Friday, February 3, 2012

Why blog?

Sometimes I wonder about the point of blogging. If you look out over the seething, screaming mass of humanity that makes up this filthy pit we call the Internet, the personal blog is Legion. We’re just one voice crushed in the cacophonous din, an e-needle in the LAMP package stack.

So, why bother? What’s the point? Why do I blog? Why do we, the Scribblerati, blog? Who’s it for? Who are we talking to? Why do we do this thing we do? A valid question, right? I mean, we’re not a writing resource, per se. We’re not a news source, not really. We’re not strictly a pop culture blog, nor are we really an art project. We’re kind of self-promotey, I guess, but that’s not really our aim, either. So why blog?

I know for me, myself, I like to have things. I’m a collector that can’t be bothered to collect any one thing specifically and the things on the Internet I like are things you can’t really put on a shelf, they’re internety things: Videos, pictures, what have you. Also, I’m drawn to lists. It’s all very OCD of me. I just like to have them. Other folks treat their blogs like a diary of sorts, sometimes posting when drunk, or angry, or perhaps without foresight—which usually ends up being a bit unfortunate—but hey, if being embarrassingly honest (or dishonest) with potentially the entire planet is your thing, well… good for you. Also, there’s the fact that they say that, should you ever become an author in these modern times, then you will need a central place, somewhere your devoted multitudes can gather, a place to bask in your musky essence and glean the few little driblets of information that you, their anointed one, has deigned to scatter down into their midst. And that’s great. Thumbs up. All of that is great, more or less, perfectly valid reasons to blog, but is that why we do it here?

Writing is insular, as most of you no doubt know. Most writers write alone, even in the middle of a crowd (That is so deep…) and more so, most writers stick to a certain type of writing, something they do, day in and day out. And as such, they can burn out, get stuck in a rut, or just generally get too lost within the worlds they’re creating to even realize that they’re ignoring craft and quality and narrative or whatever…


Or, to lunge away from a suddenly very Star Wars heavy post, when you work out the same muscles the same way each and every day, you can end up defeating your original purpose. You can take something that started out as good and you can end up twisting it into something…

…fucking gross.

Sorry about that.

I can’t speak for the whole of the Scribblerati, but the way I look at it, blogging is a writing exercise. It’s a random bump in the writing road, it’s a little something different, an excuse to stretch your legs. Sometimes that’s what you need. Things aren’t flowing? Can’t get that one scene right? Are you staring at that blank page, all knotted up with indecision and failure inside? You got a case of the mental Carpal Tunnels going on?

Well, quit your whining and work on something else for a bit. Blog. You see, the good thing about blogging is that it won’t accidentally erupt into a brand new project that will end up eventually sucking you away from your current work either. That age old rule “Write Everyday”, the one that presses down on your shoulders, making you feel guilty and terrible and talentless?


Forget it.

You can’t take that shit literally, it’s impossible. Leave that shit behind. It’s the core truth that matters: You want to write, you keep at it, you take it seriously, and you do it often, but most importantly, try to change it up every once in awhile to keep it interesting, because Carpal Tunnel Syndrome sucks… I assume.

I mean, look at that poor lady. Such pain and yet, she’s still there at her station, working, refusing to quit. Look at her. Such nobility.

Keepin’ it fresh,


Mark Teats said...

I agree with you on the "writing exercise" take on blogging. I see it also as a chance to do a different kind of writing (non-fiction, more real-world based).

Qlaudie said...

Jon rocks.