up residence in the interior of a person, and move them to respond in amazing ways, and for all the efforts I make to enjoy when Good Things happen to other people (especially to writers with whom I’ve become friends, and who I hold in very high regard), I’m still susceptible to Envy – that green-eyed beast which rises within me and bites hard at my spirit, trying to undermine the things I do by comparison, or to wish that I had the talent or connectivity or sheer luck to achieve those same Good Things. Envy is mean and divisive. Envy attempts to destroy friendships and entice me to begrudge the success of others. It really, seriously stinks! My thankful here is that Envy also teaches me to behave well in spite of its presence, and it teaches me that friendships are more important than any manner of perceived success, and that if I look carefully, I have my OWN gigs going on, and should pay mind to them, not lose myself in curmudgeonly daydreams of a different kind of success.
I got called out this week for Favouritism – the implication being that I have them. Favourites, that is. It made me wonder about what kind of threat or draw is posed by the status. There are quite naturally (as is oft the way with human interaction) people who I’ve ‘clicked’ with in a more solid manner, which elicits more frequent communication. And perhaps there are other benefits to that. That said, those are the by-products of friendship and closeness, and perhaps that can be perceived as favouritism. All I will say is that I have had the good fortune to fall in with a large group of people online who all have come to matter to me, in their various ways. My relationship with each is very different, but all are valid and wonderful in their uniqueness. And the great thing is, that if you’re here often and you know me well, then the chances are, YOU’RE MY FAVOURITE.
Sometimes, when you know a really fabulous author, and are fortunate enough to be included in their promotional efforts for an up-and-coming BOOK they’re going to publish, you participate in GAMES. When the games involve fun things like hiding postcards and creating Twitter chains and seeing where the postcards end up, and trying to send them around the world, and GET PRIZES, you realise that not only are you both-feet-deep into a wonderful, glorious world, but that actually, by promoting them, you also get to promote yourself a little. Everyone wins. And some people win PRIZES! If you want to be one of the people to receive a Dilettante postcard FROM ME, for the #WhereIsHelena game, then leave me a note in the comments and I’ll pick a couple of people at random to message and send one to. I’d also love for you to sign up to Helena’s PubSlush page (FREE) to show support for a fellow writer who’s trying to make it, as we all are. And because she’s awesome and her writing makes me want to lick her brain because it’s SO DAMN GOOD.
I wrote earlier this week about a baby born with severe cataracts, and how his mum laughed about it as she told me the story. For good reason – the trauma was over and sorted by the wonder that is the NHS Healthcare system we enjoy here. It was good enough to become a Tale from the Van…
They say that ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ and sometimes that ignorance might be misconstrued for confidence, but really in my case, it’s probably because I live under a bit of a rock and haven’t the nouse to be intimidated by some of the Bigger Bloggers in a few of the groups I’m in. Mostly because I don’t know who they are. I’ve decided that Not Being In The Know can be a wonderful leveller of the playing field.
My final thankful (which I chose earlier, in advance, and wondered how I would fit in) is sheer, unadulterated Jubilance – the freedom to be free and have fun, and laugh and be silly and dance your ridiculous thoughts with the ridiculous thoughts of others, and weave together with others from around the globe, a large, messyglorious tapestry of neon threads, sparkling beads and gorgeous, humourous, fun-filled friendship.
What a wonderful way to end.
How was your week?