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This is a response to Steven D's most excellent "Who Is The Best Writer on Kos?" diary.

I'm blessed with a talent for the English language, and I still at times find people writing here or there who express the most bold, honest and generally right-on sentiments, in the most cluttered up of words.

I like to give them props, and make a point of doing so.

There are a lot of ways to get through to people, with these little fingerpeckings we all do. At my best, I've done good work. At my worst, I've angered people for no good reason (there are good reasons for angering people, and there are bad ones; I've engaged in both at times).

But it was always sort of easy for me to drift into this, because typing and language are skills, knacks for me. I'm lucky that way.

 I concur most wholeheartedly that more people should be encouraged to write, and that many are fearful about being exposed, being hurt, being shamed. Many perhaps never learned to type easily, don't have a computer, don't have the money, aren't skilled at language, but are skilled at other things that have different languages, stuff they can tell us about, unique experiences they can share.

Learning to use a computer in the first place was like that for me...lots of fearfulness; what if I break it? This machine, this mysterious object. It took me years to get past worrying about what would happen if I broke it. I'm always worrying I'm going to break machines and anything like machines. It's all scary for me; I have such phobias about these dead constructs, that still always seem so terrifying alive.

I stopped worrying about breaking my computer many years ago.  And once I got past those initial phobias, I had at it, and still do, 20 years down the line.

I think it's all kind of a double-edged sword, because it's easy to get too caught up into this, and less involved in the AFK (away from keyboard) world. But at the same time, introverts and weirdos and outliers of varying sorts; and people who can't talk and people who can't hear and people who can't walk and people who are typing with their tongues, everybody, all of these people who have all these problems, can have the world opened up for them to at least some extent, via this medium.

And...that's good. That's really good. Because it's so Democratic, in a most true sense.  I love the idea of this blog opening its collective heart to the fearful, the shy, the outliers, the frightened, the abused, the damaged, the lost.

Because I've read so many essays by you folks, that were so great. The little personal things, the heartbreaks, the grief and the joys. The anger and the outrage. I never know, any more than most of us do, just what any of you had to go through to write here for the first time. But every time I see someone write and say "This is my first essay," my heart just breaks for you, and I hope people will be kind.

Making it personal counts. Making it personal matters very, very much; and whenever people trust us enough share with us thusly, it makes us all that much more human, that much more people.

We are a mixed bag here. Some of us are assholes. A few of us are close to being saints. Most of us are somewhere in the middle.

We have good days, we have bad days. Just like you. Overall, though, we're pretty good at talking, if you want to talk, and listening, if you want to write.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And don't say anything against cats. Or too (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jacey, Miep, Catte Nappe, blueoasis, ninkasi23

    much about your sex life if it's not conventionally monogamous.

    And don't say anything about cats.

    •  What, you want to hear about my sex life? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayinPortland, ninkasi23

      I can do that.

      Hear you on cats. Okay, newbies; this is the deal on cats: the Pootie Diaries are community diaries, as are lots of others, like the ones run by people who are trying to give up smoking; there are lots of series here. These are considered apolitical places that are about mutual support.

      You will get jumped if you try to attack any kind of group effort thusly. Seriously, I'd advise any newbie here to create his or her own presence some before trying to argue with anybody here about anything. The blog gets trolled a lot, and people can be jumpy, quick to fly off the handle.

      This is a really complicated place with a lot of history. If you start writing your own stuff, it's just about guaranteed that somebody will notice you and respond, and it might well be someone who likes your style.

      Of course, it also might be someone who hates your style, but you gotta deal with the fact that this is a large and fairly diverse group of people, and not assume you will be hated just because you initially run into someone hostile. That person may or may not be representative of the site as a whole.

      I do best here when I just write about my own stuff, the things I'm most into, the stuff I'm doing that makes me happy.

      also, when I write about stuff that's breaking my heart, people have been very good to me about that here too.

      Stirring the pot is much more of a mixed bag, and I strongly recommend staying out of that until you get to know us better.

      I've been blogging here since September of 2008, and at times have spent a huge amount of time doing so. That's my fix on this.

      No peace, no justice. No justice, no peace.

      by Miep on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 07:41:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Be careful choosing your (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miep, Jack K, blueoasis, Garrett, ninkasi23

    user name because if it’s like mine, people won’t read even if you write.

    For teabaggers there is only one God, "Vote Republican". What do we say to their God? NEVER!

    by UTRepub on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 07:44:36 PM PDT

    •  That's good advice (4+ / 0-)

      No diss to you. But there are lots of people here who chose user names that are framed around where they live, or "Dem." It can be hard to keep track.

      I see from your user ID that you signed up with this name maybe a few months after I did with my original one, which would put you in late 2008. I'm surprised you've kept it, under the circumstances.

      You can change it, as long as you don't start trying to run sockpuppets (alternate ID's at the same time). I changed my first one quite some time back. I emailed Kos and Meteor Blades, just to make it proper, and abandoned my first username, started up a new one (this one), and also posted at my old name that I was changing my name.

      Everybody was totally okay with this.

      No peace, no justice. No justice, no peace.

      by Miep on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 07:54:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Miep, ninkasi23

        I've thought about changing espcially since I moved to Arizona.  Still haven't come up with a good name.  

        For teabaggers there is only one God, "Vote Republican". What do we say to their God? NEVER!

        by UTRepub on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 07:57:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's good to have a name (6+ / 0-)

          that isn't easy to confuse with others.

          I'm Miep, named after Miep Gies.

          A very small selection of my favorite user names here:

          Meteor Blades, Crashing Vor, Free Jazz At High Noon, Free Chicken and Beer, Pluto.

          Meteor Blades named himself after his business selling iron swords. Crashing Vor is a play on "Crashing Bore." The second two are just stylish, in my humble opinion. And Pluto is, well, just Pluto.

          The alphanumeric names are harder to remember. But there are well-respected authors here who have such.

          I like it when I see people get playful with inventing names. "Regina In A Sears Kit House;" now that's a really great name. And so easy to remember.

          If I was going to make a new name for myself, it might be something like "Miep Avoiding Baptists in Carlsbad." Though that would not be quite right.

          No peace, no justice. No justice, no peace.

          by Miep on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 08:04:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've thought (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Miep, ninkasi23

            Above the tree line
            Azur(sorta blue)

            but with working on my epic diary wallowing in the government trough and lurking on Daily Kos who has the time.

            For teabaggers there is only one God, "Vote Republican". What do we say to their God? NEVER!

            by UTRepub on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 08:30:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Wow. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            I'm Miep, named after Miep Gies.

            All along, I could only ever picture you as her or someone like her.  Plus I always thought it was a beautiful name.

            I read her book on her life during the hiding of the Frank family.

            I didn't care for math, but when I first understood the concept of finding the slope of a curve at a point, I wanted to grab the first girl I saw and kiss her with wild abandon, just like in that WW II photo.

            by dov12348 on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 08:51:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you, that's really kind (0+ / 0-)

              I renamed myself years ago; it's my legal name.

              I bicycle, I give people vegetables, and if anyone I cared for and believed in showed up at my doorstep asking to be hidden from the gendarmes, I do believe I'd do it.

              No peace, no justice. No justice, no peace.

              by Miep on Sun Jul 03, 2011 at 11:25:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Hmmm...I think I see your problem here n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, ninkasi23

      "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile..." - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

      by Jack K on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 08:03:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good writing has always been highly valued here, (6+ / 0-)

    and SusanG, now Daily Kos' managing editor, started a nightly post to the front page that she called "Diary Rescue".  It's sole mission was, and is today under the Community Spotlight banner atop the front page, to recognize and encourage good writing.  On occasion, we "rescue" something that's factually deficient, but well written.  We don't claim to be experts on every subject that appears in Community Spotlight, but we can assure you any diary you see there has been pored over by at least two of us, usually more, for quality of expression.

    Conservatism is a function of age - Rousseau
    I've been 19 longer'n you've been alive - me

    by watercarrier4diogenes on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 08:23:04 PM PDT

    •  Yep I know about all of that (3+ / 0-)

      and Susan rocks. Thanks!

      No peace, no justice. No justice, no peace.

      by Miep on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 08:39:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have been here since 2007, and I have.. (4+ / 0-)

        always been afraid to try my hand at writing. I just love to come here and read everyone else's beautiful prose, even though it sometimes makes me angry. There are also those times when it makes me happy, and I especially enjoy those times when the writings here make me stop and think about all the things that are going on around me. I love it here on this site, even though I am afraid to try to write, I feel at home just reading, and I hope that this is alright with everyone, too! Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

        If you are a Rebulican when you are young, then you are foolish, but if you are still one when you get older you are most definitely, senile...

        by Danise94 on Sun Jul 03, 2011 at 12:13:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for your comment (0+ / 0-)

          I'm honored.

          Writing blog posts here is like jumping in the swimming pool for the first time, or diving off the high dive.

          Scary. But once you get used to it a bit, you can really get into it, even if you don't always quite get the dive right...we all belly flop from time to time!

          But, if you don't want to write, that's good too. I love the idea of a community without unnecessary requirements. That's always good.

          No peace, no justice. No justice, no peace.

          by Miep on Sun Jul 03, 2011 at 11:19:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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