I’m curious about the function that blogging serves for you. The blog is such an interesting, borderland genre. (And I will candidly admit here that the bulk of my personal experience with blogs and blogging has turned on a certain motherly voyeurism of my very verbal, bright, and prolific son.) A really great blog can read, it seems, like a well-honed, mini essay. A continuing interchange can take on the shape and the heat of a spirited conversation, or an argument. I’m often impressed with the quality of the writing and thinking I see. (And sometimes, of course, blogging is far less than this.) Also there’s a continuing quality to a blog that is closer to a journal or diary, or soap opera, as it charts the ins and outs of personal and communal experiences.
The energy I see Nate expending on his blogging comes closest, I suspect, to energy that I expended in my twenties and thirties on journal writing. I know the value of journal writing to history. I also understand what I think of sometimes as the underside of journaling. Wondering what the parallels might be with the blog.
The earliest journal I have dates back to the fifth grade. I became a serious journal keeper when I went away to college. I have boxes full of notebooks and endless files on my computer filled with personal ruminations. The longer I keep a journal, the more it bores and annoys me. I’ve tried multiple times in my life to kill it off. I’m in one of those phases of the moon now. I know how a wonderful diary reads. And mine is no wonderful diary. For me journal writing has always been a coping tool. I write when I’m sad or angry or frustrated. A sad, angry, frustrated person is a repetitious, boring person—these emotions send me, at least, round and round in circles. I work my way forward inch by inch through an endless round of repeitition. Since I’m basically a rather optimistic, bouyant person, it’s painful to encounter myself in these pages. The disclosures in these pages mask, obliterate much of what matters to me looking back.
And I sometimes wonder what I could have done if that writing energy had been channeled in a different direction. Maybe my son trods a better way. . . .