Monday, August 20, 2007

On Blogging

Blogging is good. Blogging is bad.

It’s good because it allows you to connect to people with similar interests, who could become wonderful blogfriends. It’s comforting to know that you’re not alone, that other people have caught this bug of writing, and go through, more or less, the same worries, the same doubts, the same tribulations. And, who knows, among them there might lurk the much sought after publisher, who, captivated by your talent and wit, might offer you the book deal of your dreams. Just dreaming…

It’s good also because – supposing and hoping that other people are reading it – you can get immediate critique of your work.

It’s bad because it is consuming. It voraciously consumes the very precious time, energy, and grey cells you should dedicate to the “real” writing, your short story, your novella, your novel. It is a perfect excuse for procrastinators of all kind.

It’s good because, if well used, it could be a constant exercise in writing. But the question you should answer here is: do you blog to write or do you write to blog? There is a big difference here, and I noticed it when I suddenly realised that I was searching for my words, and – worse – censoring them, in a self-conscious way, in a manner highly dictated by the idea that other people might read them. In other words, I was writing to blog. It was bad. I didn’t like it. I wouldn’t do that in my own files. So, why here?

A writer with inhibitions cannot be a good writer. You can’t write fearing what your best friend or your mother would think while reading your story. For that reason, a blog could be a great tool to fight your own inhibitions. I certainly have a lot to fight – what a mental struggle there is to post even the most remotely personal fact, even under the cover of anonymity. I would almost hope that no one ever would read it, although at the same time I would, of course, be terribly disappointed if that would happen. If you force yourself to be open and use the right words, not the safe words, in your stories, then certainly your writing skills have only to gain from here.

Good. Bad. It is what it is. The show shall go on.

9 comments:

c.s. said...

i started blogging so that i could write. it has helped me since. i would like to think that my writing has evolved somehow. hence, i can say that i blog to write. never thought i would need to censor my pieces to appeal to others. i write because i want to and i love to.

Vesper, i think you are doing a great job here at your blog. Do continue to write here whatever purpose you have in mind. The important thing is you know there is a need to write (no matter what platform you use). :)

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Really interesting post, Vesper. I started blogging to explore but I'm always mindful of voice, readers, anonymity - which, taken in the context of your post, means I am careful - curiously, I feel freer writing fiction than I do writing a blog.

witnessing am i said...

You did hit the nail upon the proverbial head here, Ms. Vesper.

If we were to (only) write in our blog world, that might be one thing -- like a journal, your blog could serve as a daily reminder to be filled. You would write and write and then walk away. But blogging involves other things -- interaction with others, visiting other blogs, etc. That takes time. Like anything in your life that "takes you away" from writing . . .

How can we satisfy all needs? all desires?

This very post

Taffiny said...

(the boys are dropping Lego cows from the top of the stairs. I wonder if I should stop them?)

I entered the blogosphere- hoping to find other would be writers, to share in the process and struggle, and encourage each other. But it took me a long while to find anyone. I was just out here alone with my words, just like I am at home. Now I have found people that I like, that I like to read, but in that too is a problem, to have this sense of community, one has to go visiting, to everyone around the virtual neighborhood, like going door to door and stopping in for tea, and it can take quite a while.

Both visiting blogs and blogging take time away from writing, but they do also add things to it. Ideas lead to ideas. Reading others and seeing how I see differently than they do, helps me see more clearly, what I am, and what I am not doing. (and I apply that to my writing, and characters)

As you have pointed out, I write too much on the blogosphere, and not enough on my work ( on my dream). (With this huge expanse of comment, there is no way I can deny the charge). I don't think I censor myself as much as others do. Most of you writers have writterly blogs. (especially those of you who have more readers). Thought out, well written, with a certain tone, and theme to them. Mine is more like randomly splattered paint. Sometimes I do think about changing it, it would get read more, if it was more interesting, more readable, more writer-ish. But then it couldn't function as my morning pages anymore, it would be the creation of art itself. Rather than the de-gunking I had intended. And I need not to do that. But being only such, mine isn't even the exercise in writing that many of you get from your blogs.

Limiting oneself-I am surprised at the limits I still have. I am referring to painting now, but it holds true creatively across mediums. I still view small. I still only think in certain ways. Every once in a while a get a glimpse of something else, of being open and seeing and creating differently, and that is when I realize I have been/am confining myself, but it is so hard to hold on to this greater expanse of vision. I reach for it, and it de-materializes.

The smallest steps, feel bold to me.
Even alone, with no one watching, they are a challenge.

colleen said...

I'm an open book....with a few pages torn out.

It gets me writing. It keeps me from writing. When the muse comes I complain about not being able to keep up. When I'm not writing I complain about that.

Thanks for your thoughtful comments today.

Amy said...

I agree with you all. Wouldn't it be fun to all gather for a lovely potluck meal and chat about it in person and read stuff outloud over wine? OK so I am known as the party organizer in my crowd. But admit, it would be great! Amy at Mediterranean Views

Jon M said...

Interesting. I blog to learn or to bring up issues that puzzle me. I see it as being in a certain environment with like-minded people who have lots to share.

Vesper said...

CS,

I remember you were asking yourself a similar question a while ago. It's true for me too, I feel that blogging and the contact with like people have improved my writing and my vision. Thank you for encouraging me.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah!),

Thank you. I'm glad we're alike in our concerns about blogging and writing outside the blog.

David,

These interactions we all have are probably a huge part of growing as a person and as a writer. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for being here.

Taffiny,

You're right. I like very much this image of us all going from door to door and having tea with each other. Beautiful! I think your blog is full of beautiful things.

Colleen,

How right you are! I also like the quotation you use as a description for your blog.

Amy,

Yes, a wonderful idea! When and where?
I'm joking though, only. I'm very far from being ready to come out from behind this computer.:-)

Jon,

Yes, that's it. We all agree upon it. Beautiful, reassuring, heartwarming!


To all,

Thank you so much for knocking at my door! :-) :-) :-)

Dewey said...

As a new blogger, I'm only just realizing some of this. There are differences for me, such as not reading as much because I'm blogging about books. But I actually forget that my in-laws and sister and so on will read what I say, since they never comment.