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18 October 2004

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Aimee Roo

I personally like your blog just how it is, but I am a new visitor. I stay away from politics on my blog, there are so many political blogs out there, and I don't think I would change anyone's personal opinion by posting mine. But it is your blog, so therefore you can post about whatever you please. :)

Robin

I really think it's up to you. You should be able to write about politics if you want. It seems like something is happening in our society, and it's no longer "polite" to disagree. We should be able to disagree, discuss issues, and respect each other in the end.

Ken

Having known you for much of our lives, I can't imagine you without politics. Poetry and cats keep our sense of wonder alive. Politics is where we live, in the polis. And, I don't see what you've written on politics as rants. Your piece on Clinton and Bush was pretty thoughtful -- that is what we need now! A thoughtful discussion of why it is that we only seem to shout at each other across the barricades. That actually seems to be the big problem today -- that we have lost discourse, and wit.

So. share your thoughts and fears -- there are others of us who are deeply afraid of what another Bush administration might mean. But, don't shout -- and we'll come back.

Dave

I read some blogs that are pretty focused, but my favorites are usually those where you don't know what to expect when you get there. I enjoy being surprised; it's a quality I look for in the people I befriend in the "meat world", too. Thus, I STRONGLY disgree with the quote above: "People have short attention spans and they want to know when they log on, that they will get a certain type of experience. Deviations are disturbing."

I mean, he's right, of course - many people DO have short attention spans. But I'm not interested in writing for such people. Not because I'm an elitist - in fact, I am a populist - but because I don't believe in pandering. If success is to measured in numbers of hits and trackbacks per day, i aspire to failure.

The problem with taking such an individualist tack, though, is that it makes the whole problem of what balance between subjects might be best all the more difficult to resolve. Aesthetic and other subjective criteria take precedence over considerations of marketability, so to speak. I imagine that you have a kind of ideal blog, a Platonic idea of Watermark hovering just out of reach, maybe. So what's the proportion of politics to poetry, say, in this ideal blog?

(Sorry if I'm not expressing myself as clearly as I ought. It's a little past my bedtime.)

Monkey

You blog about politics if you want - I respect and enjoy your blog either way!

I personally never blog about politics because there's just SO many other forums for that - my readers don't care about what I think about my views on politics.

I'll show my views on politics come voting day! :-)

Have a great evening and keep up the great work!

Stormwind

I have enjoyed the political comments, but I am a new reader too. I think you should do what you want and what seems to suit you- not neccessarily your readers.

I keep two public blogs and one of them is full of political comments, the other is a journal of sorts and I think there is a space for journaling on the internet, despite what the fellow said. Blogging is what you think it is and about what you want to share. I think there are lots of big name folks who say things better than I might, but I have to have an outlet for at least some of my personal thoughts about things. For me, blogging is about the sharing, the connections and allowing myself that outlet and not about the numbers, or appearing perfectly wise or representing anyone except me.

I just realized last week (admitted it to myself fully) how much anxiety and fear I have about the direction of the country, this president, this election and how it is an undercurrent to daily life in a huge way. I don't see myself as unusual in those feelings and though I have a second space to voice some of that, it doesn't seem odd to me that it would find its way into your blog.

Laura Nee

I am a regular reader, although I rarely (if ever) comment. I'm a fairly politically ambiguous person as I have been in political limbo for years. If I see a political post, I tend to skip in, knowing that the regular material will be back.

It's your blog, do what you want with it. Those who enjoy your writing and respect the author behind the words will be back!

jenett

You should write about what you want to write about.

I was talking about my own case (in the post you cited) -- I'm quite passionate about politics, in fact, too passionate, and feel that if I really got into it in my writing, it would possibly become overbearing on the reader. But that's just me.

Your posts about politics have been pretty good and your other offerings balance it out, no problem.

Do your thing, SB -- that's the important thing. Looks like your readers (including me) kinda like it... ;~))

Thanks for helping me think...

Wulfgar

Sharon, I try very hard to keep in mind the difference between a blog and a journal. Blogs are meant for consumption, the wider the better. Journals are meant for whatever purpose the writer has, to vent, to share, to laugh. If you're writing for your readership, than do what the blogs do: self-promote, advertise, sell adverts, and offer snippits of social and political affairs. When I journal politics (as I've done far too many times here of late) its not because I care that I do it better than anyone else, or even care if its read widely. I'm certainly not changing anyone's mind. I do it because its what I *feel* I need to do for me to be me, online or otherwise.

I don't know whether pointing out that distinction is helpful to you, but I will say this, I come to Watermark to experience you, the writer; the person from who the words are coming. I don't really care if you are political-poetic-sad-mad-glad or hating my guts. As long as its you, writing for you. When you start writing for me ... that's the day I'll probably leave.

Maggie

Politics, as they used to say, is personal. So is art. A good writer does good writing, no matter what the subject.

Keep up the good work.

michelle

you should write what you need to write.
I'll read it all... :)

Caitlin

If you feel it is important to share what is in your heart and head, share it. Should a poet avoid prose out of fear of offending poets? If someone is weary of politics and you happen to pick that day to post a political entry, well, that is what the scroll button is for...

SB

I'm overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness of these comments.

Thank you so much for being my readers. I am blessed.

Karen

I think that we should write about what we want to write about and what we feel comfortable with. There are plenty of places for politics - if one of those places happens to be in our heads & we want to let it loose - so be it. I think that if we all agreed on everything all the time, it would be awful.

Pearl

Of course its your call. I agree with Wulfgar, you have to post for you. The US election is understandably unnerving and nerve wracking and I read your reactions to those as well. It's an elephant in every computer room and at every kitchen table but will likely amble off by themselves in 2 weeks. I also appreciate Watermark for being a safe refuge where nature and cats and peace abound.

mjones

To echo the commentator who said that we live in the polis, how can politics be separated from the rest of life? And how can writing be separated from the rest of life. You see where I am going with this.

You write; we'll read.

h2

"I write for myself and strangers. The strangers, dear readers, are an afterthought." -Gertrude Stein

Write for yourself. If that means politics, then write about politics. If it means cats, poetry, or poetry about cats, then so be it. I'd wager that most people who read your blog are reading you for what you think, not what you think they want to read. I personally like to hear your views on politics, especially because I sense that you aren't simply regurgitating someone else's talking points.

hetty

it's a really interesting question. i've gone back and forth on it over the years. although i believe you can't separate the 'personal' from the politics, sometimes i've had one blog where anything goes and then other times (like now) i've separated them according to theme. so observations about living in britain and my mundane life go on one and everything else goes on the other. but i'm not really comfortable with that. i'd rather be whole, and it's only to appease certain readers that i separate it that way. people will always skip whichever posts they don't want to read anyway, no matter what the subject content is. and whenever i combined the blogs into one, i notice that the 'non-political' readers end up commenting on the political posts because they happened to see them when looking for the more 'personal' ones... and i like engaging people surreptitiously that way. :) so... perhaps i'll go back to combining them again... i certainly wouldn't want anyone to be SILENT about anything they felt strongly about and felt like expressing!

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