Sunday, August 29, 2010

Blogging And Writers

I am quite worn out after a big day working on a project I will blog about some time in the future. I'm staggering here, so I can't even say when.

While planning for and getting started on this mysterious project, I've been thinking a lot about blogging. I've been thinking that maybe it's on its way out. In fact, I told my sister so today when I managed to squeeze in an e-mail to her. There are just too many blogs. Newsweek claimed recently that there are 104 million. Readers are overwhelmed, giving up, and drifting away to Facebook and Twitter, which don't require as much commitment of time for reading. When there is just too much to read, readers may very well feel pressured to look for shorter forms for their reading. I don't have time to read a whole blog post from Meg Cabot, but I might be able to manage a couple of sentences on her Facebook page.

Blogs used to be thought of as brief, but they're turning into a long form now, comparatively speaking.

Blogging, though, is about writing in a way that I suspect Facebook is not, though I can't say I know for sure. For a writer, particularly a fiction writer, blogging gives an opportunity to work on some smaller thought projects, so to speak. Writing involves thinking, remember. It gives writers (or any bloggers) opportunities to work out their thoughts on particular subjects related to their fields.

I was heartened to find, by way of Chasing Ray, On Getting Your Name Out There: Author Blogging. What I liked about it was that the author, Alexander Chee, treats blogging as more than just marketing. (Though he talks about that, too--"Don't be afraid to be a traffic whore.") He treats blogging as writing. "DO NOT blog your daily life unless it is attached to a moment of insight." That's getting close to talking about a personal essay. And his suggestion that blog posts could be turned into an essay or short story? Note he isn't talking about bloggers writing novels or memoirs relating to the blog. He's talking about something they've done within the blog being worthy of expanding.

I'm feeling greatly encouraged.

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