I ran into one of my writing group compatriots yesterday at the library – RK. She knows who she is because she reads this blog. That’s what she told me when we talked yesterday (that she reads this blog, not that she knows who she is). What’s even more important is that she likes this blog, which warms my heart no end.
She told me that she used to blog, but stopped because she got addicted to blogging and checking in on her blog, which, coupled with a tendency to want perfectly polished blog posts and keeping up with and commenting on other people’s blogs, ate a lot of time, more than she was comfortable with. So, she deleted her blog. A drastic measure to be sure, but one that saved her sanity. Now, she’s taken on the role of lurker. She reads blogs, but she doesn’t leave comments.
I told her that I’ve noticed a lot of my time evaporating while blogging, but more than blogging itself, which doesn’t take very long, I find that I’m spending even more time keeping up with the blogs of others and with making sure to comment on them. I like comments, heck, I love comments, and I leave them because I want bloggers to know that someone is reading, but I’m beginning to see how excessive commenting is getting away from me.
Along with the Blogging Without Obligation movement, I think we need to celebrate the humble lurker, the reader who reads, but doesn’t comment. Like RK, I lurk around several blogs, with nary a comment left. I’ve been known to leave comments often on a bunch of other blogs and I still will leave comments if so moved, but I have to scale back a bit on the commenting so that I can keep my sanity. Rest assured, if I don’t leave a comment in a while, it’s not that I’m not reading. Rather, I’m lurking. And, of course, I don’t expect others to play by rules that I’m not willing to follow, so, if you want to lurk on Woo Woo Teacup, feel free. Let’s call it Lurking Without Obligation, shall we?
Btw, I have had people, like RK, tell me in ways besides leaving a comment that they are reading. In person is nice, but I’ve also had people track me down via email to tell me they’re reading. Feedback, no matter what channel it comes through is fabulous. As writers, it’s good to know that our words matter to someone.