It’s Show Time!

A thought wriggled into my mind the other day.  Okay, hold your jokes about how that was a momentous occasion. It occurred to me how blogging is like live theater. I took a class many years ago and remember when my professor gave us a list of why people go to the theater. I think the same reasons apply to blogging.

Theatergoers want to be swept away. The theater can move an audience to tears or make them laugh. Through song and dance they can be entertained, momentarily forgetting their own troubles.

I love reading blogs that convey a message, make me think differently about a topic, or bring a smile to my face.  Some have been so poignant that I have teared-up or cried. Others have been so hilarious that I read them out loud to my family.

Theatergoers want to be seen. Those fancy balcony seats along the side of the theater are not only for the patron to look down, but for the average theater-goer to look up.

In blogging, we have avatars and make comments which provide the same effect. Being seen on someone’s blog is a great way to entice readers to check out your own blog. Many times I have clicked on a comment or avatar and not only did I find a new blog to read, but I subscribed!

Theatergoers realize there is a live aspect of the show and anything can happen.  The old good luck expression, “Break a leg,” seems counter-productive since many actors have tripped and fallen on stage. Others have forgotten lines.

In blogging, where else can you read an author’s work hot off the press?  I have tripped by missing an error after proof-reading my story a bazillion times. Either I found the typo or it was pointed out to me by a reader after it was in the blogosphere. I always pick myself up off the blogging stage, correct it as soon as possible, and then pretend like nothing happened. Oh yes. I am a natural actress.

Theater is a spectacle. So much of the mood of the play is determined by the lighting, the sets and the costumes.

The same can be true when we customize our blog, reflecting who we are and what our focus is going to be.

Photography has become the rage with eye candy sites like Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, and Stumbleupon. The inclusion of a few photos can help express the tone and may seduce someone into reading your story.

Theatergoers attend shows to see live actors. After the performance, some fans will wait at the backstage door in hopes of getting a signed autograph.

We can “talk” to the author of a blog and make a connection by making comments. We often get immediate feedback and can have a conversation. How cool is that? I have made many friends this way and feel elated when I have the opportunity to make contact with an amazing blogger.

There are other similarities:

The cast and crew of a Broadway play hope to win the Tony. This is the ultimate prize of the theater and all hope to be recognized with this prestigious award.

As bloggers we all hold our breath, at least I do, Monday through Friday when the Freshly Pressed winners are listed on the WordPress front page.

Some plays are overnight sensations, while others flop. The ones that show us something new, transform, or entertain us stay open and run for years. The ones that don’t make a connection or bore the audience, shut their doors after they are panned in the reviews.

There are many reasons to blog. Personally, I am blogging to create a following and to practice my writing. My mom taught me long ago not to talk about me, myself, and I. Okay. I admit that my blog revolves around me, but before I press publish, I always ask myself a question – out loud, “Who will give a s#!t about this?” Then I edit one more time and hope that my doors stay open…

Does it feel like opening night every time you press publish?

Why do you blog?

The first and second image by Wikipedia, the rest by Google

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Filed under Humor, Life

95 responses to “It’s Show Time!

  1. I love your analogy and can relate to so much of what you say. Great post!

  2. Pingback: Without a Doubt? 100 Word Flash Fiction | Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

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  4. I write on my blog to give me the spark for writing fiction. It’s an exercise. I’m quite thrilled that people are reading my blog! Perhaps they’ll read my fiction too?

  5. When I can honestly say, “I never thought of it that way”, then dammit if that wasn’t a thought I must keep thinking on. Brilliant, really.

  6. Anonymous

    It is great and true :) I feel the same every time I press the Publish button

  7. Its a compellingly blossoming passion within.It fulfills me,endlessly drawing me deeper. Practice makes perfect and so i keep moving,til I’ve actualized! Thanks for the challenge!

  8. Wow! That was so true. As a thespian myself I see things from the other side of the curtain, but the same concept applies. Will anyone notice that there’s a hole in my tights or my wig is askew? Will they know if I screw up my lines? What if when the curtain opens there’s only 10 people out there watching? Ah, those were the days.

    Keep up the good “theater,” Susie!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Thanks Patricia!
      I have seen it through my kids eyes when they performed. I am so glad that you agree about the similarities. My hope is to entertain the reader in some form. The connections I make through the comments keeps me going!

  9. Started blogging when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The name of the blog pretty much sums it up… *dry laugh* Enjoyed your writing and I will be back.

  10. I started my blog when my TV broke. I had no television for almost a year, and was entertained by reading funny blogs, and writing. I edit a few hundred times before pressing “publish” – but always find 20 more things to fix.

    And I agree with you – there is a show time feeling to it all. Especially when you’re waiting for a favorite writer to post something new and entertaining.

    ps – since I bought myself a new TV, I don’t read or blog as much. ::waaa::

  11. Why do I blog? Hard to answer – possibly I also have your wriggling thought syndrome – hehe!

  12. This was an excellent post, Susie. I was a theater major in college and can relate… that is an interesting idea. And yes, it does feel like ‘opening night’ a little.

    Incidentally, since you wrote about ants, I have been invaded by them. I am holding you directly responsible.

    • Thanks Ted! I am so glad that you could relate! I was never in theater so it was a leap for me.

      Sorry about your ants. Get a couple of bait stations. Run a line of cinnamon perpendicular to where they are coming in. They follow the ant in front of them so they get confused when they hit the cinnamon.. Hit them with vinegar and they will die. I still have cinnamon along the windowsill and anywhere I think they were getting in. Let me know if that helps! Good luck!

  13. Since I reside in NYC and I’m an avid theatergoer, I’ve seen countless plays and musicals on and off Broadway through the years. Only recently has it occurred to me that there are any similarities between blogging and theater, but that came from a small off Broadway comedy revue called Blogologues. Blogologues is staged blog posts opened up for the theater but essentially performed verbatim. It’s a very cool show. I think you would love it. Your site should probably be in it, but there’s no way to “audition”. Check out the link:

  14. Great post, and a great metaphor. I’m not quite sure why I continue to blog…maybe it’s just cheaper than buying all those journals and/or it’s an excuse for me to post funny stories?

    • You are a natural and a Recommended WordPress blogger. Why would you leave? YOU ROCK! I have stopped reading magazines and have cut back on TV since blogging. I am waaaaay more entertained here!
      Thanks Heather!

  15. Love! There is some truth to this. Except that I can hide behind a picture and no one needs to see what really look like in real time. THANK GOD! LOL. You had me bursting out loud in laughter in the first two lines. :D It’s funny because just today I was rethinking my blog to better reflect me, my life with the kids and my available time while making it (hopefully) fun and totally geeky. We’ll see. There may be a change coming in that stage show lineup. Hahaha

    • I LOVE that idea! I just updated mine as you can see. I think it is good to keep evolving as we get a feel for what works and what doesn’t. I can’t wait to see your fun geeky site!
      Thanks Debra!

  16. sally

    Susie, thank you for this great analogy! I’d like to say that I blog to improve my writing skills, but really, the blatant truth is that I am at heart an actress who loves center stage, the spotlights blazing – and your post today explains why I’m loving blogging so much!

    • That is sooo cool! I was never in theater, but I have been loving the responses from those that have. I think we put ourselves out there to entertain and ultimately to be judged and we hope that our audience keeps growing!
      Thank you so much Sally!

  17. Hilarious opening, Susie!
    Opening paragraph, I mean!

  18. I blog to scratch the writing itch. It comes upon me every day. The blog is a wonderful way to get those ideas that rattle around in my head. It’s also a place that I can show off without having to do anything really stupid.

  19. Love the comparison of blogging to theater. I suppose I blog to improve my writing skills. At least that was my reason for getting started. I continue to post for that reason, but now I also do it for the sense of community–something I had never expected to gain from blogging.

    • The community is the coolest thing and I had no idea that’s what I would find. We all started in a dark room, sending our posts out through the internet hoping someone would read them! I am so glad I did! I have formed many friendships through blogging.
      Thanks Kathryn!

  20. I never really thought about it that way, but yes it makes sense! As writers we wait for the blogging audience reactions…comments or likes. As a reader (or audience member) I definitely look forward to some hot-off-the-press blog that makes me laugh either about family, travel or food. Good post.

  21. Well written.. the theater surely is an apt metaphor for blogging! Have you been Freshly Pressed?? I, for one, have long since given up hope.. I think they must be looking for something I just don’t have, lol, and I’m not going to sit and wonder why:) Guess I’m just happy to have a platform to write, perform, and meet other awesome performers with excellent shows.. like yours!! xo

    • Thanks so much Smidgen and I love your blog! I have been Freshly Pressed twice which is a miracle.
      I just checked your blog and you are using over 9 tags and categories. That blocks you from the Reader. You can only have 9 in total. I would take your last 4 posts and eliminate some so they total 9 and then you will get on their radar! That is the only thing keeping you from being FP’d!

  22. I would never have made the connection, but you are so right! Blogging is so much fun and for so many varied reasons. It’s more than a creative outlet for me, it’s a chance to stretch around the world and touch as many hearts as I can.

    • And you do touch a lot of hearts with your kind words Tameri! I can’t believe the amount of friends I have made here and like you, they stretch around the world!
      Thanks for reading!

  23. lynnkelleyauthor

    I’m not on Word Press, so I’d never heard of the Freshly Pressed. I have a feeling you’ve won this award several times already! This is such a cool analogy, comparing blogging to theater. Very well done, Susie! I blog for the same reason you do, but if it wasn’t fun, I wouldn’t continue to do it. And I love the friends I’ve met through blogging. So glad I met you, Susie! Your posts rock!

  24. Fabulous post Susie and soooo true! LOL!! I started a blog as a way to practice writing but…seriously…I am a total attention whore bag and couldn’t make it in theatre…LOL!!

  25. Love this post, and we totally agree. We come from theatre, it’s our first love (before the um, internet, was around) and we’ve started to think we were “blogging” with some of our performance art before “blogging” was a thing. As writers/directors the main difference is before we were a little more hidden, behind the curtain, and now blogs give us a bigger voice and make the writer or the content the star. You gotta love that right? We say we like being in the background but it’s all a sham, give us the spot light any day and we will tap dance for you #okaymaybenot #wesurecantry

    Our blog is definitely a show every time – #somegood #somenotasgood and we hope the audience keeps coming back for another bite ;)

    • This is so true and such a great point! I was never in theater, but my kids have been involved in performing. I never thought about how this forum is giving a lot more notoriety to the behind the scenes people. Move over Actors!
      Thanks so much!

  26. Hi,
    A very good post. When I fist started blogging which was just over 2 years ago, it was like another world. I love reading other blogs and learning about different country’s and learning how different life can be on the other side of the world.
    I also have met so many wonderful people from different corners of the world, who would of thought that was even possible. :)

    • Isn’t that amazing! I just said the same thing about it being another world in my last comment. Great minds! I would never have met you if it weren’t for WP! I learn something every day!
      Thanks Mags!

  27. You nailed it with this one, Susie. I was nodding my head through the whole post. It is exciting to hit publish and hope people respond in a positive way. We crave that attention and it keeps us going doesn’t it? And like you said, to be able to leave a comment and get a response almost immediately is a unique thing with blogging. This is why I love it. My husband still doesn’t get it though.

    • The response keeps me going too! I have met so many amazing people from all over the world, like you, that I wouldn’t have met if it weren’t for blogging. A lot of my friends don’t get it, but this is another world! I think my kids generation really understand the connections we make.
      Thanks Darla!

  28. Coleen Patrick

    Oh I pause. I’m always thinking there’s no way anyone is going to be interested, but then I remember what I like to read–i look for motivation, inspiration and the funny. It does feel like theater–especially the stage fright part!

    • I love your posts!
      Second guessing ourselves here is not a bad thing. I often cut a few paragraphs after asking “my favorite question.” If I wouldn’t be interested in reading it on someone else’s blog, I assume no one would be interested in reading it on mine!
      I always know when I have had a miss by the drop in views and comments! We do get that feed back. I never have gotten over the stage fright of hitting the publish button!
      Thanks Coleen!

  29. GReat post, Susie. much to think about. I always pause before I hit ‘schedule’ and give another read through. I want to be sure my blog is honest, and has lots of information without being too detailed and painful. It’s a fine balance. I never check teh pressed announcement. i’m going to have to look at that.

    • Thanks Louise! It is a balance.
      Personally, I never want to come off like an authority on any subject since I am not! :) I was an Art major!
      I read Freshly Pressed since it lets you know what the editors are looking for!

  30. So true Susie..I blog to share my thoughts..and a lot many times feel nervous before hitting that publish button..some drafts are updated hundreds of times bfore they get published and there have been cases where the whole thing was ready yet it never was published…

    • I have a few that are in draft mode too. I think it is important to go by our gut instinct. I can’t believe how many times I edit and still find something to change! I could work on the same post for a month if I didn’t feel the need to post 2-3 times a week!
      Thanks Soma!

  31. Well, I don’t particularly feel it’s opening night every time I click on the publish button, but yes, of course blogs tend to be personal. It’s a way of reaching out to others who may or may not have similar tastes. Basically I blog because I like it and I hope to reach people who like to read and look at photos too. It’s a hobby too, it keeps me entertained and I hope to entertain those who read me as well.

    • I am thoroughly entertained which is why I love your blog!
      My hands sweat and my heart races every single time I hit publish. I guess I am just an excitable girl!
      Thanks M!

  32. Loving your post! Sometimes it feels like that when I hit the publish, especially if I am putting more of myself out there. I love blogging because of the creativity and the blogging community:) Happy Monday!

  33. I love blogging as a way to get my writing out. I love telling stories and getting the feedback. I also love going to other blogs and getting to read even a flash fiction that takes my breath away. Its a privelege to read what is fresh from the author mind before mainstream media takes over. Any one of my blogging buddies could hit it big or not at all and it is an honor to count that person as a friend.

    • That is true and I find better writers here than a lot of other places. I often think that Hollywood should take a look at some of these bloggers! They are amazing and it is so cool that we have made these friendships! Thanks JJ!

  34. Great post, Susie. I’ve done lots of theater, and I have to say, there is definitely a butterfly-like-giddiness that accompanies blogging. We want to connect with the audience, be authentic (and not “fake”), and celebrate after posts-gone-well. :) Unlike film or stage, we don’t have to worry about how our hair and costumes look. LOL

    • Thank the Lord for that! The other day I was messing around and my computer through my image up on the screen. I was horrified! Hahaha!
      Thanks for your input on this since you have been in both “roles!

  35. As usual, Susie, I loved your post! I’m sure there are as many different reasons for blogging as there are bloggers! I blog because I want to share my weird thoughts and ideas with others and I read other writer’s blogs to find out what they are thinking…I’ve met wonderful people doing this and consider myself fortunate to make connections with such a wide variety of friends. I love to write, of course, and blogging is a great vehicle for honing my skills and testing new material.
    Thanks for the great post today…have a great week!

    • I think you hit the nail on the head and I can relate to your reasons for blogging. I love the friends I have made here and it has only been a year! I can’t imagine what this year will bring!
      Thank you so much!

  36. I started to blog years ago on Live Journal where no one saw it. Then something traumatic happened to me and I started in earnest. I had things to say and whether anyone listened or not I needed to get it out there.

  37. Originally, a couple of years ago, I blog because I hoped to make money through the advertizing. Now, I blog because it just feels so wonderful to put yourself out there in front of the world and share with so many people. I have found a community that, not only understands me, but cares for me. That’s something many people only dream about. I still have real-life friends and relatives, but, one of my dreams is to, someday, make some of my blog friends my real-life friends. I can’t believe I ever really lived in the out-of-the-blog life! You are right; I visit; I comment; I follow; they do the same many times – and, thus, a new friend is created. You are one of those, Susie!

    • Thanks so much Kindred Spirit. You just gave me shivers! I know exactly what you are talking about. I have had a couple of meetups with blogger friends. They rock! The virtual friends who read your posts get to know you in a way that some of your real friends don’t. The blogosphere is an amazing place! Thanks again!

  38. Yes, it does feel like theater. So often, I take a deep breath, as if diving into cold water (or walking on stage for the opening scene) before I hit that publish button. And yes, I too love the interaction with other bloggers. I have met so many amazing people (and writers) who make my life richer, and who probably make me a better writer.

    Why do I blog? To create a following for when my novel comes out; because it is exciting and rewarding to send my work into the world and receive feedback; because I love to write; and yeah (:sigh:) I do like to talk about myself.

    I really enjoyed this post. It made me think about blogging from a different perspective and like you said–made me think differently about the topic.

  39. Back in the days I was a theater fan but couldn’t afford to all the shows. Had to pick & choose to fit the budget! Blogging is Free, but the content is over-whelming. Have to pick & choose to fit the free time.
    As mentioned in my About statement, blogging is a leisure pursuit! On this platform I have gained more than I have bargained for. Meeting wonderful friends like you!

  40. I love your comparison with theatre and blogging! There are so many types of blogs as there are shows – something for everyone. Great post! :)

  41. I love the comparison! One errant placement or omission, and… not to mention we all have different points of view. Sometimes we will disagree with another, sometimes another perspective opens up to us, a look from a different angle.

  42. I’ve learnt to publish when America and Canada wakes up as most of my followers are there so I am not buried way down the reader lists. I always get the wosrt seats at the theatre, just trying to figure out what that means :-)

    • I can’t wait until WP improves on the maps. I would love to know which time zone in the US to publish most of my subscribers are from.
      I think my professor was talking about about the “fancy dress” people. We never get the expensive seats either!

  43. A lot less memorization, which is nice. I agree, though, about how much overlap there is. That’s an interesting comparison!

  44. Cute comparison. My mother was a thespian in high school and my father was a musician (then they met, got married, and had five of us) so I guess it would make sense that I am performing in some way, eh? :)

  45. The ride was very enjoyable. I enjoyed your comparison with the theatre. I’m blogging to explore some thoughts through writing, perhaps get perspectives from others and satisfy an enjoyment of online publishing.

  46. I started a blog because I’m not working at the moment and wanted to have a creative outlet, honestly I’d forgotten how much I like to write a little something every now and then. And, yes it does feel a little like opening night to post… will they like it or will it flop?

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