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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Of Bloggers, Teenagers, and Forty-Somethings

This has been a fantastic week. It really has. But, unfortunately, I have had a nagging, buzzing need at the back of my head that won't let me be. I'm checking my ego enough to tell you all that the buzzing and nagging has been from a need to blog.

It made no sense to me for a while. Why should I want to blog? It's just writing, which I do plenty of every day. So why this type of writing? Why does a desire to sit down and make some Stronger Coffee with you all push and jostle me every time I see the computer? And then I had my answer.

Blogging is not just writing. When I work on my novel, or I write a short story, or I sit down and pen a poem, I am writing for myself, the page, and a possible, future audience. But a blog? A blog is immediate readership. The desire for readership has nothing to do with vanity and everything to do with an inherent, driving, instinctive need to express.

Bloggers, though they may pretend to be, are not a unique breed of people. Bloggers (and this is what makes their blogs so fascinating anyway) are nothing more than ordinary people with thoughts to share. They want to say what they feel and what they think. They want to be heard and understood in a different kind of way.

I always hear adults rant against text messages, IMs, and emails because (ahem) "One day you kids won't know how to communicate with each other." In my ever-so-humble, fifteen year old opinion that is very far from the truth. If anything, our generation suffers from a malady that can only be called Overcommunication. Just because me and Person X aren't staring at each other, face-to-face, as we speak, does not mean that we are not generating true, meaningful, powerful ideas.

I hear that teenagers are - as if we are a race set unto ourselves - shallow as kiddy-pools and maybe puddles. That, too, is a lie. We know what is happening in DC; we have opinions on mosques near Ground Zero; we each think different things about President Obama for different reasons; we have stories to tell and thoughts to share; we have love to express and hatred to vent; in fact, we may have just as much magic in our words as any college educated forty-something.

Teenage? Author? Blogger? Journalist? Politician? Saint? Charlatan? Clown? King? It doesn't matter what we are. We all have a nagging, buzzing need to speak.

And we all have a nagging, buzzing need to be listened to.

May your coffee be strong, your passions electric, and your laughter easy.

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