You’re a great audience, and don’t forget to tip your waitresses!

I’ve always wanted to say that! Here’s why:

Today I’m up to the fifth month of the six-month trial blogging period I set for myself when I started this blog. During this time I’ve had people ask me why I blog and I think this is a great question – a question I was asking myself before I even started and for which I still don’t have a firm answer.

There is one analogy, however, that I think fits: this blog is my garage band. You see, ever since I was a kid I’ve wanted to be a singer in a hot band. The problem is, I can’t sing a lick (or play one for that matter) and my sense of rhythm is such that no band would ever let me shake a tambourine (more cowbell!). For that matter, my dancing is even worse than my singing, and I have little artistic ability. But, oh, to be in a band! It wouldn’t even have to be a great band, or even a band with a recording contract. Just to be good enough to be in a garage band would be so cool.

Why do people play in garage bands? Obviously, I can’t say. Some perhaps hope to be “discovered” but I’d hazard to say that few see it as a way to fame and fortune. Some musicians may just like collaborating with others to create something. Others see it as a fun way to make some money doing something they enjoy, and perhaps for others it is just because they love to make music – whether anyone else likes it or not. Perhaps if you asked them, they’d have as hard a time finding a single answer as I have in answering people who ask me why I blog.

The only skill I have is in observation and stringing words together. I don’t think I’m a bad public speaker when the opportunity arises, but my “stage” is likely to always be obscure. Blogging gives me the opportunity to use the gift, such as it is, that has been given to me, to stretch out the boundaries of my comfort zone and appreciate whatever satisfaction I get from doing so.

Perhaps musicians of every ability also yearn for those moments when they get that perfect mix of time and place where the music transcends the mere notes themselves and touch a soul. Me too! Somewhere out there is the perfect line waiting to be written; the perfect note of irony in response to the day’s events; the sparest description that illuminates completely; the spark of inspiration that starts a brushfire in someone’s mind – the shock of recognition that causes someone to say, “Yes, yes! That is exactly what it is like to be me, and now I see myself in a slightly different light!”

Umm..okay, getting a little carried away there. I think, however, that this is at the heart of why I blog. I don’t do it to become rich and famous (though that would be nice). I don’t do it to change the world (though that would be nice, too). I certainly hope people enjoy the experience, but, essentially, it’s about my enjoyment first.

Earlier this week Joe Carter at the Evangelical Outpost wrote about the addiction he sometimes feels toward his Site Meter count and Technorati and TTLB rankings. To which I have to say, “Preach it, brother.” I check my own counts at least a couple of times a day, and I’m fascinated by the “referrals” page that shows from where people are coming to my blog. Some of the Google references have been very interesting. I suppose this is displays a weakness of character on my part, but as Joe himself has said, “If you don’t care if anyone reads you then you don’t have a blog, you have a diary.”

Like others who have gazed at their own blogging navel recently, the things I appreciate about the last few months are the many new friends I’ve met (some in person, some only electronically), the comments and trackbacks I get that show I’ve made at least a small ripple somewhere. Here’s to you, Leo, Kelley G, Emily, Muzzy, Sandy and the rest of the Squad, Bruce, Derek, the NARN, Kevin, the Saint and Roller Pauls, Doug and all the other MOBsters. Without this contact this blog wouldn’t have lasted a month.

One month – or six months – from now, who knows? I still haven’t come up with a satisfactory answer to the first question I posed to myself when I considered starting this blog: How will I tell if this is successful or not? One thing I am learning – and that I wouldn’t have expected when I started – is that success may be measured, but not defined, by Site Meter or NZ Bear. I think a large part of it has to do with the people I mentioned above, and the ones I’ve yet to “meet.”

Thank you, and good night! Rock on!

7 thoughts on “You’re a great audience, and don’t forget to tip your waitresses!

  1. There is one analogy, however, that I think fits: this blog is my garage band.

    That is freakin’ poetry. You nailed it!

  2. You’re not gonna try and hug us are you?!

    And I agree…the garage band analogy is perfect. I’m stealing it.

  3. Unlike most of the people who read (you hope)this I actually know you pretty well. You know that I am not long on the compliments but here goes. I think you are a gifted writer and I am extremely jealous of the skill you demonstate in putting your thoughts down on electronic paper with humor and impact. I have trouble with spelling and punctuation. I like the garage band thing and I am trying to decide what instrument I could play in your band…perhaps a solicitation to include in a blog sometime…but I digress. You have a gift for writing and I think your experiment is wildly successful. If only you could figure out that natural golf thing.

  4. Thanks, Roy. We can only speculate as to whether this blog has been helped or hindered by you hitting me in the forehead with a golf ball.

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