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MARIELENA ZUNIGA: ON LURKERS

September 14, 2009

Marielena's new head shot informalWord 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.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 18, 2009 8:42 PM

    One could assume there would be no comments on a post on lurking which then would be participating and not lurking. Hmm a point to ponder. Interesting site, thanks go to Sandy Cody who pointed me in this direction.

  2. Marielena permalink
    September 18, 2009 9:01 PM

    Thanks for your thought-provoking reply, William, and for “not” lurking but commenting. You make a good point. My central message, however, was an analogy and a wee bit of a stretch, that we as writers are “lurkers,” observing life and then commenting on it. Thanks again, and to Sandy for pointing you in our direction. And as I invited in my post, please feel free to “lurk” about our blog, or to comment any time!

  3. September 19, 2009 6:59 PM

    I agree. I often read to inspire my writing. The best place for me to get a new idea, especially for a blog is in reading other’s. In which case my comments wind up in the form of a new blog post. Does that still make me a lurker?

  4. Marielena permalink
    September 19, 2009 10:35 PM

    Joanne, Thanks for taking the time to lurk around our blog. Hopefully it inspired you in your own blogging. Perhaps we need to invent a new word for someone who both lurks and blogs — a “blurker”?

  5. September 20, 2009 2:15 PM

    Lurking is such an interesting part of blogging. I lurk at some blogs, and I know I have plenty of lurkers at mine as well.

  6. Marielena permalink
    September 20, 2009 3:12 PM

    Thanks for stopping by to “lurk” and “post” your comments, MeganRebekah. I just reciprocated on your blog, by doing both. Although I didn’t spend as much time “lurking” on your blog as I’d like, I plan to go back. You sound like an interesting person, which always makes for an interesting writer! Thanks again … and feel free to stop by our blog any time.

  7. September 25, 2009 5:02 AM

    Lovely blog you have here.

    I do a mix of lurking and commenting these days. For me, it comes down to whether or not I have something to say and/or how comfortable I am with the blog. No idea why, but I don’t feel comfortable commenting on some blogs, even if I read them every day.

    • Marielena permalink
      September 25, 2009 12:56 PM

      Casey,
      I’m thrilled that you felt comfortable enough with our blog to comment! Please feel free to lurk or comment at any time. You are always most welcome.

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