Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Fine Art of Blogging (Blogging Woohoos)

Whenever I am asked what I like to read, I am hard pressed to put across the diversity -- call it mishmash -- of my reading fare. So I say simply: "From comics to classics."

A like predicament confronts me now that I have been asked by Diogenes of http://www.quasifictionalviews.blogspot.com what blogging is to me. I feel a similar sense of being stumped, a familiar sense of boundlessness. Unfortunately, unlike the first question, I haven't worked out a cute-smug answer to the second.

Let me see ...

Three months into blogging, I find it to be the freest, most generous, and most flexible form of self expression there is on line.

There is no limit to blog content, subject, language, tenor. I think it can only be bound by one's imagination.

The art of blogging can be as fine as Picasso's art or Shelley's poetry or as crass as a bedtime story or an anthology of toilet humor. But by and large, it is somewhere in between. Mine is.

In the short spell I have been a blogger, I have published two short stories, a poem, and a daughter's award-winning piece. I have found myself sharing a piece of my mind, writing my heart out, reminiscing about my lost youth, paying tribute to someone I love or admire from one day to the next. Soon, I just might blog my bile out -- hoping to expectorate some overstaying toxins.

What I have not done (yet) is to blog a daily journal of events. Much less an hourly one which seems to be the fad among bloggers these days -- I think they call it twittering?

By and large, I prefer to blog about action that takes place within (my mind) rather than without (my external, material world).

What I like most about the blogworld is it has become an open marketplace of ideas through posts and counter-posts. (Fortunately or unfortunately, Philippine bloggers are way too courteous to argue openly and fiercely on issues, no matter how controversial. I haven't seen too much disagreements and the little I find rarely ignite into full-scale conflagrations or debates.)

When I strayed into this cool, kewl blog-a-day world, I thought I'd do it peripherally, given my superwoman roles of mother, wife, worker -- not to mention less reputable roles of mediocre online scrabbler and badminton pulot girl.

I couldn't have known I would be hooked-lined-sunk.

Nowadays, it's the first thing I do when I wake and the last thing I do before bed. It has infused a get-up-and-go into my morning, given "rise and shine" a new meaning. Beats cafe cappucino!

At work it has led me to the wonders of multi-tasking. I key in one paragraph of open-faced manual or book-writing, then two paragraphs of stealthy blogging. Between the legitimate and the illegitimate, my days fly like a song.

Nighttime is quiet, guilt-free time to indulge it. I begin 10-ish and before I know it, its -- omg -- past 1:00 of the unwelcome new morning. Blogging crunches time better than a Spielberg movie or a Steinbeck or Bob Ong book. Doesn't it sometimes make you wonder why people hafta sleep?

It has (re)connected me with friends, old and new. An old office colleague -- who turned out to be in the local blogging "who's who" -- welcomed me with band music and ticker tape parade (Exag!). A high school friend popped up like a sweet meteor from the blue (No exag!).

I got to meet middling mom bloggers who like me felt OP at first. Together, we agreed to try to crack the youth-dominated blogsphere as denizens every bit as entitled (I think we're getting there). Later, I was recruited into Philippine Moms Network where I got to meet more mothers -- hot babes and cool bloggers all.

A blogging berks -- 20-ish, 30-ish all -- made me forget I had joints about to get unhinged. How musical their posts sound, with the ma'am, tita, po and opo deleted. Those who insisted on paying respect were asked to use nanamanila instead. Some of them swear I write so coolly and so hiply they couldn't tell my demographics from theirs and admirably hid their shock when they met ole Mrs. Grundy in four dimensions.

I have all these problems with techie stuff, given that my personal "hard disk" has a built-in firewall against them. And you know what?! -- I got to meet IT-savvy bloggers who'd listen to my "Help!" yelps and has designed (awesome) graphic headers for me, helped me link and put up blogrolls, taught me to cut and paste, and otherwise offered to spoon-feed and hand-hold by remote control.

And I nearly forgot -- I went into blogging as a hedge against fear of retirement. And now, I feel I can't wait to retire.

Isn't this better than it gets? Woohoo!

(Will try to write about bloggging boo-hoos/boo-boos later.)

(This piece is also published at quasifictionalviews.)


33 comments:

Jemima said...

I've been blogging for over 8 mths. Personally, I feel that bloggers should blog on whatever they like or feel. It doesn't matter what other people think or say.

I've bloggers who no longer visits my blog. I still fully respect them & for whatever reasons they have turned away frm my blog 'cos my blog is my own.

Happy Blogging!

julie said...

It is due to blogging that I have "met" friends like you. As bloggers often say, there is simply no geographical boundaries when to it comes to blogging. I say yes to that. But more than geographical boundaries, virtual friendships are formed, even bonding is established amongst bloggers, even without personal encounters. Why so? Because through blogging, one begins to know another person though his/her thoughts and words. Just as long as these are true, ack! :)

sasha said...

Before anything else, ate, my guess is you're in your 30s... Am I right? :)

Very well-said. Ganyan na ganyan din ang sasabihin ko except for the joints and mom stuff hehe

Happy weekend, ate! You can look around my blog all you want. And if you ever want a "renovation" of your site, I can do it for you :)

Take care and God bless!

pining said...

All I can say is blogging made my life more exciting... the best thing since sliced bread...
enjoy the rest of your weekend :-)

Abaniko said...

I don't know if changing my reading habit is good or not: from reading books to reading blogs. But I don't care. I like reading blogs these days more exciting because they are highly interactive. And as you mentioned you get to even meet real people---mostly helpful, friendly people. Enjoy blogging Annamanila!

rhodora said...

Amen to everything they say here, Anna! Remember, the first comment I posted here - was all about your writing style that I so love!

Psst.. Anna... Igagawan din daw ako ni Dimaks ng header. Nag-email siya sa akin, asking for the specs ... hehehe. Kaya lang, libre daw, e. Sorry, you have no commission! hahaha!

Belle TH said...

hi anna, my husband constantly warns me against blogging because he thinks that i might pay a dear price someday for giving out too much information. but i never pay attention. who would be interested in hurting poor ugly girl like me?

serioulsy, without my blog, i would not have stumbled on your blog which was a blessing because i got to know people with high intellect like you, whom, i hope to learn a bit from. keep writing anna and make it into a book someday. i would love to buy your book.

Major Tom said...

Hi...What your thought on blogging is truly insightful. It's definitely a new form of media that is briskly evolving and would take its final form years from now. Even big agencies like CNN and the Philippine Inquirer could not anymore turn a blind eye on this new communication machine. I think blogging is the future of mass communication.

ladycess said...

"Fortunately or unfortunately, Philippine bloggers are way too courteous to argue openly and fierily on issues, no matter how controversial. I haven't seen too much disagreements and the little I find rarely ignite into full-scale conflagrations or debates."

uhh.. yep, guilty :) i think ive become a, lke you said, way too courteous blogger. wasnt always this way, when i was just a newbie, i was free to say whatever i wanted bec i only had a handful of readers, and they were all my old friends. met bloghoppers along the way, bloghopped myself, and now ive become a polite blogger. maybe bec ive seen way too many online catfights on forums and blogs and comment pages. full-scale, as you say, to the max. ok lang sana if everyone can argue intelligently, pero there will always be at least one who will be, well, a little too nasty. im more of a lover than a fighter (hehe, at least when online) so i dont wish to be involved in nor even start arguments (although the uzi in me would always make usyoso, hehehe!)

but oh well, the downside is i tend to be too careful and safe lest i ruffle someone's feathers. hay, u should see my draft pages. but what the heck, i might just decide to start a fire one of these days. :) it's becoming tiring to be thinking of other people's feelings all the time. it hinders my creative juices from flowing freely. :)

alamsher said...

I have not seen a post written better than this for sometime now. You really write "so coolly and so hiply" (and substantially) that no one can guess your demographics. How ole are you you Mrs. Grundy. Don't say you are old. Because I am not going to believe any thing more than what I think. Nice to meet you.

vernaloo said...

I belong to the 20-ish blogpals you have right? hehehe early 20's hehehe :)

sheilamarie said...

hi anna. it's addicting, isn't it? LOL! all i can say is that a blog is always a work in progress.

mine started out as a journal, it still is, but now it's more on stories on the upside things of life. nothing earth shattering =)

i just wish i was articulate as you when it comes to putting my thoughts into words. =)

annamanila said...

Jemima!

Yes, we usually blog for our self-expression and self-satisfaction. Others blog for other reasons (to inform, entertain, persuade, maybe earn some revenues). As for me I wouldn't mind doing this and earn a bit on the side. Someday .. maybe. LOL

And yes, I guess online friends, are more fleeting than offline ones. But there are those -- few maybe -- that stay.

Ty for your blogging insights. Will see you soon at your site.

annamanila said...

Aaaah ... yes. I guess you may learn more of my innermost thoughts -- because you read my blogs -- than casual friends of many years standing. And vice versa. Isn't that splendid!

I also owe it to blogging for having met Teacher Julier and all her interesting pieces on pedagogy and understanding special needs of children.

annamanila said...

Sasha!

I have children about as old as you are. But as I always say ... what has age got to do with the essential me that blogs? haha ... but i keep forgetting and i think my friends keep forgetting .. the title of my site is ode2old. but i guess everyone is somehow getting old ha .. if you get my drift. haha

Thank you, Sasha. Once I can really focus on professinalizing my blog, I will run to you for help. But off the cuff, can you tell me how I can improve it? Hard question ba? :)

annamanila said...

Pining!

You're bloody right! :) Here's to blogging and blog friends. Many of these fringe benefits of blogging I didnt reckon with. If I did, i might have blogged long ago.

hope you had a good one too.

annamanila said...

Abaniko!

Reading onscreen or reading on paper -- what does it matter. Maybe if I had a laptop, I would also read more online. Unfortunately, I can't take my desktop to bed. hehe

Happy blogging to you too, Abaniko!

annamanila said...

Rhodora!

I will always remember you were among the first to comment on my blog who is neither friend or relative haha.

Maybe I will sue Dimaks for breach of contract?! hehehe

I am glad you have bounced back. All best, my friend.

annamanila said...

Belle!

There are so many paranoid about giving information online. I guess I don't blame them. But look at naman the things we would have missed if we didn't blog ha. I'd rather risk a little and enjoy much and live my life to the full both online and off.

Beauty is subjective. To me you are pretty -- I say tht sincerely. Gusto ko kasi yung dark, medyo exotic looks. Like me. haha

Thank you thank you God bless you .. u just don't know .. i am creative with words .. but almost useless with everything else.

annamanila said...

Major Tom!

You're sooo right ... and that is something i just learned lately when i began to blog -- blogging is the way to go in masscom in near future if not right NOW... and how nice we have already boarded that train, di ba? Kahit ba mabagal yung train ko eh .. hahaha.

TY for dropping by my site and see you soon in yours.

annamanila said...

Lady Cess!

Is that a promise or a threat? Sounds good. No one need not begin a fire just for the heck of it ... but if we have to ... to stand by what we feel strongly about ....then gogogo. When that time comes, you can be sure your friend here won't be fencesitting but will join right into the center of the heat. Ouch. Init ah.

Hey speaking of init -- i got na that appliance we were talking about -- but waiting for installation. So frustrating that i am still sweltering. hahaha.

annamanila said...

Vernaloo!

Kasama ka ba? Eh akala ko 18 ka lang? hahaha

annamanila said...

Alam Sher!

This is one of the best things anyone told me as a blogger ... so I took your comment from Diogenes' place to here.

I guess you have to speculate for a while yet about my demographics. But as I always say, what does demographics have to do with the essential, the blogging me?

Thank you .. I tried to visit you site .. but it doesn't click to a sie. :(

annamanila said...

Sheilamarie!

I keep a written daily journal so that is probably why I didn;t feel any need to do that online. Yes, our blogs evolve just as our persons evolve. I got other plans for blogging -- but am not ready to implement yet. Soon very soon.

You are articulate. You are a good writer. And the wonderful thing is you have so much time and opportunity to get better. Magaling na pero marami pang igagaling. Hindi pareho ko ... ito na yon siguro. LOL

diogenes said...

You are very lucky to have such wonderfull and informed friends. Envy ;-)

auee said...

I've been wanting to post a similar take about blogging. We think alike? hehe Kapal 'no?

Seriously though blogging is my release. Finding blogs to read and then writing down my thoughts saved my sanity.

BTW, your link to quasifictionalviews is broken, you missed the "blogspot" in the URL.

annamanila said...

Diogenes!

Yup, blogging led me to wonderful, introspective, articulate, sharing, blogging friends.

Yes, lucky!

annamanila said...

"Blogging woohoos" has been in draft form on my dashboard for weeks when Diogenes of quasifictional invited me to join his "fine art of blogging" project which he has a mind to put together into a book. So it was really providential I already had that draft in storage .... i merely enlarged it.

We think alike? YES exactly. And i found another kindred spirit. Woohoo!!

sasha said...

Tita, I will look for a template suitable for you. I kinda get a feel of the blogger's personality before I embark on a renovation hehe...

Baka lang a much better template suits your blog para more space for the info on your sidebar :)

Will email you about it once I find one.

And yes, age has nothing to do with blogging. It just adds a sense of maturity in your posts :)

sexy mom said...

i can't help but bring here my comments from Quasi Fictional:

And that dear readers, is Annamanila. See how she romances the keyboard? I would like to say "romancing the pen", but now, it is already the age of computers. I don't know how many people still use the pen these days.

Annamanila's romancing the keyboard results to her witty masterpieces as Picasso's art, Beethoven's music and Shelly's poetry.

I love your posts, Annamanila!

annamanila said...

Dine aka sexy mom!

Thank you for bringing that comment here. I really want to make hakot all the comments in Diogenes' site so I could them over and again when I am feeling down. :)

Ay, mutual admiration talaga.

Toe said...

OP? You joking? Your blog is one of the fastest-growing blog I know. And I think you got it right from the first... as Niceheart said nga... you blog from the heart.

Personally, that's how I judge blogs. Kahit anong content, kahit pa toilet humor, basta honest yung tao.

annamanila said...

Toe!

Thanks for reading this post .. akala ko skip mo na eh. Wanted you to read it kasi Verna felt alluded to when i talked about blog berks (20ish, 30ish). You might feel alluded too din. hehe.

Niceheart said that? pero she said many nice things naman eh .. i just dont remember exactly.

Honesty in blogging -- kahit pa toilet humor. hmmmm Oo nga ano. Napa-think tuloy ako. I am sorry that part of my piece might have sounded too condescending of others.

You said that about Prab and me during that EB lunch -- about growing fast. TY. Siguro nga kasi we were lucky enough to get in touch early on with a group like yours who do not hesitate to endorse new bloggers to their existing circle. I will pass it forward. :)

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