Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Confidence

If you read the truly popular and influential blogs, you will notice a distinctive voice coming from each blogger and a confidence in their words.  These writers never mention the names of run-of-the-mill bloggers as friends, only other important bloggers — and usually by their first names, as if everyone in the world should know their first name, like Oprah.  These bloggers have a hundred projects going on, just to remind you of their busy schedule.    I eat that stuff up.   I learn from it.  In the competitive field of blogging, where there are hundreds of thousands of writers each competing for attention, it is important to present an image of strength.  If you announce yourself as important, even if you’re a scrawny guy who usually gets sand kicked in his face, then the world starts following.  No one wants to see the emperor without his clothes.  People respect leadership.  We all want President-Elect Obama to stand in front of America and say to the American public that he will solve all of our domestic and international problems.  No one wants him to step in front of the podium at the press conference and say, “Uh, I’m not really sure what the f**k we’re going to do about Pakistan.  Why do you think I’m sending Hillary there?”  That would not be presidential.

I like blogging and I enjoy writing, so I feel the need to make believe that I know what I am doing here on “Citizen of the Month,” partly to fool you into coming back, and also to make you feel safe getting involved in blog activities like the Holiday Concert.  I am not a born impresario.   The trick is to ACT confident, or else you would be too afraid to trust me with your squeaky singing of “Jingle Bells.”

I try to be open with you, but I’m afraid of getting down and dirty with “emotional stuff” here on this blog.  I’m not sure you want it.  I see all the other blogs that you love and admire.  You seem to want a blogger with a sense of confidence.  Maybe it gives you something to shoot for.  Am I wrong?  Sometimes, a new blogger will make a comment on my blog, and I will immediately email her back.   And then something odd happens.  I seem to lose this person’s respect for me, as if I showed my cards too early in the game.

“Jeez… and I thought he was an important blogger.” I can hear the person saying.  “Dooce would never email me.  If he is emailing me, that must mean that he isn’t… that important… shit… why I am reading his stupid blog anyway!”

OK, enough… let’s get to the point of this post.  There’s something about this online life that is depressing to me.   I wish I could say it was because you were a bunch of assholes, cause then it would be easier.   The truth is — most of you seem like really cool people.  It is just these tiny little moments of interaction that I have with some of you each day makes me sad.  Recently, I have NOT been READING my favorite blogs because I get this “what’s the point” feeling the minute I click on the link.

“I’m never going to know this person in real life.” I think.  “It’s just frustrating.”

I guess I am feeling a little lonely here in New York. And who wants to admit that?  That’s like showing your cards.

Blogging is easier when you have a significant other, or a demanding family life, because they bring you back to reality by demanding you take out the garbage.  The trouble begins when you forget that blogging is really just about WRITING and not an alternative, equally-satisfying way to connect to other people.  You cannot touch a computer byte.

New York City is a special place, especially on the busy streets of Manhattan.  I love to walk down the crowded avenues, people-watching, letting all the energy wash over my body.  That is how the Internet should be.  It is a vibrant virtual city, with unlimited neighborhoods of information, stories, and drama.  But to enjoy it, you need to have a strong sense of self, to separate yourself from the information overload of the masses, to walk with a sense of belonging.   If you think too much about the others all around you, and your place among the mob, you lose your sense of self.  You start to judge yourself, wondering if you are good as the businessman in the tailored suit.  You begin to see yourself as small, as one of the other twelve million other suckers with the same unfulfilled dreams.  What do I have special to say?  Why should anyone give a shit?  HE is the important one… the one everyone knows.  The one on Page Six of the New York Post.  The one who who knows the other important people by their FIRST names.

New York is especially horrendous when you have a lonely heart.  The crowds lose their romance.  It is not like a movie at all, with the horse-drawn carriages, Central Park, and Gershwin.  When you are yearning for love in a large city, each passer-by becomes a possibility for human contact, but it rarely happens.  The pace of the city is too fast.  You take a quick glance at a fashionable woman, and all you can see is her face, her clothes, and the posture of her walk.  Sure, sometimes you can catch the title of the book that she is gripping.  Or the brand of purse.  But what does this tell you about her?  Not much.  Is she even reading the book in reality or just carrying the latest non-fiction best-seller for show?   Is the purse from Bloomingdale’s or is it a knock-off that she bought in Chinatown?   You have to be satisfied with your limited amount of superficial contact with this individual, because she’s already passed.  And there’s no time to fret.  Every second there is another potentially interesting person walking by, and then whoosh, she is never to be seen again.

The Internet can be like that.  Thousands walking by.  I guess the only solution is to start tripping people.

63 Comments

  1. Excellent post, Neil.

    I often feel this way…

  2. I can definitely relate to this post.

  3. This is an incredibly honest and powerful post, Neil. I can relate to it on so many levels. I hate that the blogging community that I am a part of is often reduced to high school gossip and popularity contests…but then again, that is human nature, and such is life. It is definitely healthy to step back and re-prioritize when you start feeling insignificant in the online “world” because just remember: there are millions out there who don’t know (or give a shit) who Dooce is. (I, for one, have never read them.) So there!

    P.S. I thought it was very cool that you’ve personally e-mailed me…and it never clouded my impression on your importance!

  4. First, who says we’ll never meet in real life?

    Second, yes, blogging is about writing, not about living. So enjoy it for what it is. We certainly do.

    The people whose blogs are about their lives, and not about their writing, are the people you only read because you know them. Your blog is different. It may be about your life, but you actually write about it rather than just blurt it out.

    I think you’ve been hanging out with too many mommybloggers. There. I said it.

    Third, lonely in New York. Now here, I agree with you ten thousand percent. New York is awful, and no wonder the people who grow up there turn into such neurotic fuckups. (And I say that in the kindest possible way–nay, I say it with love and respect). New York abuses people.

    That said, anyone who can’t find human interaction in NYC is not trying hard enough. Do a MediaBistro course. Join a theatre group, a writer’s circle, or a support group for people who grew up in New York. NYU Extension programmes.

    Your mother knows all kinds of writers from her many years in publishing–call them up, interview them, buy them a drink.

    Of course, 90% of the people you meet will be assholes, because hey, it’s New York. But ten percent will be gems.

    Maybe you need a New York project–something for which you actually need to be in NYC. Again, the Great Interview Project would make a superb book, and NYC is publishing central.

    I hate to keep bringing this up, but your mother would know her way around a book proposal, wouldn’t she. And she’s certainly know a few literary agents. Hell, if I had your mother I would be flogging my latest book on Oprah by now!

    If I hadn’t moved away from NYC, I would have pitched a book idea. The Great Book of New York Assholes. You know, taxi drivers. Hotel desk clerks. TriBeCa party girls. Sycophantic ad people. Chefs. Half of all New York police. And, especially, New York Real Estate Agents.

  5. Neil, doll! You use your blog to connect to real-life people. Not just in your neighborhood (hat tip, Mr. Rogers) but all around the country/world.

    If you’re feeling like you’re missing out on that real-life connection, organize a meetup. They’re tres fun. And if you organize it, chances are everyone will know you (or come to meet you!) It’s good for the ego.

    Lemme know when you’re back and Will & I will attempt one. Provided you’re willing to trek to Hollywood.

    xo!

  6. You can trip me or I can attempt a pratfall, whatever works for you.

  7. Thank you for the excellent post. I’ve been lurking here on your blog for a little while now and have thoroughly enjoying your writing.

    You’ve hit the nail on the head with many of your points. While I do understand the competitive nature of blogging these days, I simply can’t identify with it. I blog for my own reasons and, honestly, if not a single person read my blog, life as I know would continue forward pretty much the same as it always has.

    Again, thank you for the wonderful blog. I look forward to reading more.

  8. So true.

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while and like it a lot. There’s even a little award for you on my blog.

    Thanks for your writing.

  9. This entry resonates with me so strongly I feel compelled to leave a comment. I don’t remember how and when I discovered your blog but I keep returning back because it doesn’t seize to surprise me. As for loneliness and not knowing people in real life, nobody knows what life holds for them and whether a banal exchange blossom into friendship.
    All the best and thank you for writing,
    VC

  10. I’m really new to blogging so it’s easy for me to remember why I started, but I feel like I have to remind myself of that every time I post. Write, turn your perspective around, discover something through writing. It’s hard and really easy to get caught up in the wave of comments and reading all these great new blogs I’m discovering. I have to consciously remind myself who I am. Anyway, I love what you write. and I empathize with feeling lonely. two separate things. Now help me brush off my knees.

  11. Neil – from someone who was a “popular” blogger before blogging was popular (been blogging since 1998 off and on), being popular is overrated….I try every day to make my life full and interesting on my own terms, so that when I blog, it’s cathartic rather than attention-grabbing. Now mind you, I am not saying that some of the bloggers that are considered “popular” that I know are attention whores (I KNOW that’s not the case, actually!!), i’m just saying that we have to decide what we want out of this whole thing. I have found some of my best friends for years from blogging….even went out of the country (if Canada counts…hee!!) to visit them a few years ago.

    At this go around, I am trying to have fun with it. Rambling done. 🙂

  12. Excellent post.

    I’m not a writer and only blog as a place to dump the trivial BS that rolls around in my brain.

    I make typos, use poor grammar and I don’t post about my personal life (it could be used against me)

    So, imagine my surprise and high WoW factor when I saw Neil, from Citizen of the Month on my “following this blog” widget. And he’s even left comments!

    I wish I was tripped more.

  13. you have a lonely heart right now, but whether you’re in new york or some small little town, it’s still going to be lonely. don’t rush yourself, it doesn’t sound like you’re ready yet.

  14. When looking at others, we tend to see the things we dislike about ourselves. You have written before about not feeling confident, so it’s only natural for you to conclude that confidence makes a successful blogger, or ensures repeat visits or unfailing reader loyalty.

    I can only speak for myself, but “confidence” is not something I am seeking in a blog author. Instead, I look for a knack for narrative (it’s harder to weave a good story than most people realize; there’s a difference between a good story and an entertaining anecdote).

    Hence, why I am here.

    (Also, at least from where I sit, you’re a pretty “big” blogger, Neil.)

  15. Neil, I have seen the competitive nature of blogging too, but I think the majority of us manage to steer clear of that BS. The first time a favorite blogger sent me a personal note, after I left a comment, I was quite impressed. This person was sincere and genuine, not a vain e-celeb.

    I have also endured the soul-trampling hordes of the big city, whilst lonely. I think it actually begets loneliness. It is one reason I returned to Newfoundland. More and more, I am thinking you need to come here… there are direct flights, you know. (And this is not a crass plug – we normally like to keep our little alcove a secret.)

  16. Well, we’ve met in real life…I have pictures to prove it….so you better be reading my blog, because I read your every day! 😛

    But I totally get how you feel, and I feel the same way too, sometimes.

  17. I think its time we had that phone conversation, friend.

    xo

  18. Well, you can trip people, or you can accept their invitations to go out in real life. Come to my cookies and cocoa party on the 21st! Hang out with people who DO care about you!

  19. I just wanted to say hi, Neil. 🙂

  20. Confidence is a fickle friend… one minute you’re strutting down the street in your Monolo Blahnik heels, the next minute someone trips you and you go flailing, and your skirt ends up over your head.

    In the end, it’s all about perception…

  21. Well, this hit home today.

  22. I feel the need to send you Metro-North fare so you can hang out for a day with me and the fam in the suburbs. It’ll make you feel better about yourself.

  23. I am soooo not a writer and as such, your writing skills are not what keeps me coming back. I read blogs and hack at my own to relate, connect and to remind myself that there are others, like me, trying to figure out what it is we’re supposed to be doing in this thing called life. My favourite bloggers are the one’s who write for themselves and not the masses. That’s just me.

  24. You know overconfidence is grating, right? It’s quite easy to be confident when no one is looking at you and your picture is photoshopped.

  25. “If you think too much about the others all around you, and your place among the mob, you lose your sense of self.” I feel this within the blogging community too. I don’t know how I manage to hitch my emotions to blog comments, reactions, stats. I think personal loneliness turns the volume up on the blog dynamics you describe.

    I have a significant other, kids, things that need to be done, and I still experience the feelings you do. It ties back to loneliness. I’m embarrassed to even type that.

    I really enjoyed this post Neil, but I sincerely enjoy them all.

  26. See, I blog to keep people away. That’s the difference between you and me.

    BTW, maybe it’s time to leave New York?

  27. I like to think that people can get to know each other through their writing, especially when they can mix comedy and openness like you do.

    And anyways, I find that even in real life, my relationships are all compartmentalised in some way, so that I feel that I only ever get to know “facets” of people. So I take what I can and appreciate those facets.

    I know that I only show people select facets of myself. Nobody ever gets the whole picture of anyone.

    Heck, I know I spend more time with you online than I do with a whole lot of my IRL friends. 😀

    Lastly, tripping may be unadvised.

    I recommend paintball guns.

    Less effort

  28. I hear you but you’re wrong about the “getting down and dirty” stuff. Showing your emotions does NOT make you seem less confident. You know from the times you’ve shared what’s going on with you that your readers lap it up, we LOVE it, it makes you seem more of a real person and of course you always have just the right mix of soul-baring honesty, self-deprecation, and crazy humor so it’s never too much (except when you force visuals in our heads involving your mother walking into the living room with you doing something on the couch…).

    I also see you as someone who has made more real contacts with bloggers than anyone I know. I’ve gotten to know two or three people that I met through blogging in real life–haven’t you met and befriended dozens?

    As for those so-called “popular and influential blogs,” gag me. At least you didn’t say the word “Dooce” this time so I won’t have to go into another unfair tirade against that woman. On the other hand, I wonder if you realize that YOU are one of those popular and influential bloggers. But I’m glad you’re not fully aware of that. Your humility is much appreciated.

  29. I’m not going to respond to everyone right now, but Headbang8’s comment intrigued me. I think I might ask him to write a guest post on why he has this dislike for NY. I think there is a story there about an ex-lover. It is the same reason why I have always hated the town of Freeport, Long Island.

  30. I still don’t quite get the whole “important” bloggers thing. I just read the ones I like. For me, blogging is about writing and reading other people’s writing. Now, Facebook? Faceook is for social connecting.

  31. I’ve been trying to think of something to say to this since I first read it (and shared it on Reader) this morning. But I can’t think of anything.

    So hi. 🙂

  32. I don’t know the answer, Neil.

    But if it will help with your perspective, I wish I had even one third of your traffic.

  33. I hate Gershwin. Really really hate that stuff. And I mean “stuff” in the nastiest possible way.

    BTW I think I’m going to have to cop out on the concert. I can’t get my kids to cooperate, I can’t find a version of the song I think will work (too many musical bridges, and what am I going to do during a non-vocal bridge? The dance of the seven veils? And my flip video camera is on the fritz.

  34. I think it sets you apart that you email and respond. There are a few ‘big name ‘ bloggers who email me back when I write them. I follow those who entertain me, those who draw me in, and those who touch my heart. I read blogs that only entertain me. I dont care truely about those people. They are ‘short stories’ that get me through the day. Then there are the blogs that I give a darn.

    I care if their husband is sick, or their child has a condition. AND why? Because they care about the fact that I care.

    I care about the one who cares about others. It can be a ‘friendship’ if you allow it. When YOU email me back, it lets me know that you are not just some person who has other people go through your mail. You are not so conceited or egotistical as to think that becasue I dont write a blog that is for other people; then I dont deserve a voice.

    Imagine the internet as a neighborhood. Are you just walking by and peeking in the window? Are you actually sitting at their window watching what happens? Are you knocking on their door to say hi? Are you sitting next to them INSIDE of the window?

    Thats the relationships you have. What sort of neighbor do you wish to be? Stop worrying about who is walking by your window, instead worry about whos window you are walking by; and should you stop to say hello.

    Thank you for waving when I wave. Thank you for opening the door if I knock and saying hello too.

  35. …and also, thanks for you honesty. And, if you email me your new addy; I’ll include you on the Christmas cards; even if you are a Hannukah type 🙂

  36. The key for me is to keep the internet in its place. It occupies my mind and my time and even my heart in many ways. But in the forefront of my mind I remember that there is no touch accompanied by a click. And that a cyberchat is not as good as a conversation. And ((hugs)) are not the real thing.

    But it has wonderful elements that I won’t disregard. Connecting, learning, thinking. Easier to do online than trapped in a picket-fence suburb as a single mom with two kids and three dogs!!

  37. Popularity, success, traffic, it’s all quite the lure and it’s interesting to contemplate all the dimensions to blogging and how the persona we build online can affect the way others think about us and how “interesting” they feel we are.

    For me, in the end, it has to be real or it’s not a success for me. Pretending to be aloof, important, and confident would only push me deeper into despair if I’m in despair in the first place. You can’t climb out of a hole by pretending you have a ladder. Anyone who passes by overhead that might offer you a rope if you reply when they say hi, will just keep walking if you keep yelling about how great the ladder you have is.

    Just a thought.

  38. Neil, I think – oddly enough – that you are probably more consumed with the idea of “important” or “popular” bloggers than any of your readers ever could be.

    Although reading through the comments, maybe that’s not the case at all.

    It just seems to me that you’re sapping a lot of the joy out of blogging for yourself by constantly insisting that you are not important.

    Hell, what do I know.

  39. Thanks, Miss Britt. I don’t think I am obsessed with the idea of importance or popularity. I’ve never chased it at all, although I figured that I was humorous enough to gain some readers. If my mother finds me funny, why shouldn’t you? But who cares? It really means nothing in terms of writing. There are so many more talented writers on my blogroll that get less readers because they write about stuff like the news and politics and important issues. I write about getting aroused by Food Network hostesses.

    As for sapping the energy out of blogging, that is true. It is something I do in real life. I really do think too much about things. I sort of enjoy thinking about “how things work” in a sociological way. I’m not a major socializer, so people and groups — like the blogosphere itself — fascinate me. I don’t know what to make of it — or you, for instance. Are you my friend? Are you sort of a modern version of a pen-pal? Am I responding to your writing or to YOU as a person? Would I care about you less if your writing sucked? Should I call you up tonight to say hello? Or should I just concentrate on my own writing and think of everyone else as vague individuals who I “sort of know.” I don’t consider myself important — I mean, of course I am important. I love myself as a blogger. When I write something funny, the one who is laughing the most — is ME! But, I think of you as important as well. I’m just not sure what that means to me. Or how to give 700 people my emotional involvement when I read about their lives. This blogger is having a baby. This blogger is sick. This blogger is fighting with her husband. Why exactly is everyone reading one blogger over another? I’m actually surprised that more of you don’t just want to quit blogging completely. It can drive you crazy.

    I realize that the answer, for me — in not to follow so many people. Choosing friends who mean something to me. Or should my choices solely be based on writing skills? That’s what a lot of you seem to be advising me to do.

    Unfortunately, I think about this crap a lot. In real life, I am less funny, and more neurotic. Now do you see what drives Sophia crazy?

  40. Don’t feel badly. I, for one, am a total asshole.

    And NEW YORK?! How the hell did you get to New York? I’ve really been out of it.

  41. A hell of a way with words you have. Your closing has got to rate as one of my favorites.

  42. Baby, it doesn’t matter which coast you are on! If you choose to be disconnected, you can do that from your mother’s apartment in NYC or my bedroom in CT or you and Sofia’s home in CA. It is all about your attitude. And how you choose to live your life. How do you choose to live your life, Neil?

  43. The only thing I know about my love affair with blogging is that it’s all mine. I don’t aspire to mimic anyone’s greatness nor do I want my blog to become about cranking out the numbers.

    I remember losing sight of myself for awhile because I wanted readers, comments, numbers, to be liked, to be amusing, to have a semblance of “popularity”. I started commenting on blogs that I wasn’t even sure I liked, just to find a crowd. But I like it better when I find like-minded people. And, I found that people like me better when I am just me. And so I am.

    Great post, Neil. This really made me think and gain even more perspective.

  44. Blogging is what you make of it.

  45. Is it possible that blogging and the connections you’ve made through blogging have provided a distraction from dealing with other aspects of your life? And perhaps any discontent is a sign of wanting to move on and to get back to resolving them? You know, that itchy feeling when a wound is starting to heal? I don’t know, maybe you have a handle on things and are keeping it private. I have the feeling though that you’ve been living in limbo and you’re getting tired of it. That’s a good thing. Loneliness is a good thing if it’s a kick in your butt to move forward. Painful, but motivating. Sorry if I’ve misread your post and you are actually just blowing off some steam.

  46. I am getting into this way late, and don’t have the time to read the comments, but I for one really care about the people who come to my blog and I even care about the people who write the blogs I like, like yours. I care that you are lonely. I don’t know if we will ever meet or not, I have come close to meeting a few bloggers, and I know one day I will. I hope I will meet you, but I care for you
    regardless. Blogging makes me happy, not sad. And this Dooce person, I find her blog boring and I don’t get the big deal…

  47. This was very interesting…and it makes me wonder what constitutes a “real” relationship. I don’t know if meeting face to face is necessarily a requirement. But you have to keep the possibility in there. Saying “never” is what invites the concept of futility in.

    That said – I’m sorry you feel lonely. It’s not easy to climb out of that hole. But to use a really lame cliche – it seems to me that there are many extended hands out there that could be yours for the taking. Even if they aren’t “real.”

  48. first of all, i hate that i’m going to “blend” in here but this really is an excellent post. i always like it when it “seems” as if you are writing from your gut.

    next, how do you KNOW for a fact that you’ll never meet some of us? i understand your use of generalities but still. will smith didn’t get where he is by thinking like that. and, really we could all stand to be a little more like will smith.

    there was a “this american life” podcast in which waitresses tested being really rotten and cold to their customers, and then being very kind and polite. mostly, the rotten act got them bigger tips. this makes no sense to me, other than to wonder if we ALL, deep down think we are unworthy of positive interactions.

    in closing, your honor i’d like to say i love the way you ended this post 😉

  49. I would love to meet you, I think you’re awesome.
    PS I never got an email. Pfft.

  50. I for one think blogging is what you make of it. I read blogs where the author shares nothing, and others where the author shares (seemingly) everything – I always have a reason for reading, but it rarely depends on the amount of “real” sharing that happens.

    I think the majority of friendships forged online are pretty shallow – that said, I’ve met at least three people through blogging that I consider true friends, people who mean something to me, people I would look up if I ever visited their town.

    It’s a conundrum, for sure.

    (By the way? I will never never never stop believing New York has no Gershwin in its soul. I don’t care what you say.)

  51. wow. i just spent a ton of time reading this post and all the comments. i can see how people get too involved with only internet friends. with trying to be a somebody. i think your interview project proved that everyone has something interesting to say. you don’t have to be a big name blogger to have a voice. i loved reading some of those interviews. i found some really interesting people. i also love reading your blog. i don’t care if you are a big name blogger or if you only have a few readers. you are accessible. you email people. you chat with them. you respond. that coupled with your excellent writing…about whatever you feel like saying makes you a blog to follow. in my opinion anyway.

  52. Hey. I think a lot of the people who commented here didn’t *get* your post. Not that I do, but some comments strike me as non sequitur to the max.

    I think I have a strong sense of self. I’m pretty sure everyone who knows me would say that about me, too.

    And, on the contrary, sometimes I feel like all I’m doing is walking around waiting to see the Emperor without his clothes. I think about that a lot.

    Come on up to Syracuse if you’d like. I’d like to see you again. The first time was so brief and I was drunk.

    I generally skip posts on all blogs unless they’re personal. It’s all I’m really interested in.

    Anyway, very existential, Neil. I really appreciate this post.

  53. Just write, Neil. Do what you do.

  54. Maybe it gives you something to shoot for. Am I wrong? Sometimes, a new blogger will make a comment on my blog, and I will immediately email her back. And then something odd happens. I seem to lose this person’s respect for me, as if I showed my cards too early in the game.

    I am notorious for not emailing (or sometimes responding to) commenters. It’s not that I don’t want to, or even intend to, it’ s just that I’m usually not tethered to my site for hours a day and I forget to. I’m pretty sure this is one of the reasons why they don’t come back.

  55. I’m tired of the self-congratulatory name-dropping that I see on some blogs – I’m more interested in reading something genuine that isn’t influenced by a desire for popularity. Admitting that you care about reader feedback, in my opinion, is not a weakness.

  56. Hear, hear.

    (Is all I’s got to say. Please don’t email me back or I’ll lose respect for you. 🙂 )

  57. I’ve felt this way myself many times. Most of the time I can stay in the “I blog for myself” mindset, but sometimes I get the itch for something more. I haven’t put enough effort into it lately though to make that shift. Great post! And nice to “meet” your blog. I’m a first-time reader through a share from Hilly.

  58. I’ve found that New York can actually help with the ‘invisible’ thing – not to put words in your mouth, but online, it can seem as if everyone knows everyone and there are just concentric circles of blogging BFFS…but living in New York pulls me out of that, and I love that in this city, there are millions of people living all sorts of lives…some lonely, absolutely. But I’ve found that NYC allows for single people to be alone without being lonely in a way that other more ‘traditional’ places don’t…but I say that as someone who gushes about the city even when it shits on me, so take that with a grain of salt. But I know how hard it can be, both online and off, when things fall apart.

  59. I can relate to this post, in several ways, and I think there are a lot of bloggers out there who can. For me, sometimes blogging can be the best thing in the world and other times, like you said here in the comments, it kind of drives me crazy. It’s a mixed bag, all right.

  60. you still need to come to boston. i hear you. i am wicked lonely. and i’m at my own home! (btw, go visit the video on my blog and tell me if I reek sadness or confidence, I got an email from someone who saw the video and said I look really really sad. Was I too emotional? Whaaa?)

  61. I didn’t lose respect for you when you emailed. And Dooce has never emailed me either.

    I just lost respect for myself.

  62. I don’t think blogging is about confidence at all. A blog is nothing but a bunch of electrons arranged in such a way that they form words–the product of your thoughts and amusement. As such, one shouldn’t really give a damn about how one is blogging either in comparison to other bloggers or some imaginary ideal.

    Online life is sort of weird. I get how you feel lonely because in reality, it’s nothing but you, a computer screen, and some output that looks like other people responding (although who knows, maybe we’re all just the equivalent of an infinite number of monkeys banging on keyboards). In the end, I think you can only look on this as a tool to help you get in contact with other people rather than a substitute.

    Feel free to disregard all of this rambling if this has been said in a much more eloquent manner in one of the above comments.

    (Besides, judging from all the comments, are you sure you’re not famous?)

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