Monday, March 9, 2009

The Blog Less Traveled

At first I was going to agree with Jess, tee up my anxiety, and punt blogging for good. I have been having similar feelings for some time. To me, blogging can both be an extreme form of self-indulgence bordering on narcissism while, at the same time, a navel-gazing activity that exposes and confirms all of my insecurities.

But then I realized that pretty much every worthwhile thing I've ever done has made me feel that way. Therefore, I intend to press on.

Good things about blogging:

1.) It makes me write. If I intend to be a "writer" or "poet" (which I do) then I'd better do this.

2.) The feedback is instructive and constructive. To tread unapologetically over a tired cliché--feedback makes me a better writer. If I'm going to write (which, as I may have mentioned, I intend to do), I need to escape the vacuum of my head once in a while and this seems as good a space as any to do that. I know when I'm being lazy or, alternately, genius and, once in a while, I require confirmation and/or validation.

3.) If used correctly as a tool of (post?) late capitalism, blogs can be used to get the word out about readings, events, etc. I agree with Jess that they are not the best place for creative work-- the work always feels somehow unfinished, etc.--but there are other places online and off for my "best" work. Journals and magazines abound for that ultimate validation. The blog is just a sounding/bulletin board and probably should be thought of that way.

4.) Blogging will go on with or without me. Blogs are here to stay. My aversion to pretty much every technology from cell phones to iPods lasted right up until I got one. I don't want to end up like the old guy screaming at the damn kids to get off my lawn.

So, there it is. I'm going to push through...I think. I agree that a local community is important but, if anything, I think blogging can facilitate and support that while, also, exposing me to a much larger one.

Like my father used to say, "Do your homework or I'm taking off my belt." This blog is my dad's belt.


Bryan Coffelt said...

I also tend to think that many bloggers become discouraged when no one comments on their posts. But it's kind of ridiculous to assume that people will comment on every single thing you write. I read shit tons of blog entries every day, and I maybe comment on 2 of them.

Bryan Coffelt said...

So you're welcome, I guess.

Michael said...

True. But even if nobody comments it is still fulfilling # 1 (which, for me, is the most important)and #4 (keeping me somewhat electronically relevant) and possibly #3 as well (if I'm using it for informational rather than workshopping purposes). Not that your feedback hasn't made my day.

Willie Ziebell said...

@Bryan Re: Comments
I think I actually enjoyed my blog more when nobody knew about it.

I'm not anti-blog. I don't want friends bailing on blogs; I really enjoy reading them. I am, however, anti-my-own-blog. It's just not a good fit anymore.

Willie Ziebell said...

Addendum: Good on you for the list of positives, Mike. It's a good list of good things.

Susan said...
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Susan said...

I think blogging is good for honing writing skills. It doesn't really matter if there are comments are not. I have had my blog for years, and now I have kind of scaled back a bit recently because of other things going on, but it's still important to me. I want to brush up on art and continue with photography. I also need to find paying work!

Keep up the good work, Mike, and I may see you when I plan to be up to southern Oregon by the end of the month.