Order of the Good Write

That Magic Feeling When the Words Flow. A Blog by Debi Rotmil


Shouting to the Void: The Matter of Blogging

Screenshot 2015-05-31 11.22.22

Photo By Caleb Morris. http://caleb-morris.com/

If a blog is on the internet, does it exist if no one reads it?

I’ll answer this now.


We, as bloggers and writers who are not frequently read, exist. We work on thoughts, ideas and distill concepts into digital reading despite not being seen. So there.

The blogosphere is a flea market of ideas, a Bazaar filled with barkers promoting thoughts and business. A blog exists if people know about it. If a blog is not on the minds or interest of wandering readers, then in essence – it doesn’t exist despite its existence.

The web is also a virtual city filled with thriving sites where people park their browsers in front of bright, shiny buildings like NYTimes.com, Reddit, YouTube, Gawker, Vulture –  sites and blogs alive with fertile content, updated visions and passionate comments.

But on the route to a destination, we navigate along sites left abandoned on the side of the road, rusting in the darkness of no clicks or views, flashing old HTLM code, “404 File Not Found” signs, or final notes from webmasters dated 2002 or 2004 that say, “I’m not able to keep up with TonySopranoIsAPsycho.com because my personal life is so busy”.

Blogs by the writers,  artists, and people is the digital megaphone used to shout into the void, hoping someone will hear them through the white noise of online society.  We write hoping that someone out there will listen. Someone out there will share our feelings, and share our link to others so our voices will grow louder and louder with each click.

And in doing so, we pay it forward by doing the same for other writers out there – who feel just as useless as I do right now – shouting into the hum of internet clicks and chitter chatter of commentary boards filled with trolls who have nothing in their lives but a keyboard and anonymity.

The pretty girls who need to know they exist by posting constant selfies of themselves in their bathroom mirror, their lips purse like a sucking fish, gasping for air.

Or the pediatric nurse who doesn’t get any attention at home, flooding her Facebook account with selfies to show her former classmates from 30 years ago how young she still looks.  She wants to matter, yet is clueless from knowing that everyday she goes to work and holds a newborn child – she matters more than the entire internet.

Does a blog exist if it’s not read?  Yes. It matters to us – the writer, the blogger. We write into the void hoping a browser, like a digital vehicle, will stop by and connect with our words. Someone out there will find us within this web of satellite connection, wireless networks, and various WW3 links verified into the electronic universe.

Writers and bloggers found the electronic soap box to stand upon and shout to world, “I matter!”

Yet, in the end, despite all the mutter and white noise of voices and written words, we are alone – writing into a vast nothingness, hoping for more than just one person to go – “I understand.”

Happy Sunday.


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For Lovers of Dylan and Hounds

It’s Monday and I need a diversion.

This is a lyric set to the tune of Bob Dylan’s “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry.”  Because I need a hound fix and I’m becoming a ridiculous dog person.


“Well, I howl in the living room, babe…
Can’t buy a thrill.
I’ve been nudging that red rubber Kong,
..around for treats but I get nil.
Oh, if I howl like a bluesy hound shill….
Maybe she’ll come home, and hug me ‘til I’m chill.

These ears are dragging low, babe,
My belly needs a scrub.
The television’s on, but I do not give a blub.
I wanna be your buddy, babe – I don’t wanna be your schlub…
Awww, come home now, momma, come home and give me a tummy rub.

Well, I give up waiting on you,
Think I’ll jump on the couch.
I wanted to tell everybody that,
alone watching “The View” ain’t much.
If I die while viewing “The Chew”….
Then tell my buddies playing at day care – aww… FU…”

Here’s the original tune if you’ve read this far and need the tune in your head:

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Bob Dylan’s MusiCares Speech Speaks Volumes

Bob“The songs are there. They exist by themselves, just waiting for someone to write them down. If I didn’t do it, someone else would.”   ~Bob Dylan, 1962

If that ain’t a writer…

Whether you like him or not, it’s evident Dylan knew how to crystallize the human condition down to lyrics in a song. Every track hit the nerve of so many yearning for common ground. Whether it was about love, politics, history, romance, love, hate, anger, comedy, caddy bullshit, society coming down hard, or losers hanging around Dylan’s door – he amalgamated and borrowed aspects of life, people, old songs and inspired hymns to create an image. A by-product of that image is a body of spectacular work.

But Dylan isn’t God. He’s not the savior. He’s just a man who proved he wasn’t what he seemed by hiding behind the flour dust mask during his 1975 Rolling Thunder Tour. He’s a troubadour. He’s an historian. He’s a soothsayer. He’s an imposter. He’s the truth. He’s a man. A father.  He’s flesh and blood. He’s a writer.

The quote above is the personification of the writing process. Our creative process – this mysterious output of words and thought – is not something to be questioned or judged. It’s showing up and finding the song that already exists – that’s the stuff. The mystery is in finding the key.

No wonder why Dylan was so indignant when tiresome journalists asked the same questions about his songs.  Some accused him of everything. “Judas!” “Imposter!” “Savior!”  They tested his resolve, treated his songs like they were bars of gold that he stole from a vault. They demanded answers. How did he write this? What is this song about? Who are you do this? How dare you?

In last Friday’s speech, Dylan was finally able to ask them the same. Face to face. It didn’t take a rendition of “Idiot Wind” to do it. “How dare YOU?” he said to naysayers.

Even if he raged and rattled his stick against their cage – the answer was always there. He had nothing to do with the songs. Oh, yes he had a way with words, or he held a sensitive radar on the human condition.  But maybe he created something new from something old, in order to produce something unique on it’s own. Maybe just living, exploring and relishing the work of others sparked new thought and inspiration.

We all have this in us. We’re all Dylan in a way. Just showing up and and sticking to it helps. Kind of comforting to know it.

When MusiCares honored him last week, Dylan’s now famously long, angry, humble and transparently refreshing speech summed it all up for a writers and creative folk. You can take it as it is.

“All these songs are connected. Don’t be fooled. I just opened up a different door in a different kind of way. I didn’t think I was doing anything different. I thought I was just extending the line.”