Murphy\’s Bye-Laws

Law #4: Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it. –H.D. Thoreau

If a Blogger Blogs Amongst the Noise and Nobody Hears It, Is He Really Writing?

Posted by PintofStout on September 2, 2007

I don’t want to sound unappreciative of the regular readers – I know you’re out there – but I’m revisiting the theme of narcissism in trying to write substance for, what could very well be, nobody. As I stated in Pardon Me, I Have Blog in My Throat, I write for practice, for organizing my own thoughts, and for as many readers as possible. (As it happens, that entry was linked to the outside site Strike-The-Root propelling my page views skyward.) Since then I’ve had decent comment threads and a [mostly] steady increase in page views. But is that enough? Am I satisfied?


As my blogging has progressed, I haven’t shied away from self-promotion in the continuing pursuit of readers. I self-promote by commenting on other blogs because, well, they probably want the same thing I do, and it links back to my blog. I also have stopped worrying about hounding friends and family to read. In conversation, I often find myself saying “I wrote a blog entry about that at one point.” Beyond just promotion and networking, I try to make my content interesting and easy to read. I try hard not to be too repetitive or tell everyone what I had for breakfast and how often I picked my nose so far that day (about a dozen so far). This discipline hurts my output some, which actually detracts from readers if there aren’t new posts very often. Still, the trade-off is worth it for quality content.


This content isn’t for everyone, apparently. No matter how much I try, I can’t get my wife to read my blog. She checks and reads a band’s blog about playing shows and being on the road and getting drunk a lot all the time, but I have to read her my posts to have them heard. Maybe it is content, I don’t know. I don’t want to be too heavy all the time because that isn’t really all that fun for very long, but my personality swings from fairly deep and philosophical to just plain silly with a stop off at very subtle humor and quick one-liners. Some of my humor isn’t fit for writing since it is reactionary, but I slip in some humor when I can. I’ll keep this formula in hopes of sustaining readers and interest, but maybe being more prolific will help.


Since this quest for readers is so enduring, I have to wonder why? It seems to me that this is my main purpose, and is, in fact, a means to an end. The way I figure it, the more readers I get, the more likely I am to get feedback. I think that is what I long for the most. Most of the time I feel like a cook who slaves in the kitchen for hours just to dump the gourmet feast in the trash, never to be tasted. I only know what I think of the writing and the topic, and have no conception of how it appears from the outside. Based on the kind of writing – usually opinion pieces – I get feedback on the concepts but nary a word – unless specifically solicited – about how well it is written. A little rationalization can make the content comments say I wrote well enough to get my point across anyway. Fiction may be the way to test my writing skill, because comments would focus on both writing and content, rather than just content.


But how much traffic is enough? How much feedback or criticism? Actually, I hope it is never enough. If I stop trying for and stop caring about the reception of my writing or thoughts and opinions, then I will be beyond growth; I would have stopped learning and, consequently, stopped living. So for any readers who can speak to how the writing itself is, or can offer constructive criticism, I ‘d appreciate it immensely. This quest for proficiency and professionalism will propel me further towards actually making some sort of living from the writing, freeing up some time for more writing (I have lots to say), hopefully. Thanks, and enjoy your labor day, as I hope to enjoy my labor of love here at the Bye-Laws.


8 Responses to “If a Blogger Blogs Amongst the Noise and Nobody Hears It, Is He Really Writing?”

  1. A____ said

    Oh, dearest PintofStout, you fail to realize I have little need to read your blogs. I must listen to your endless rants by way of our lunch time phone calls, over diner, the odd text message, every time we meet someone, when we watch the news or South Park and makes you flare up. I am so happy you have found a creative outlet. Now please leave me alone and devote some time to finishing the wall you removed last October with a sawsall and said it would take two weeks to repair.

    Your completely reasonable and devoted wife,

  2. Bugaboo said

    haha… busted.

  3. thesofine said


  4. My completely reasonable and devoted wife,
    I understand I bounce much of this stuff off of you whilst griping about one thing or another, but that is only the raw ingredients in this gourmet feast. You should taste it when the bitterness is gone and it all meshes like peas and carrots.

    On another note, about that project, I’ll provide here my introduction to “The Amateur’s Guide to Improving This Old Dump, or How to Improvise and be Satisfied with Shoddy Work”

    So, you’ve just bought your very first house. What a bargain! It will require some “sweat equity” to make it worthwhile, but the thought of working around the house is kind of exciting, right? After a few years of watching fix-it and home-improvement shows on television, the tasks you are going to do sound kind of easy. I must warn you, though; no matter where you move, you’ll have almost instant regret and flashbacks to “The Money Pit.” When this passes and the fear paralysis eases, the projects start.

    The projects start simple with changing this old light fixture or replumbing the insides of all your toilets. Then you realize the house wasn’t built for electricity and instead of a nice bracket and updated wires you find a hole in the ceiling and 60 year old solid wires that are a bitch to work with. They seem to hold up the fixture, though, so that is one project under your belt. Next you play find that smell, which never ends happily, in the closet. Once you have cut into the guts of the house to pull out a dozen mouse carcasses (varying from fresh-dead to simple skeleton) from behind the drywall, your confidence is shaken. Big projects seem like an impossibility now.

    As the little replacement projects come and go, some easier than others, the confidence has returned; you can watch “This Old House” without sneering or being ill, the advice and instruction is sinking in again, and you’re ready for something a little more involved. Whatever this next pie-in-the-sky project is, all that confidence crumbles like old plaster on the bulging, crooked walls you are trying to repair when you realize that conditions are never as nice as on television. And how the fuck do you compensate for an uneven wall composed of sheetrock on top of very old plaster on a wall that is uneven, not plumb, and not level? Show me an easy way to make that cut, Picasso! Do I really have to tear the whole fucking thing down and start over, cause I’ll do it, damnit! I’LL BURN THIS MOTHER DOWN, I DON”T CARE!

    After returning from the hospital, where they stitched up your head from the ricochet of the hammer off of the doorway that justs out abstractly and caught you in-between the eyes, you can bow and submit to your house and grant it victory. In all future projects, close is good enough, and you can fake it until you sell it. Enjoy the book!

  5. Bugaboo said

    That… was awesome

  6. Become a happy renter. Nothing quite satisfies like the sound of weedeaters and lawnmowers running in the morning…while you go back to sleep.

  7. The problem is the competition. To have captured the audience one had to have been at the forefront of blogging on 09-11 or sooner. What is that called? Early adoption?

    Oh, and I’m a firm believer in the death penalty for those who run weed whackers or chain saws before 8:00am on Sunday morning.

  8. […] itself so much as the faux narrative of the fake home improvement book I put in the comments.  If a Blogger Blogs Amongst The Noise and Nobady Hears It, Is He Really Writing? is just another examination of the egoistic nature of this […]

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