Believe it or not, even I occasionally need to tune out whatever atrocities America is engaging in today and instead focus on something cheerful… or at the very least something less morose. It keeps me sane and prevents my brain from melting due to the necessary reading of and reflection on rampant ignorance required during the writing of most of my posts. During this brief intermission (and while trapped at my desk on Christmas Eve) I browsed WordPress for something not related to social justice issues, politics, or economics. Finding something in my Reader feed not related to one of those is no small task. Of course there’s the religious blogs out there. Those don’t fall into the off-limits categories. But alas, I can’t have that either or I’ll end up writing a comment that’s a ten paragraph tirade with five source citations explaining why religion is horse shit. There’s also the crafty, Pinterest style blogs, but those just don’t interest me. The 2,000+ word long reads don’t really do it for me either. If I wanted a book I would have picked one up.
Eventually I fell down one of those link clicking wormholes and landed at the Little Things blog. This blog is written by a teenage (I’m guessing) girl named Akvilė (I can’t pronounce it either) from Lithuania, who appears to be from a fairly well-off family. It is a very picture heavy blog, mostly involving her recounting family vacations around the world and giving fashion reviews of clothing/accessories. The picture quality and photography are excellent. In my tradition of finding profundity were most people would not, I was blown away by this blog. English is clearly not her first language, but yet she is well-versed enough to write skillfully. This results in an interesting tone and delivery. She speaks with a level of honesty and straight-forwardness normally only seen in young children.
Hello! I always wanted to write my own blog, so today I decided to start doing it.
Compare this to the agonizingly long 1,000+ world introductory post for my own blog which ultimately said the same thing, and I feel embarrassed. That’s what I wanted to say too. Why didn’t I just say it? Why the extra 990 words of justifications and disclaimers? Whose approval was I trying to win? She wanted a blog so she made a blog. I wanted a blog… so I came up with a load of disclaimers in case it flopped and then wrote a small story book to justify something I owed no justification for. That’s embarrassing.
The more of her posts I read, the more I realized how tired I was of reading blogs of a more typical nature. WordPress, especially the “Freshly Pressed” section is full of self-identified philosophers who use as many words as possible to ultimate say nothing. I’ve had enough of reading grossly verbose and flowery language used to embellish the most mundane of events and stories. Many people believe that to be skilled writing. I’ve changed my mind. There’s something to be said for honesty and simplicity. While much of WordPress is busy recounting their terminally boring lives in the most disgustingly exaggerated, flowery speech imaginable, this girl shares experiences that are genuinely incredible with the same honesty and simplicity that a 1st grader would use to tell you about their experience at the playground.
One evening we decided to go on a Safari. And it was really amazing because we went there while the sun was setting. So the sun was really beautiful, when you looked to the one side you could see the desert and on the other side huge mountains. You can imagine how amazing it looked
As a matter of fact, yes, I can. And I didn’t need ten metaphors and an entire thesaurus worth of adjectives to imagine it either.
This manner of writing has an effect that I found profound. Akvilė recounts travels and experiences that 99% of her followers will never be fortunate enough to experience, but she makes no mention of this – quite the opposite in fact. She talks about things like having tea in the desert with Bedouins in Egypt or taking a yacht out to swim off islands in the Red Sea as if these are normal vacation activities for everyone. Where typical bloggers of these topics tend to be condescending or at least distant from their followers, speaking to them of things they’ll never be able to experience first-hand, nearly all of Akvilė’s posts implore all her 2,000+ followers to go experience what she experienced. There is no doubt that these suggestions are 100% genuine and that she seems to believe they are within the reach of her readers, and when taken with the straight-forward and simple nature of her writing, you too will end up thinking, even if only for a second, that maybe it is possible for you to have the same experiences. This seeming nativity and innocence gives you get the vibe that she is a genuinely good and caring person, recounting experiences because she really wants people to share in them.
So in addition to my mood being lightened up with beautiful scenery pictures from around the world and the writing of a girl that is a genuinely sweet person, I learned something today: be clear, concise, straight-forward, and don’t patronize your readers. With that lesson learned, I’d like to say, as simply as possible… Akvilė, I really like your blog, but I still can’t pronounce your name.