Listening to Saturday Night Blues on my favorite radio station, KPLU, I’ve just been catching up on a few special blogs. One of them is Layers of Meaning. The author, Serena, has disabled comments on her blog.
Can’t help thinking about that… What would it be like to blog with “comments off” and “counters off?” Wouldn’t there be a sense of freedom?
Years ago, I took a “process painting” class where the underlying assumption was that we would NEVER show our work to anyone. The idea was to work on a large canvas, painting up close and personal, never stepping back to judge or evaluate our work, and never looking at the paintings of others in the class. My paintings were different than anything I’d ever done or have ever done since, and it was an amazingly liberating experience. Yes, I do have them still. I only showed them to one person, and that was someone I trust with my darkest secrets.
Turning off comments and counters is different from that painting class, because I know people might still find and read my blog. Yet, similar to the process painting, there would be less of a sense of responsibility to meet the needs of known viewers, and less of a desire to please them, rather than myself. For example, right now, I’m feeling pressure to find an image or two, suitable for this post. (Maybe you’re thinking, “She COULD show us her paintings!” Me too, but I’d have to find them and photograph them, and their associated memory of freedom might then slip away… so instead you get a photo I took from the tip of San Juan Island during a storm last winter.)
Surely turning off comments and counters would make blogging more of a diary writing experience. The sense of community (that is boosted with every one of your comments and every time I see another country’s flag on my counter) would be lost. I adore being part of this community in all of its struggles and victories with the process of art. Without that, I’m not sure I would blog. But Serena does… and she does it well… and for a long time, starting in October 2003. I wish I could tell her how much I enjoy her writing and images.
Another blogger I greatly admire is artist, John Stewart, who does A Drawing A Day. While comments on his blog seem to be enabled, I’ve never seen one posted. To that end, I posted one today. Maybe he gets a ton of them, but doesn’t approve them to be posted, which would make it look like he doesn’t get any.
Writing and answering comments does take time. Yup, sometimes a lot of time (especially when you have to retype the code over and over again). So I guess more time for art would be another small advantage of “no comments.”
For now, I’m keeping both comments and counter enabled, because I love the dialog, the feedback and the support. It’s great to feel connected to people in Canada, Australia, UK, Columbia (most recently)… as well as closer to home. Maybe our blogging and through it our sense international connection contributes to world peace in some small way.
“If we have no peace,
it’s because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”