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Letter to the Reader
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crschmidt
Dear Reader,

Lately, it seems that you and I just haven't been connecting. Everything I post is simply not what you're looking for. I try personal anecdotes - no reaction. How life is going, no reaction. Just about the only thing that's gotten a reaction from you, dearest reader, is the Wainwright Bank website.

Now I understand my life is pretty dull, and that I don't tend to post the most interesting parts from my point of view, mostly because those parts don't seem all that interesting to pretty much anyone else. I could tell you about my sex life again, I suppose: that got a good reaction in the past, but I get the feeling that the crowd now is different, and that I wouldn't be looked on so kindly as I was when I was coming of age. I've seperated out technical posts into my blog, which I hardly update anymore because I'm too busy having fun with the kids to really want to spend a lot of time hacking.

I could post more about my life with the kids, my interactions with them, how they're doing, but I've never seen anyone really interested in that either.

My thoughts seem dull. My life seems dull. My technical things, which may not have been so in the past, are not only dull, they're posted elsewhere.

Dear reader, tell me what you want to read. Tell me what you want to hear about my life, tell me what it is you know. Point me to some entry you wish I would write more of, becuase I'm at a loss, and right now I don't have a lot of motivation to write for me, but I'd like to continue to write in general. So, motivate me. Give me feedback. Let me know what you want to hear. Right now, I really want to know what to write, and I need some motivation to do so.

Humbly yours,
The Author
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Dear Author,

The reason I haven't responded to any of your posts lately isn't because of lack of interest... there's just been a lot of weird timing. I can't speak for everyone else, but when summer rolls around, I don't get as much time in front of my computer. It's a time when a lot of people vacation. It's a time when a lot of people spend a lot of time outside, for whatever reason, instead of being pent up in front of their monitors.

I don't know what your reader base is like, and I don't want to place any stereotypes on anyone, so I'll just leave it at that... for now.

Just keep writing. Write what you want to write. When I've got time, or something strikes the right chord (the "right chord" seems to be pretty random), I'll respond.

Sincerely,
A Reader.

Absolutely understand, and didn't mean to indicate otherwise: I really doubt that my entries have gotten all that much more boring, but I think it's possible that there are some things people find more interesting than others, and I'd love to fill requests for what people want to read.

So, have at 'em, if you care, otherwise, I'll just keep on being my dull ole self.

It's not that your dull or your life is dull, Chris - maybe I just think mine is.

Or - I don't know - I loved your post about loving space and stars, but my reply would have been a longer version of "Me too, cool!" because I love space and stars. Or your post about flying lessons - I've long wanted to learn to fly, but haven't done yet. Maybe I figured you wouldn't care to hear me say, "Oh, man, I'd love to try that (though I think I might have) - because, well, you're doing it; I'm not.

I don't know. Can't speak for others, but for myself - sometimes I feel pretty dull. Maybe that impacts more on people I've met/know IRL - am I more reluctant to "expose my inner dullness" to those who've seen it? I dunno. But that's me, and this post is about you.

I don't find you dull in the least, and I want to read whatever ou want to post about. Your life with the kids. What it's like being a dad to them. I'd love to know more about that - how long did it take before you considered yourself a parent to them? Was it a gradual or quick thing? How did they react? Jess? Speaking of Jess, I love when yo write about her. She is an incfredible woman. I love reading about how you've grown with each other. Kristan as well; I love the friendship and love you share. I love reading about the dynamics of the commune; human interpersonal relationships always have fascinated me (probably because I don't fully "get" them) and if you'd like to write about it, I'd love to read it. I like your work stuff, but to be totally honest, some of the programming stuff goes over my head. Not to sa I don't read it! Your family in Illinois - how are they? Have they become any more tolerant of Jess? Cambridge life - I grew up in Wellesley and spent a lot of time there as a kid, so reading posts about that brings back good memories (especially the T lines; when I was a kid I'd do most anything to be able to ride the trains).

Oh, man, Chris - please don't ever think you're dull. These and a hundred other things are things I love about you - your curiosity, your bounciness, your faith/hope, your ability to love, your kindness - you're a wonderful, dear, caring, intelligent man and maybe I'm emo because I'm tired but it makes me sad to think you think you're dull. You're not, okay?

And I hope you get 100 comments telling you so!

My favorite part of LJ is people talking about their dull lives. I'd love to read more about what happens in the Commune - even if it is boring. If you and and the girls read a bedtime story, I want to know which one. If you cooked Jess mac and cheese, I'd think it was cute. If you and kristan had a thumb war...etc. I think you and the whole Commune way of life is fascinating. I don't talk to you or Jess on IM or in chat or anything, so I like seeing how you both are doing via LJ.

The tech stuff goes over my head, so I admittedly don't read the tech blog, but...

SEX LIFE.

I want to live vicariously. I'm sure everyone else would love to, too.

Also, I agree with Emily, write about how awesome I am. :p

I'm sorry, I'm a brat. But you still looove me. :p

Kristan is teh awesome.

Also, Kristan? I'm screencapping this, so next time you go emo I can show you that you are teh win and you know it. So there. :P

Doesn't mean you're a brat. Just means you have a healthy sense of self. I see this posting as a Good Thing. Again, so there. And again with the :P. :P

Aww, shit. I knew there was a reason I was always emo in public.

Actually I'm pretty interested in the mundane everyday-life side of things, believe it or not. Why? I don't actually know. But that's what I like to see when I read my Friends page. Finding out what people do from day-to-day is the closest I can get to being nearby and asking how you're doing every so often, I guess.

Write with passion and write from the heart. I could tell you to write about all sorts of things that I'm interested in, but unless you're interested in them as well then you'd probably end up writing boring entries on them. I'm mosted interested in seeing people write about things that they can be enthusiastic about. And that could be Jess, Kristan, the kids, RDF, python, stargazing, flying or carrot farming for all I care. If all I cared about was the subject matter, I'd go out and buy books by professional authors instead; I'm reading here because I want some part of you in what I'm reading.

I love the slice of life posts, too. I'm all about kid stuff, though I don't know if I'm your average reader. Adored the stars post! Always feel funky about replying since I only "know" you through Jess, yk? But the daily life snippets are always interesting, and I always read and nod along and send vibes and whatnot.

What she said :P Especially the part about replying since I only know you through Jess.

Seriously, I'm interested in everything you write but especially the commune and kid stuff. Having "known" Jess's kids most of their lives I love your perspective on them.

I think the better reason that I get more comments is because a) a huge friends list and b) I write to provoke a reaction.

I write about incidents that amused me.

I write to ask questions.

I write to tell stories, to describe, to paint word pictures.

Your LJ entries over the past year have consisted largely of things that seem like log entries. They seem like you're taking notes on your day. All questions are rhetorical. You don't seem interested in amusing, or in people's reactions, but more in recording. Your wild romantic Pisces side comes out in real life, and it used to come out here, but now your journaling side is strictly your pedantic Teutonic side.

Even I, who have often figured prominently in these stories, can't summon up enthusiasm to comment on things I feel are pat and cut and dried before I even set pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.

I'd say to let go. Write things designed to inflame or amuse or explore.

I think I agree with Jess. For a while there, you were posting just techno-speak, which would have been interesting if I could understand it. Since I couldn't, I just kind of skimmed over it and thought "well, that's probably useful information for later."

You don't seem to be having many problems right now-- and problems elicit responses and support from readers. You seem happy-- and that's great! But your happiness doesn't invite commentary-- it just is. When you were in Illinois, you had a lot of struggle and growing pains you were going through-- it's nice to see you in a mature relationship, but doesn't that ever get to you? Write about your frustrations as well as your victories, and if you get criticism for the frustrations (i.e., "see, this is exactly why you shouldn't be in that relationship with HER") just shrug them off as the jealousy you know they are.

Ask questions of your audience. Provoke responses. Invite new readers to join you in your journal. Heck, I ask questions and there's routinely one person whose answer is specifically addressed as "the thing I have no intention of doing" somewhere in the post, but that person and I just have completely opposite mindsets when it comes to certain things, and nothing will likely change that.

I like your thoughs friend! I'm new to Lj and may be your ideas will help me once.

I really just don't know how to respond to the majority of them. =\

I do enjoy reading your journal but much of what you say doesn't seem to require a response. It's telling me a lot about you and your life and I like that but generally there's not much for me to say about that. I don't think that's a bad thing and, as I say, I enjoy what you write. So I guess my only suggestion is more of the same.

Pretty much what she said.

I found it an interesting coincidence, though, that timwi complained about lack of reactions to his posts at roughly the same time.

And for him, too, I read many entries with more or less interest but didn't find anything that seemed to require a response, so I didn't (respond, that is).

I suspect you're like me, in that you write stuff that might be interested to read but that doesn't really require comments. Some people write for a reaction, I mostly just document things. I do occasionally say rude things about the government and, more rarely, nice things about them.

D

Quite often, I'm deeply amused, but you never seem like a reaction is necessary -- you're amused enough without someone else presuming to interfere by adding their own reaction.

Chris, I think your LJ is fine the way it is. You write what you want to write, and we wouldn't be here reading it if we didn't find it interesting. I think it's amazing that you, Jess, the girls, Kristan and all your other various housemates live together in seeming harmony. My two roommates and I can barely manage that! I rarely comment on anyone's journal; it seems if there is something I could have said, someone else has already said it better. Plus, my computer has been on the fritz for more than a week, and it's looking less and less likely that I will be catching up with everyone's entries.

Eeeee no glasses.

I read and like everything. It'd be weird if you started writing just to please us. We read because you're you, not because we expect you to win a Pulitzer.

I write about the most boring crap in the world, but people still read. If they don't like it, well, I can't help them. I write about my life and what's going on in it, and I can't do anything else. Neither can you.

It's your journal. What do you want out of it? Validation? Approval? Just interest? Advice?

Validation and approval seem to be something that I always want. I'm not sure if it's born of the fact that I've done the one thing my parents always told me would make me a failure, or something more sinister than that, but I do know that I always seem to have more interests in having people find what I say interesting or amusing, or agreeing with me, or even disagreeing with me, just so I know that they're paying attention.

Because being ignored is far worse than being disagreed with.

Write more about your cool commune and how it works. And especially, how it works to have kids as part of such a set-up - because I know I tend to get somewhat nervous and self-conscious when I am with my kids and other adults. Like, I feel like I have to be extra aware of what they're doing so they don't bother others. I know, that is lame, but in my circle of friends, (most of whom do not have children) - there are some that get along great with kids and others who see them as a bother - or constantly feel the need to teach/discipline/reprimand them. How does that play out in your situation?

You know, this entry really resonates with me because I feel the exact same way. I don't have the answers for me, so I don't have them for you either. I am always interested in reading about what's going on in your life though. :)

actually I am looking for your help..I need to put an invisible ip tracker on my LJ and am as computer illiterate as they come. Could you please email me step by step easy girl directions so I can put a counter on that noone can see? ALso, do you know how to make my ip address invisible to others or is it something that will always show up? Thanks

As much as I appreciate the comment, I'm really not in the business of providing help like that for the internet. There are ways and places to find such help, I'm sure, but I'm not it.

IP addresses need to be transferred to communicate. In some cases you can use proxies for the information, but it's still going to need to go somewhere, and your IP address is certainly not the most identifying information someone could provide. I wouldn't worry about it. Be smart, and it won't matter anyway.

Hey, you're cunning ;) I'd like to hear from you about your sexual life and your hacking experience.

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