Thursday, August 31, 2006

Does Blogging Make Us Writers?

Just for those of you who might be rushed off your feet today, the answer is no.
Even those who write brilliantly, and those who are published, are all bloggers. This is not to demean the art of blogging; it is a genre in its own right & often a skilled accomplishment. Our expectations of what we are reading differ depending on whether we are reading a tabloid or The Times, viewing a Hollywood blockbuster or an arthouse indie, blog or a novel. Blogging is blogging and people's motivation for putting their life out there varies. For the most part though, we are sharing our lives somehow, maybe keeping a diary or even publicising ourselves.

I first set up a blog because I wanted to comment, hence my 1st post, & I didn't want to be anonymous because that seemed so cowardly somehow. I had begun to read about other people's lives, partly because I am eternally nosey, but also because a close friend of mine had confided in me about his sexual predilections and I had been shocked. I had wanted to find out more about the people who shared his tastes. My preferences are what the S&M crowd would disappointedly call vanilla, but I really don't care to pass judgment about what anyone else is doing. Various blogs showed me people living happily in all kinds of scenarios but I'm afraid I didn't get any less shocked about my friend. I'm probably not going to share exactly what he was into, suffice it to say that I had interpreted his desires as a manifestation of his dislike of women, and the fact that I wasn't far off the mark put paid to the friendship for me (what with me being a woman and all).

Blog reading as research was rewarding* and I was voyeuristically fascinated by all the bloggers describing their sex lives, as well as gratified to know that I know what I am doing in some departments! Some people made me wonder how they were fitted their lives around all that sex but I culled all those links from my favourites, and (call me dull if you like) but there is a limit to how much I want to read about other people's sex lives. I also knew I was never going to write about sex, being the kind of girl who wants to giggle every time she says "gosh you're so big" (or similar) which is our duty call I know, but yes we do say it to everyone. In fairness, by the time we met you we'd actually forgotten what sex felt like at all, so it really does feel huge and our copulation amnesia prevents us from making comparisons, plus we've been doing our Kegels like mad.

I really didn't know what I was going to write about, if I ever did, but I was also reluctant to angst. It might happen, my episodes of depression may have had mythical proportions, but they have also been 5 years apart, & right now the roller coaster has calmed to a slightly bumpy ride! I do share when I think it can help someone but too much soul searching and I'd be in danger of replicating the tedium of all the mommy bloggers, I know it's interesting to those who have children but I don't. Mind you, you can't knock those who are making a living and supporting their families by blooging; Dooce is a major star in blogworld. I rather like the way Bookcracker writes about this, & I wonder if we do all want our 15 minutes, but I can't think of anything worse than being famous to be honest.

I was tickled pink to see one blogger had turned hers into a book via an online company who printed it as a kind of album; she never wanted to lose her online content, but I think I am more entranced by the idea that it is all pretty ephemeral and disposable even. Books are my first and last love, so I confess to Luddite tendencies and I can't compare blogs to books, even if someone is writing a story online.

When it comes to being a writer as such, it would be hard to imagine blogging being considered comparable to a great novel or even a great anti-novel novel, maybe pulp fiction. The ramblings of bloggers have merits which are all their own, blogs communicate via their own unique medium in the multi-media, globalised, universe. Blogging is writing, in the way that any putting of pen to paper is writing, but I don't think we are talking mechanics here, rather semantics?

It is fun to write here but I'm not writing because I wanted this to be my magnum opus; not everyone does have a novel inside them & it is absolutely time that everyone realised that! Once I had started to think about what other people were saying on their blogs, I found myself leaving several overlong comments on other people's blogs, & then I was inspired to write a post inspired by someone else's thoughts. Thus, what I have written about so far is anything which appeals on any given day, and I shall probably leave it to be as organic as that, communication across the net is fascinating, hands across the water and all that, which is enough for me ... for now ...

*Before you click on the links in this paragraph you should know that they are of a sexual nature and may cause offence.


Blogger Jefferson said...

Thanks for lending your eyes, Helen.

2:27 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

You have put into words my exact assessment of blogging. Recently I came across a blog that had been deleted and it said something like "I have deleted my blog because what I wrote hurt somebody I love and I regret that I did it."

4:26 PM  

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