Monday, April 05, 2010

Readers

I often wonder who is reading what I am writing. I hit "Publish Post" and send my writing out into the abyss, and sometimes I get a few comments but often there are none. I don't have a problem with lurking and I don't quite understand why people think it is creepy. Why should it be creepy to read what people post on the open internet? It's no stranger than reading a novel or a magazine article without interacting with the author - and that we do all the time.

Still, I do get curious. For whom am I writing? I guess for some Ideal Reader, someone sympathetic and understanding who will follow my mental leaps. (A.S. Byatt has a great short story with that theme, and I would tell you more about it, like the title, but that book is in Haiti.) Obviously I anticipate criticism too, as you can see from my relentless qualifying of everything: "At least, that's how it seems to me;" "But I could be wrong;" "But maybe that's just me."

Writing is a bit lonely whether it's on the internet or not; when I've had things published on actual paper in the past, it has always been a strange sensation to get so little feedback. I wonder if people didn't read it, or if they did and thought it was dumb, or if they think I am dumb...well, you get the idea.

If you feel so inclined, I'd love it if you'd write a comment and introduce yourself. I have Comment Moderation enabled which means that everything goes to my inbox first, so if you'd rather I not publish your comment, let me know and I won't. Or if you have my email address, you could just send me an email.

Or not - you could just keep lurking if you want. I'm OK with that.

Thanks to those who write comments regularly - I appreciate them very much. And speaking of people who leave comments regularly, one of my Ideal Readers, Janet, gave me an award. It's a Prolific Blogger Award and she says it's not just for wordiness, but that “a Prolific Blogger is one who is intellectually productive...keeping up an active blog that is filled with enjoyable content.” Thanks, Janet! I am supposed to nominate seven others, but I hope I will be forgiven if I just bask in the glow myself and don't nominate anyone. If you want to know what blogs I read and think are great, check out my Blog List to the right.

23 comments:

Corey said...

Hey Ruth, it's Corey. I'm here.

Laura Jones said...

I'm here, Ruth, reading and praying. Thanks for sharing your thoughts so lucidly, so regularly. I think you're brave, strong and beautiful, and I'm glad your kids have you as their mom. Much love to all four of you!

(No need to post this -- I just wanted you to know!)

Krakovianka said...

I've read your book reviews with interest and sympathy for a long time, usually clicking here from Semicolon's Saturday review of books. I haven't been reading blogs for the best part of year until recently, and when I popped in here this week, I read your whole earthquake story. My heart goes out to your family--I live overseas as well, and I can only imagine how I would feel under similar circumstances. I've added you to my google reader so I can keep up with you, and I pray that you'll be be back in Haiti as soon as possible.

Janet said...

Hi there, Ideal Reader here. At last, someone applies the I-word to me! It's about time... :-)

Basking in your prolific glow is quite fine!

I'm sure you have many more readers than you know.

JenniferJ said...

Hi Ruth,
I don't read too many Blogs, but I read yours regularly. I love your comments about Haiti and your posts about books.
Love you and miss you,
Jennifer

The Wandering said...

Hi Ruth,

This is Amanda. I've been keeping up with your blogs for a few months now, and I appreciate how often you post and how open you are. Keep it up. =)

camilla said...

It's Cami (from QCS a number of years back). I was thrilled to discover your blog via Jessica's blog. I appreciate your vulnerability. I used to post just pictures of my kids, but you've inspired me to post thoughts, as well, which is not easy to do. I try to be content with the realization that articulating my thoughts helps me understand them, even if no one comments on them.

Kathie said...

Hey Ruth - you know I stalk you because I do leave comments! The 1-12 EQ got me blogging again and while messing around one night, I found your blog. I've been a faithful stalker ever since. Blogging is a good thing... thérapie à l'internet! I tend to write somewhat angry things in my blog, then I erase 90% of it and write it better. It works for me and no one seems to get their feelings hurt too badly, and if they do, they don't have to read it. I guess I'm far too pragmatic. You, my friend, are suffering. But you will get through this and back to an 'adjusted' life. You will heal much better once you can be a family with Steve again. You really do need him and he really needs you too! Just know that those of us who read what you write also know better how to pray for you! Bless you! ~Kathie Ketchum

Sherry said...

Hi Ruth! I'm reading, praying for Haiti and for you and your family. Thank you for being so transparent and helping me to understand that Haiti is so much more than just "the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere."

And of course. I enjoy the book posts, too.

Rich said...

I read everything you write, and don't think you're dumb. :)

--Richard

Pia said...

Hej - to start off in my native language. My name is Pia and I live in Stockholm, Sweden. I started reading your blog after the EQ, came across the link on one of the other blogs from Haiti (have a look at http://delicious.com/piabise if you like). I'm 45, mother to Edrick, 3 years old, living with his dad and Edrick's two older /half/sisters (14 and 17). I work for a media brooker but have a long history of arts marketing in these places (www.dansenshus.se www.berwaldhallen.se www.kulturhuset.stockholm.se).

Reading the blogs became a source of information on things I know very little about, Haiti, the country and the culture, the missionaries. It opened a window. Feeling very strongly about the distribution of, to keep it short, possibilities that we have depending on where on the globe our cradle happened to sit and the wonderful work that actually goes into trying to make things a bit better is great. Having no experience at all of the Americas but having travelled extensivly in SE Asia I have seen need, and it is by far worse in Haiti now than in a whole lot of other places. Coming from a country where all schools and universities are free, there is an abundance to eat I'm wondering as I read your blog, and the other blogs, if there is a way for me to turn life around and start giving something back. Also, not being a christian (more common than not here) the whole set up of missions and christian helporanisations is really interesting and new to me.

About it I think, thank you for being part of my "window" with your very well written and interesting blog.
Pia

Andy Bowen said...

Hey there. You know I read you regularly!

Karen said...

I have read your blog - since the EQ - found the link from the Livesays blog.

I enjoy your writing and learning about Haiti.

Anonymous said...

Ruth,
It is a little funny, kind of nice really that you asked about your readers. There oddly has been a part of me that wondered if I should be. I wasn't quite sure if there is some proper etiquette to it or not. But then I realized that God some how lead me to your blog. I realize not everyone would understand that but I think you might so I'll explain a bit. I found Ben & Katie's blog on the Dallas Morning News right after the Haiti EQ. I have a 21 yr old daughter that will be going to Medical school next year that introduced me to Paul Farmers work in Haiti & Partners in Health. I'm involved in a variety of mission related things & my daughter has done work in Africa. So, I was following & praying for Haiti. Somehow I linked to yours, and a couple others too. I felt called to pray for you & a woman named June. I'm not quite sure if you know June but she too is now in US away from her husband who works for World Vision in Haiti. I sponsor a World Vision child in Gulu, Uganda so somehow felt a link to her too. Anyway, I sit in Dallas, help my daughter who will be a doctor in Africa one day & pray for those I feel called to pray for. Oh, I do work, ect. & enjoy your poetry posts.
Still praying for you, Haiti, & lots of other things too.
Vicky

Anonymous said...

Hi Ruth,

I don't really read blogs. I have to remind myself to read David's. (Don't tell. :)) I started reading your blog after the EQ. Makes me feel like we're at Open Door and I'm listening to you share. :)

Love and Prayers,
Sarah Clemente

Walking to China said...

I have read your blog over the past few years and then kind of forgot about it when we moved to China. My memory was jogged a few months ago and I found it again.
I've read it for the book reviews and poetry. Now I read it for the really poignant writing about Haiti. I can feel your heart and your pain and it's good to read your writing.

Tricia said...

Of course I'm here, although i don't check all 'my' blogs every day. I'm one of those people who can make silly comments, but have a harder time with the deep...

Maria said...

OHAI!

Of course, you already knew I read your blog. I just get to it in spurts. I'm currently reading a backlog of 18 posts. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Ruth, I read your blog about once a week and it often makes me teary. Love you!
Shannon

Anonymous said...

Ruth, I read every word of every post! You write very well and I'm thankful every single day that I married you.

Among Worlds said...

I've been reading your blog for a long time now - ever since you posted it on MkNet!

I don't comment much (feel like what I might say is so insignificant when compared to what you have written...and written so well), but I read every day (as I am able).

You are always in my prayers - as are many whose blogs I now read because of reading your blog!

Jessica said...

Ruth, yours was the first blog I began to read and it's still one of my favorites (and I read far too many : ) -Jess

Tammy said...

You asked why I was reading.

Because it is interesting. You write an honest, first person account of a major historical event.

Haiti isn't in the news so much anymore. And if it is I am missing it because I'm not watching or reading the news too much. I don't know what is happening in Haiti and I want to know. I don't know if Haiti has been rebuilt with the millions in aid money. I want to follow-up from honest sources.

Yours is the second blog I've read about Haiti. The first was Barbie's from Heartline Ministries called "Haiti Is Such A Strong Word". Her blog was so utterly incredible and it encoured me to read more. I believe I found out about your blog through a link on her blog. I started reading your blog around the Jan date and will stop when I catch up to real time. (I am skipping the poetry/book parts.) As I go through your blog, I am making notes of many of the links you have and will sort through them when I'm done reading yours and read the ones that interest me.

I really appreciate the first-hand, honest "reporting". The more I read, the more I understand, the more I am inclined to help. I don't want to forget about the Haitian people. I think by reading (interesting) blogs, especially by missionaries and aid workers it helps me. It connects me to the problem by identifying and clarifying the problem and what needs there are. And I want to know that good is being done there. (It sounds like your husband is doing a lot of good there - God bless him.)

Thank you so much for writing this. It can't be easy and yet you are doing it. I expect you are helping a great many people. Your love for the Haitian people is rubbing off.

Tonight, I, a 40 y.o. white Canadian woman, showed my 14 y.o. son the video you had on your blog by the composers. And I'm hoping we can watch that documentary. I haven't seen it yet. I think it is important for him to know that life isn't just what we see and experience.

Thank you so much for writing your experiences. I hope that you can get back to Haiti because it seems like your heart is there.

Tammy
Toronto, ON