Poets, bloggers, and reading to an empty room
Blog Explosion's initial enthusiasts are now complaining. They resent the flurries of 30-second visitors clicking through to earn points (compelling other BE-ers to look at their pages). But it seems everybody is clicking through as soon the mesmerising GO button appears! Or perhaps they're circling back to mash that button while cleaning house, watching tv, or working on their own blogs. What a lot of pointless clicking is going on.
Blog Explosion click-maniacs are this era's newbie poets. From the inside, misunderstood and wrongfully neglected; from the outside, under-talented, inexperienced and/or self-centered. There are no entry requirements, any more than for poets. Since before the days of velvet breeches, with a piece of paper and a pencil anybody's in the game. (Low start-up costs.)
Novice poets complain about lack of appreciation/readership. It's their own fault in at least two ways. (1) Their poetry is usually lousy; (2) instead of supporting themselves as a community, they immediately yearn to be big fish in a very small pond.
Experienced poets support each other - they belong to creative writing circles and meet and encourage and hear and critique together. One reward is, their poetry improves, and another is, when they write there are at least a few people listening. Nouveau poets focus on themselves. They go to poetry readings only to read their own poetry. Then they leave unless the canny organizers of the events forbid it. I witnessed this myself when a poet I was dating (I know, I know) asked me to go to a reading. As the evening progressed, more and more people snuck out until the last poet (sadly, my date) declaimed to an almost empty room.
Editors of poetry journals and literary magazines regularly complain that they receive submissions from far more people than subscribe to their periodicals. They point out there are far more people writing poetry than reading it.
OK, more people would read more poetry if poetry were, in general, less drekky. The same goes for blogs. But new bloggers should be less self-focused. Experienced bloggers understand that they need each other, for encouragement, for ideas, for readers. Sure, it can get recursive (a different problem). But it's less lonely.
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