Good Morning, World!
(and yes, that deserves all caps.)
Today I woke up groggy, got on Facebook and responded to all the ‘happy birthday’ messages, unintentionally ignored my partner, which almost caused a meaningless argument, then made myself a coffee and moseyed over here to WordPress to check on things and write my 500 words for the day. I was excited to see that I’d hit a couple of new milestones! Ten likes, ten total followers – achievements. My excitement lost its founding, however, when I looked at the stats page and realized that only couple of people had actually viewed the blog. Well, really, one person. Who viewed it twice.
I was frustrated, at first, and thought, Why like something, why follow it, if you don’t even read past the first few lines?
Then I turned to self-reflection. Why does it matter? You’re doing this for yourself – to make yourself happy and make steps toward your ultimate goals – not to please others.
It became a self-debate about the purpose of writing, quantity vs. quality, and roads paved with yellow bricks of good intention. Eventually, I came to my own hypocrisy: I have read and genuinely enjoyed posts of the blogs I’ve followed. I followed them because I thought I would be interested in reading more of their content. …but this is all written in past tense, not present.
So I settled in with my morning coffee to do some reading before the writing; and as has happened many times before, this reading took me on a journey.
First I wound up at the Street of Dreams post. The post fit within the preview of the reader, so I almost clicked like without actually opening it. You should open it – let her know you actually read the thing, Alex! And so I did. It’s an image superimposed with a quote from Kurt Vonnegut. I was immediately touched by the words, but as I looked at them I thought, “This doesn’t sound like Vonnegut at all!” And sure enough, Rachael had written “Probably my favorite quotes (that is wrongly attributed to Kurt Vonnegut).”
Immediately, I Googled the first two lines of the quote.
Second hit looked useful. Another blog! Fortunately, this writer had done her homework. She’d found the humble writer who had authored the touching, misattributed quote. He wished to remain anonymous, she said.
I scrolled down to find the equivalent of a ‘like’ button, which was absent, but was a bit overzealous with the scroll wheel and overshot into the comments. My screen landed perfectly on Iain Thomas’s comment. (Iain. Made me think of Iain Banks, an incredible author who recently passed away.) The comment read, “This was incredibly kind of you, thank you.” Touching. The blogger’s response to this comment indicated that this Iain was, in fact, the quote’s author. I clicked his name, which led me to I Wrote This For You.
(Before reading his blog, though, I Googled his name and watched his incredible TED Talk to better understand the project I was about to delve into.)
The first post you see at I Wrote This For You is not characteristic of the project itself. If I’d arrived at this blog on any other day, it would not have been the same. I might have seen another image (well, beautiful photograph, courtesy of Jon Ellis) with another superimposed bit of prose, which would have been touching and affected me in some way… but would not have been what I needed. I would not have stayed. Maybe I would have seen the same initial post. Still, I would not have been the same.
So I read.
And I connected.
And I contemplated.