I started blogging because I no longer had time to write plays. Even though blogging may seem like an ideal fit for someone who has spent most of her lifetime writing and working on computers I held a long disdain for blogging. (I even included "blog" in my list of the least sexy words.) But I've since realized that disliking blogs is like disliking paper. They are just places to write, and the end products vary widely. In fact, I've come to really like blogging. I guess that makes sense since blogging is a lot like my other creative love. Here are five reasons why blogging is like theatre.
1. You've got an audience
A blog isn't a manuscript in a box under your bed or a poem in the white space of a Pottery Barn catalog. There are people watching, or at least there is the potential for people to be watching, which leads to my next point.
Are there theatre people who don't ask how the house looks or sneak a peek through the curtain? Are there bloggers who don't check their analytics? In both cases there probably are people who don't do those things, but in both cases they are probably people who know those numbers are consistent. For the rest of us who get more erratic responses to our work part of the excitement is of blogging and doing theatre is seeing who comes to the show.
3. You can watch your audience's reaction in real time
Although I'm whenever a play I've written is produced I prefer when it's a production that I can attend, ideally for multiple performances. I like to sit in the back of the audience and watch the reactions to my play. Laughs, gasps, leanings in, jumpings back. Even nothing. It's always interesting, and at it's best it's rewarding.
Blogging also allows me to know my audience's reactions through comments on social media or the posts themselves as well as likes, +1s, retweets and shares. Or the lack of those. It's not quite as engrossing as observing a live audience, but it's still the best part of blogging.
Of course, I could observe more specific reader reactions if I set up my blog to distribute malware that could take control of your webcams, but I totally would never do that because it's unethical and much like the reason I chose not work for the NSA, but you do like nice today although you have a little something in your teeth. No, the other side.
And, yes, I realize that was a run-on sentence followed by a fragment, which brings me to my next reason that blogging is like theatre.
4. The most accessible writing is conversational
When I write plays I focus on writing like people talk without worrying about formal rules of grammar. Although I don't write much dialogue on my blog I do use a relaxed writing style that tends to mimic how I speak. Including sentence fragments. I even use the occasional run-on sentence for effect like I did above even thought I know it is grammatically incorrect, but sometimes a run-on can benefit the rhythm of what I am writing because sometimes that's just what sounds right because that's how people talk, am I right? Few ellipses though...I am not a fan as they are generally misused...like there.
5. I love doing it
The biggest way that blogging is like theatre is that they are both things I love to do.
I gave this blog the short-sighted title of "Listing Toward Forty." One year ago I started this blog with a list of unattainable goals and planned to make a 40 item list for the 40 weeks leading up to my 40th birthday. I did that, but this blog became so much more than just weekly lists. I started writing other posts as well. I started to experiment with photo galleries and video galleries. I even created a bitstrip comic. I've had widely read posts and barely read posts, but the process of creating them is just as fun for both. I enjoy this, which is why I'm still posting here.
Even though blogging has served as my replacement for playwriting, I do still love theatre. I've done a little playwriting this year, and I hope to find time to do more. I'd love to act again someday as well. But until you have a chance to see me or something I've written live on stage you can find me here.
Whether this is the first post of mine you've seen or you've been with me since list one, thank you for reading.
Subscribe to Listing Toward Forty. Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.