Wednesday, February 17, 2010
The Will to Blog - please explain!
From my ex-blogger friend's tumblr page:
The will to blog is a complicated thing, somewhere between inspiration and compulsion. It can feel almost like a biological impulse. You see something, or an idea occurs to you, and you have to share it with the Internet as soon as possible. What I didn’t realize was that those ideas and that urgency — and the sense of self-importance that made me think anyone would be interested in hearing what went on in my head — could just disappear.
Emily Gould - Exposed - Blog-Post Confidential
This is a great article for anyone who has (or has had) a personal blog. I certainly never experienced with my old blog (nicolasix) the kind of exposure she did from her blog and her time at Gawker. So I admit it seems kind of silly that I should relate to this. But in maintaining my blog over the years, I nevertheless wound up feeling nearly all of the same emotions and conflicts she describes. And it’s comforting to hear that somebody who has had such “success” with blogging (as opposed to remaining in relative obscurity) has struggled with the same things.
The text in the first paragraph comes from a TEN PAGE article in the New York Times (link available on the Notsolinear page, linked above). The second paragraph was written by an ex-blogger friend, someone I know personally. He's a doll. Even though he's no longer into blogging we stay in touch on FB, have a drink or two or three whenever he's in DC.
I don't know about all of you, but I wasn't able to relate to much of what was written about Ms. Gould's blog. I have definitely felt inspired by blogging, almost entirely from what I read on other people's blogs rather than by my own posts. My thoughts were already inside my head, so writing them down as blog posts is actually not inspiring. But reading other blogs, reading what people who comment on my blog are thinking about? Now that's deeply inspirational! I love all our different points of view coming from all our different experiences. I love the things we have in common, too, no matter where we live or what age we are or how our lives are shaped. The synchronicity factor among blog friends is really cool, don't you think so?
Ms. Gould's sense of urgency/compulsiveness is also something I don't relate to. I know I post almost every day, but I also brush my teeth every day. I meditate every day. I put on clothes every day. Are those compulsive activities? Doesn't ring true for me anyway.
It must be hard work for bloggers who post but do not read other blogs; too much information going out into the internets, but nothing coming back in? Sounds lonely to me; no wonder she burned out. It's ironic, at least to me, that I have never heard of Emily Gould. As popular as her blog allegedly was, it wasn't big enough to include me.
There's no way I could feel more grateful for my blog friends and family, especially after reading this honkin' hulkin' NY Times article. Blogging is for readers as well as writers. It is a social network, yes, but I also think of this space as a gathering place for photographers, artists and writers, a twenty-first century salon. It is not a place for the impatient, not a great application for those with fractured attention spans. We write, yes, but we read, too. We even read BOOKS here within this blog family, entire books. No wonder I can't relate to Ms. Gould.
What do you think?