In The Land of Women : An Interview With Male Blogger
Keith is the author of the contemplative, readers-centre blog, Musings of An Unapologetic Dreamer. In a rare occasion, I got the opportunity to interview him and revealed some things about himself, while he let us peeking into the thoughts of a male in a world that's ruled by women. In his spare time, when he's not blogging, he loves to hike where the only voice he can hear is from Mother Nature. By day Keith is a college admissions counselor, though he always dreamt about working with endangered wildlife.
I started my blog in the summer of 2011. When I first started it, it was during a transitional phase in my life and it just felt like something I should do. It's one of the best things I've ever done. I've made some incredible connections through blogging and actually learned a great deal about my self.
So, blogging is a kind of therapy?
Yes, I do view blogging as a kind of therapy. It's cathartic. I think writing is a great release and we end up learning even more about ourselves through this form of expression.
Did you realise back then that blog world is mainly full of women?
I did not realise this at first, but it quickly became apparent. While there are other male bloggers in my circle, they probably only compose about 5-10% of my blogging contacts.
Most men who blog (though not many), I find them to be only focus on their own blogs and didn't really connecting with others. But I can see you do interact with other bloggers. You comment and really put your thoughts to it. What moves you to really communicate with other bloggers (who mainly is a female)?
I love communicating with other bloggers, male or female. I think it's awesome to be able to share ideas, philosophies, and our different worlds. That's one of the incredible things about blogging-in fact, it's my favorite thing.
As a feedback, I can see you get a lot of comments as well for every post you write. What do you think makes people drawn to your writing?
I think it's the fact that I gear my blog towards the questions - I try to make my blog about the reader. I love reading variety of responses to the questions that I pose. These are questions that I pose to myself internally, so I love reading what other people think. I often will read something in a comment and think to myself "Wow, I had never thought of it that way". There are some brilliant people in the blogging world.
Do you ever get negative comments from readers? What's the most memorable email you ever received? Any weird questions?
Yes, I've gotten some negative comments before, but they have been the exception rather than the rule. I don't think that you can avoid negative comments when you are in the public forum. It comes with the territory. The most memorable email I ever received from someone who read my blog? That's easy. It was from a blogger that I actually fell in love with. And as for the weirdest question I ever got from a blog reader, I will have to think a little bit on that one. There are a few that qualify.
What influences your decision to 'follow' or 'not to follow' a blog?
If I find their blog interesting, inspiring, or unique. I follow some incredibly interesting blogs (poetry blogs, photography blogs, travel blogs, etc) and I find something unique and interesting about each one. Plus I have a personal policy of following any blog that follows me. I think that if someone takes the time out of their day to read my humble blog, I owe them a visit as well. It's the right thing to do.
You don't put photos of yourself or tell stories of your daily life. Your blog mostly about your thoughts. Do you intentionally keep your personal life?
Well, even though it's my blog, I don't really want it to be about "me". If that makes sense. It's not why I started the blog. I started it as a form of expression and then it just kind of grew from there. I like the relative anonymity of it. I've gotten emails from bloggers before asking me why I don't reveal more about my self on there, but it just wouldn't go with the theme of my blog.
It's unusual that you want your blog to be more about the reader. Most bloggers talking about themselves.
I think there is nothing wrong whatsoever with the blog being about the person behind it (and the vast majority of blogs are). It's just a personal blogging decision of mine to gear it more towards the reader. I may start another blog someday that is more of a diary-style.
Do you agree if I say people only share what they want to other people to see about themselves, though it's true that we put part of ourselves in what we write?
Yes, I do agree that people only share what they want others to see. I think that's a human nature though-especially when you're sharing it with people you don't know so well. And yes, there is most definitely part of ourselves in what we write, whether we consciously do it or not. I have always said that writing is like a fingerprint - it's unique to its owner. You can't separate them even if you try. Our true self will always shine in what we write.
Is there any topic that you think is off-limit for you to share over your blog?
Personally I do not feel any topic is off-limit for me. I have recently blogged about more controversial/deeper topics and I find the comments on the more controversial topics to be the most fascinating comments I have ever received.
Do you have other male blog friend?
I do have a few, yes. Some of my male blogging friends are incredible poets actually! My friend Brian is the most amazing poet I've ever seen. I'd give anything to be able to write half that good!
What do you think the big difference between female and male blogger?
To sum it up : abstract vs concrete. I think that, for the most part, female bloggers tend to be more open about themselves whereas most male bloggers (but not all) tend to be more factual-based blogs. So female bloggers tend to blog in the abstract, whereas male bloggers tend to blog in the concrete. I have always lived in the abstract myself, so I do think there are exceptions to this rule.
Do men think that blogging means less masculine, hence why not many men blog?
That's a good question. I don't think most men think blogging is less masculine, per se, I just think that most men are not prone to expressive writing. What's interesting though, is that two of the most expressive writers in my blogging circle are males.
In the land of women, how a man can survive this blog world?
Just by being himself and blogging about the things important to him. I don't think a man should get caught up in the idea of himself as a "male blogger". I think some men have this insane idea that to express oneself through writing is "feminine", which of course is nonsense. I think Shakespeare, Thoreau, Whitman, Poe, and Frost would have quite the quarrel with that line of thinking :)
Anyone in your real life know about your blog? Do they read your blog?
Some people in real life know about my blog, but not a lot. I never promoted it on Facebook very much when I was on there. I think my mom reads it on occasion. The vast majority of people on my blog are people that I've never even met. Though I am pen pals with a few!
What is the best thing that come from your blog?
I think the best thing that has come from my blog is a great deal of personal growth. My blog has really helped me grow and has really allowed me to help to develop some amazing friendship. But the absolute best thing, the #1 thing, is that it brought me to my love :)
Last but not least, describe yourself in 3 words.
Describe myself in 3 words? That's hard. But if I had to sum it up, I would say this : "I love life".