Tell me a story of things that smell lovely … Jasmine … Patchouli … I love you truly … ~Colleen
As a blogger, I don’t need to know that Janet likes Johnny Depp, Naomi has a sweet tooth for chocolate, Rick grows hot peppers in his back yard, or that Terri drives around her island in a golf cart. I want to know because those are interesting details that make for good reading.
In the same way that I get invested in a novel when the author knows how to make the characters come to life, blogs are interesting to me when their authors reveal an unforgettable personal quirk, a unique or surprising detail, or one that I can relate to and see myself in. The fact that bloggers are real people only makes their stories more compelling to me. Real stories appeal to my love of memoir, documentary, and biography. Because stories can go deep and leave a lasting impression, they have the ability to foster bonds and empathy for others.
Since blogs became popular, there’s been an ongoing public dialogue about their purpose. For the most part, I see them as a modern twist in the ancient art of storytelling. Once an entirely oral tradition, storytelling today is done in a variety of ways, but the reasons for telling stories remains the same. They’re told to preserve culture, to instill knowledge and values, to inform, entertain and socialize. Human beings are a story telling species. We are known by our stories and our stories are what remain once we are gone.
My readers don’t need to know that I have city driving anxiety, that I’m sometimes more comfortable wearing boy’s clothing, that my husband and I have the same IQ number but for different reasons, or that I’ll get up and dance no matter where I am if I hear Aretha Franklin sing “Respect.” I tell them those things because they’re part of the story I’m telling.