MARIELENA ZUNIGA: ON LURKERS
Word of the week: Lurkers. If you’re reading this blog, chances are good you’re a lurker. For those of you who do not know what a lurker is, rest assured it’s not some sort of Internet perversion. A lurker is simply someone who reads discussions on a blog, or chat room or forum, but rarely participates by contributing their comments.
I understand. Before we started our Birth of a Novel blog, I, too, was a lurker. Honestly, I had difficulty finding time to read blogs, much less post comments. Now that we have our own blog, I’ve been pondering this concept of lurking. It’s not all bad. In fact, I believe that as a writers we ARE lurkers.
Although the word can have a sinister meaning, at its essence it means “to exist unobserved or unsuspected.” As writers, that’s what we do. We stand quietly by, observing life. We watch people. We listen to conversations and pick up snippets of dialogue. We soak in stories, from people we know and from other sources — newspaper clippings, television, history books.
My point? Writing requires a good amount of lurking. But writing requires something more. And that’s where the writing and lurking paths part. Lurkers will read a blog, take what they need, and move on. Writers feel compelled to take what they’ve observed and mold it into words. We feel we must comment on the larger blog of life.
So, if you’re reading this as a lurker, feel free to lurk away. If you decide to comment, even better. Either way, we hope our blog is giving you something you need – as a writer or in your personal life. We’re here every week. And we’re happy you stopped by.