Monday, December 7, 2009

Blogging at the Star

It seems that lately some of my fellow guest bloggers on the Kansas City Star have complained that some of the personal and inflammatory replies make them think twice or more about posting. Why bother when the replies can be extremely personal. I suppose someone could review comments before posting, but I’m not sure the newspaper has time or people to do it. The reply gang is a collection of usual suspects. Once you see their screen name, you can over time know exactly what they’ll say. A small few write thoughtful opinions but most just repeat their usual messages, often personal against the writer. We have the permissions to delete comments with vulgar words. I’m usually deleting the Nigerian spam messages selling knockoff Prada bags. It’s cool to have a spot to write and I enjoy it…I’ve learned the host of repliers and have developed a certain amount of respect and understanding for them…even the potty mouth folks. No longer do I dialogue, trade reply notes, with them, but one thing I’ve come to appreciate is the reader. That may sound simplistic, but I have deepened my respect for readers, as a writer. I have an image in my mind of my reader…and that really helps me to write in a way that thinks with the reader. Writing opinions can become too one-sided. I’m trying to find ways to invoke thought without sounding opinionated, which I’m certainly not…in some ways, I think I’m wishy washy and undecided, all over the map. Staying curious seems to be the most important thing in my head to fuel reading and writing.

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