Tuesday, September 21, 2010

To blog, perchance, to dream

If I am suitably tricky and at least mildly organized, then anyone who read the last seven or eight posts on my blog will not have noticed that all seven or eight of them were written in a flurry of inspirado and scheduled to arrive, on the Internet, in sequence.

Looking back on those from where I stand today, eight or nine days later, I really hate the kid who wrote those posts--and not only because he had the gall to schedule posts. There is a tone to them that quite definitely knows "what's going on," that quite definitely knows how to get what it wants, and is generally quite definite about things I, today, am utterly lacking expertise in and, consequentially, am quite undefinite about.

Perhaps this sudden malaise is only a symptom of listening to the audiobook of Taleb's "The Black Swan," a book about the "science of uncertainty" (and for those wondering: yes, I finally succumbed to Writing Excuses' advertisements for a free Audible membership--oh, Howard Tayler, how melodious is your voice). But it's probably not only that, because this malaise is, though specific in content, general in sentiment--a conceptual way of saying that, every few weeks, I come to despise my online persona.

Every time I start to hate my blog-self, I ask: Why am I doing this? And how can I make it better? Consequently, I have taken on a bevy of tones in this blog and in others: I have been sarcastic, vulgar, helpful, interested, goofy, auctorial, etc. I have been link-heavy, link-lite, on-topic, off-topic... each incarnation of myself tries to develop a particular capital-I Image, one which is largely influenced by my mood-state and intellectual (pro/re)gression at any given moment.

So I realized, after coming to realize that my last seven or eight blog-selves were "advice-oriented clean-shaven novitiate," and that I hated that guy, that I need, in a more general way, to figure out what I'm doing as a blogger. I don't really care about developing some kind of brand or audience per se; this blog gives me a home on the Internet just in case someone wants to look me up, or on the off-chance I sell something and want to link it up. But the satisfaction I actually get from having a blog and actually being active in the blogosphere is the opportunity to interact with other writers.

Thus! Thank you, dearest friends and compatriots; thank you, those who follow my blog and those who I follow. I have no real, live writer-friends; and without a community--a community of people with whom to scream both, "what are we doing?" and "look at what we are doing!"--this would all be for nought.

I leave you with a pictorial expressing my sentiments:

(Via Moronail... before it became a repository of strictly pseudoporn and bad memes.)



  1. Blogs are pretty random in general - I wouldn't worry too much about it. (But I don't worry about anything, or at least I pretend I don't.)

  2. I'm happy to be interacting with you too!

  3. Yeah, I think that's something many bloggers and novice writers worry about. The format is sort of halfway positioned between a conversation and an essay. But conversations and essays have pretty much two totally different purposes.

    Conversations, regardless of their information content, are more about serving some sort of social function. They're about binding people together, affirming their ties to each other, and conveying a general sort of impression. Conversations are kind of like...a very sophisticated entertainment, the purpose is to use another person to create some sort of effect within yourself.

    The purpose of an essay is to create an effect in another person. And the joy you get from an essay comes more from knowing that you manipulated the words in a pleasing manner and came out with some sort of beautiful object. It doesn't necessarily require the validation of actual eyes in order to make its creator happy.

    But I'm really not sure where that leaves blog posts. Sometimes I think that just like witty remarks can often sterilize a conversation, a well-written blog post is actually less effective than a more rough one. Conversation should show its seams. It should betray the thought processes that went on to create it. It often works best if its rough and slightly illogical and grasping unsuccessfully towards something...all of that provides some sort of "in" for the other participant in the conversation.

    On the other hand, the only reason conversation can be so garbled and oftentimes incoherent is because it is not permanent. We forget the things we say, and remember only the feelings we felt when we said them. But blog posts are very permanent. They will remain in existence long after that pleasure is gone...so...yes, it's tough for all of us.

  4. The entire purpose of my blog is to siphon off the insane babbling that roil 'round those words of fiction that are fit to print.

  5. I'm pretty upset no one's commented on that wicked photograph. See the look in its eyes? That baby'll kill you.