Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Gathering of Writers

It was great to see so many people at the Howard County Bloggers Party last night.  Bill Woodcock did a great job stepping up to the plate and it was nice to see the band back together under happier circumstances.

Some folks have said Dennis attended every HoCo Blog-tale party, but that isn't exactly true.  For most of 2012, they just weren't his thing.  It was hit or miss whether he would attend and if he did it was often a "go late leave early" type thing.  Oddly, this was when the blogger party was at its peak, creating crowded bar after crowded bar, making less opportunity for the two things Dennis liked most - a good conversation and an attentive bartender.

But he did go to the party in February and it resulted in one of his better posts on the "art of blogging":

Last night, as I circulated around the HoCo Blogs party, it occurred to me that this would best be described as a writer’s party. The term “blog” is often viewed with somewhat less cachet than “writer,” as if blogging were some lower form of written expression.

I don’t believe that it is.  After talking with at least eight different blog authors I realized that the common thread is a joy of writing. A few even readily admitted that they would write their blog even if nobody read it. That’s what writers do.

Most people in the blogger community don't know this, but Dennis was teased on a regular basis about writing a blog.  His business colleagues would ask him if their conversations were "on the record", ask him "are you going to blog about this?", and, most insultingly, say "do you still do that blog thing?"

In private conversation, Dennis would admit that he would have liked some pecuniary benefit from his hobby, but that he really didn't "get anything out of it" in terms of "bar tab money" (he always referred to making money from his blog as "bar tab money").  When he was teased, he would either do his eyes-down-to-his-hands shrug, lip pushed out, say "everyone has their hobby", or over the last year "And then there's that."

In that last post about bloggers in February 2013, he said what he really meant.  "I am a writer.  This is my craft."  Those who don't write a blog dismiss it as a matter of time.  "I just don't have enough time."  The thing is, if they really "got it", if they were a writer, if this was their craft, time would not be an issue.  You need to write..."even if nobody read it.  That's what writers do."

For those that still hang on to their aspersions about bloggers, I wonder what they think happens at a "blog party".  I wonder if they have any clue about the overwhelming sense of optimism in the room; that the next moment will be more interesting than the last and that they will be a better person for having experienced it.

"The unexamined life is not worth living." - Socrates

"And then there's that." - Dennis Lane

Have a great Thursday doing what you love.