hello echo!

by jenniferbalboa


I once read of the web being referred to as an “echo chamber” in one online article. I thought perhaps it was called so because maybe, just maybe, one sometimes gets the feeling of conversing with echoes when communicating through the web – you either feel that you are in touch with friends or strangers only in a surreal plane, or that you’re the only one talking to yourself, to your own echo.

I don’t know if other online writers ever get that feeling, but I know I do, sometimes, and I particularly feel more of the latter feeling , the talking-to-your-own-echo feeling, especially since I harldy ever get anyone to comment on my own posts, and I seldom get any traffic at all.

Which sometimes brings me to asking, “What’s the point?”. If it’s all just me and my own echo, then what else am I doing this blogging thing for?

Actually, several years ago, had I been asked about my opinion of the web and blogging, I would have probably given the usual web skeptic’s response. In the first place, I didn’t even know how to surf the web until 2002, when I entered graduate writing school, and one of the professors had been kind enough to sit with me in the library’s cybernook, told me to type w-w-w-dot-google-dot-com inside the big long white bar, then press enter. But blogging, as soon as I tried it, have actually benefitted me. And I have not yet even been making money from it. What more if I grow diligent enough to explore that possibility?

Blogging is a tool, and this I often hear from friends who have been blogging for years, and have urged me to blog too. Around the time it was first suggested to me, I was already contemplating about leaving my ten-year government job (which had me tied to a typewriter and consequently kept me away from nearly everything that had anything to do with high-tech and the net) for a professional writing career.

I knew that I would encounter problems since my only published works during that period were but a handful of poems. They did come out in nationally circulated publications, alright, but they were poems – and I was not applying for a job as a poet (well, I have not encountered any company looking for one – please inform me if you do). My graduate school classmates then said that I should put out a blog which could feature the kinds of writing that I could do or would like to do professionally, so that the magazines and websites I have been applying to would have a ready reference to check for my work. Besides, no website would hire a dweeb who doesn’t even know what in God’s name blogging is, or how it works.

I followed the advice. I included this blog’s address in all the resumes I sent out, and true enough, I got callbacks and eventually got the writing job I wanted, with others at the side.

It doesn’t end there. It has been quite my frustration to become a rock journalist. I hold fast to the belief that the two best writing jobs in the world are those of rock/music journalists and travel writers – basically because I believe music and travelling support poets the best. During my one year so far of living off from my writing, I have had only one chance of writing a rock album review for which I got paid. The blog therefore sometimes serve as my outlet for music reviewing. Actually that was the original intention of this blog, to indulge my desire for music writing. Lately, though, the entries have been more into the personal – delving on personal trips or side stories from official travel assignments – stuff that would not be suitable material for the actual articles commissioned.

In the future, I hope to be able to use this blog to help promote personal, major works – God willing.

There really are benefits after all, eh?

So, at this point, I actually can’t remember what I have been earlier asking “What’s the point?” for…

Ah! The hardly-any-traffic thing…

What’s the point if no one’s listening?

I would have to wax cinematic, but basic, here. Some professor in some beloved movie two decades ago said something about poetry, which I feel applies into answering the question –

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer: that you are here; that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?” — Dead Poets Society.

I wrote this entry alone, longhand, in my solitude – afterall, writing is a solitary act. But what has been written would be useless if not surrendered.

Must I wait to have gigs in a rock/music mag before I should write about music that sees me through every day? Or movies that I grew up loving? Or books that are ever humbling? Or my little journeys, to places, or within?

Must I be assured first that I would be heard before I’d be willing to share? To offer? To give?

Hopefully, this project could open other doors for me. As blogging is a tool, it would sure be nice to reap more as I wield it.

Pulp? Rolling Stone?

National Geographic?

Just asking. 🙂

And yep, only blogging could have room for the smiley.