Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Answering the proverbial bell


Today is Tuesday, lovely people. Confession time. Let's focus on science, behavioral in particular. For some time now I've been feeling like one of Pavlov's dogs. Several times a week, I hear the proverbial bell (prompt posting) and my fingers twitch. I bang out a made-to-order post. Bell goes off again and I hop around cyberspace like a frantic animal trying to find all the bones shared.


If writing to prompt isn't bad enough, having my reading habits shaped by the same stimulus bothers me almost as much. Often I'm missing good reads because I've conditioned myself to first read  links to prompts. This reaction is in part because I participate in writing challenges, and I loathe linking up  and bolting. In the old days, you could count on your peers' support. In a group setting, drive-bys were shunned. If you didn't know it was bad form to post and bolt (not commenting to others), you learned quickly. Because we no longer post actual work in group forums (Maude, I miss the bygone days of discussion forums. Anyone remember ezboard communities?), supporting is now akin to driving all over the state to visit your relatives but worse, it's not just for the holidays but multiple times a week. There's little wonder why I miss so many good posts, including those by the prompt participants. By the time I make it through several links for a each prompt, there's little time left for casual visiting. I mean at some point I need to actually write, right?

What do you do? Are you a fellow subject responding to the bell or are you deaf and doing your own thing? Visit family of choice only a few times a month? Can we talk about it?



12 comments:

  1. i know for me it is a challenge---in link ups i used to read all, wanting people to feel welcome...over time i have developed of the behavior of others...those that drop links everywhere but never visit anyone...those are the first i cut out...i may miss some good stuff that way, but if someone is not responding to anyone...then its all about them and i dont care how good the writing is, its colored by the attitude of the poet...just saying...

    i have told others that if you read 3-5 and return comments of those that visit you then that is manageable...

    my behavior and attitude has changed on this over the years honestly...while i write to prompts i dont let it dictate what i write...it is just another texture to the story i am telling...or the truth i am unfolding...

    i think we can become too dependent on prompts as well...i write a lot that never sees the light of day until the time is right as well...and some of those may meet a prompt..

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    1. I respond much the way you do. I'm getting better about passing up prompts or pulling out something that fits. More slowly,I'm writing more independent of prompts. Can't emphasize enough that I'll pass on a writer who is too busy to ever respond. Doesn't have to be to me but somebody some of the time.

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  2. This is so true. I feel like I'm doing tricks for an audience sometimes.

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  3. I have no idea how Brian manages. I don't always comment, but I do try to read everything on the prompt (except for a few, but I won't say which).

    You, on the other hand - I read most everything you post. You have one of the authentic voices, regardless of form, prose, or poesy. Now I want to go into the archives, too, and look there. And the usual suspects, whom I suspect you know, I read their posts, too.

    One thing I prefer about wordpress over blogger, is the 'like' button - which means I can acknowledge a post without having to comment.

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    1. M, it's impossible to comment or read everything, but yep, I read more than I comment. And, you know I'm there everytime you post. Yep, I think it's time to dig into your archives (I've gone a few pages back).

      You and a handful of others have no idea how much your support and friendship means. Black and Gray didn't take off until I connected with incredible writers like you. I think you're the better writer, so I'm always stoked when you compliment me. Thank you.

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  4. Well darn. I made a long comment and it was here for a bit, but it vanished, so I will try again. I think that prompts are a good spur for creativity, but they have proliferated like rabbits and taken over. I've noticed that when I post independently, my comments dry up. It shouldn't be that way, and other friends have noticed the same thing at their blogs.

    As far as visiting, I always remember that I blog for myself, for the joy of it, first and foremost. The minute it becomes a "should" or a chore, I reevaluate. The truth is, I only have so much time and energy. There are a very few blogs i always visit, come rain or shine, and a few more I try to visit as I'm able. The rest just have to wait until I have the time and am in the mood. I will add, though, that I do try to return comments at least once. After that, it just depends.

    When I sign a linky, I do visit some of the others, but not all by any means. If the challenge excites me, I'll read a bunch; if it doesn't, I might only visit my tried and trues. if the challenge is my own, though, as hostess I will visit every link.

    In the end, i would rather get 6 thoughtful comments from people i care about and who care about what i create, than 50 fly-bys. Generic comments that say nothing specific to the post just take up space and mean very little to me. And jokey comments on serious poems really toast my ass. On the other hand, I specifically look for comments from my main people, and when they come, that's what makes it all complete for me. You're one of those, girl.

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    1. I hear you. Do you think I need an intervention? :-)

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  5. I loved this post and especially this line: "I mean at some point I need to actually write, right?"

    This is so true! Blogging can make it difficult to do the everyday life things you need to do. On the other hand, I gain so much when I go out and visit, whether it's visiting based on a writing challenge or my regular group. There's always something special I get from these visits.

    It's how I learned about AfG and found out to my delight one my buddies visits your site (Fireblossom).

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    1. Sara, what is your affilation with AFG? I agree, what I gain from blogging is immeasurable.

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  6. --I have always written for myself. I consider blogging my writing exercise, my mourning, my bitching, my journaling, a platform that is all my own.

    I still can't believe people actually want to read it.

    Anyhow, I cannot, absolutely CANNOT-- read a blog post without commenting. I'm sort of a freak like that.

    Kiss from Minnesota. Xx

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