I read other blogs to see how people react to different things. It's an interesting experience, how people deal with their lives, including their own mistakes. How they can shift blame, and get annoyed about things that either they instituted, or that they don't like -- that has nothing to do with their lives. Or how they can blame the problems in their lives on everything but their inability or unwillingness to take action and do something for themselves.
One incident from a while back, but which keeps surfacing, has me really thinking about self-denial. Someone stated that they were going to post a rant about something. They called it a rant for several posts prior to when they posted it. The rant is coming, was a common line.
And it got posted. But the rant maybe drew a little more fire than the person expected. Suddenly, it was never a rant. It was a carefully worded question, curiosity, nothing more. Never meant to be a rant at all.
And I think this person has perhaps even convinced herself of that part. Maybe she never even read the earlier posts where she said the rant over someone else was coming. But in the end... everyone who thought it was a rant (because she said it was) misunderstood her. She had done nothing in the wrong.
Self-denial is a good thing to have. We would go through life feeling guilty about every little misstep we take, and every mistake we make. But sometimes admitting, at least to ourselves, that maybe we could have handled things a little better isn't all that bad either. I'm not sure how many of us find that level. I know I struggle with it all the time. I've very little tolerance for 'poor me' excuses. I have less tolerance for people who are willing to tell someone else how exactly to run things without having to do any of the work themselves, or deal with the consequences.
But I learn interesting things from blogs. I see how people deal with problems, how they talk their way around their own mistakes, and how they try to push blame elsewhere. They're good fodder for characters. I know just where I'm going to use one, too. It works well, since most of the material will be in written reports.
You can learn things for writing just about anywhere.