Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Minutiae

The dictionary defines minutiae as "precise details, small or trifling matters". 

I was reading the newspaper last week and came upon an article about blogs -- "Mommy" blogs, actually. The author gave us a list of blogs and told us which were good and which ones weren't so hot. The paper was separating the wheat from the chaff for us,  so to speak.
The author's main beef with these blogs was that the poor ones contained too much minutiae. It seems that no one cares if Johnny took his first step today or that Mommy was waiting for the cable man to come. Cleaning up juice spills or loads of dirty laundry is not interesting enough for us blog devotees. 
However, the article went on to name one of the better blogs, and cited a post from it (her son had found a dead squirrel in the yard and wanted to show it to his mom), all the while exclaiming that stories like these separate THIS blog from the rest. Another blog author was interviewed, and he proclaimed that "if she's posting something, it's worth reading...she never tells you what is on sale at Target or silly things like that..."

Apparently minutiae is only acceptable if you couch it in scintillating prose. 

My point here is this: Our whole lives are filled with tiny details, some boring, some not. It's how you describe them that matters. Some bloggers are able to transcend the daily grind and turn it into a wonderful story. That is called excellent writing and it's what every decent writer longs for. That is also where writer's block stems from; when you want to tell a story and it just won't come out right. 
I strive to do my best writing all the time but some stories flow better than others. (This one is looking pretty pathetic in my eyes right now, actually).

What I wanted to to is stick up for all those bloggers who blog about mundane things. After all, do we blog for ourselves, just to get it out, or do we blog for the masses? 
Sure, I'd love to have lots of people hanging on my every post. But the truth is, there's just so many blogs and so little time. Everyone is busy with their own minutiae that they have no time to search and read a new blog. There ARE just so many hours in the day, you know~

So today I'm thinking about my audience and wishing it was bigger. I'm also going to strive more to make the commonplace seem more exciting. 
I'm sure that would benefit all of us....

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful sermonette. That's what we need effete snobs like that blog critic telling us the good bad and the ugly. Oh heck,I majored in English in college and the writing's the thing. Cormac McCarthy once said "teaching writing's a hustle." And he's right on the money. What the hell am I talking about? I say it better in a poem. A poem is something that evokes images with the least amount of words possible. You know Magnolia writes well and she corresponded with Anthony "Clockwork Orange" Burgess in the good old days when people wrote letters for pete's sake. Or as Yogi Berra once said "if people don't want to come out to the ballpark, you can't stop them."

JayMonster said...

Blogging has become such a judgmental world it is really scary and somewhat pathetic. If you like it read it, if not, move on.

Me, I just found me a new favorite from an old friend.