Here 'tis, the inevitable "why I blog" post.
I started writing a blog with the encouragement of my old mate Steev. A long time computer fancier, he had read an article about the changing nature of the net, and how its participatory character was being overwhelmed by a bunch of surfers who were all take and no give. He wanted to start a collaborative blog. It made sense to me, so he gave me posting access to WoodenSpoon
. I think I made one post - I wanted my own scene. I lurked for a while then went to blogger.
I felt weird about commenting on others' blogs at first. I knew that I wasn't understanding the rhythm of the way people communicated. I seemed to make the last comment on lots of threads, when what I wanted to do was engage. I stuck my head up at Back Pages, where there weren't many girls talking, and things began to be more fun. Like Link
, once I found Back Pages, I always went there first. I still miss it. Damn you and your "book", Chris Sheil.
I love the way that people expose themselves on blogs. A real favourite is the post Grogblogging post
by Dave from Completely Biased. (Dave has sadly given up, what with Kim Beazley and all. It's understandable). I loved that on his arrival home in the Blue Mountains he jotted down a list of key words so he wouldn't forget what to say. Bless! And that Weezil
suggested in comments that there should be accomodations made at future events for the socially phobic.
My favourite description of blogging is Georg's
- lap swimming for writers
. I've always loved lapping, but been unable to do it consistently for a long time because of a crook ear (only 15 months on the public hospital waiting list so far). A nd I've always written, but it's been either work or diary.
My two day a week research contract finished up in early October, around the same time I poured red wine into the computer. I found the absence of social work contact and blogging horrible. I turned into a creepy blog tart, eyeing off peoples’ computers when I visited. Ampersand Duck
pitied me, and took me into her home office. My sister made fun of me, but looked after Sage while I logged on. Being at home with a toddler can do your brain in, and it is a powerful thing to be able to feel connected to a broader world.
I don't have time to write a diary the way I used to - I used to write “morning pages”, three A4 pages every morning before you did anything else. It was a suggestion from one of those American self-help books about releasing your creative energy (in case you wondered who was reading them). In the section about having to do it first up, every day, she says you just have to get up before everyone else if you need to. Which is impossible with a newborn, and unlikely with a toddler. I have large scary boxes of that crap hidden away in cupboards, and friends who have promised they will burn them all if I go under a bus. (Like Manoly Lascaris did for Patrick White. Heh. And that's another thing I love. People who dig puns and use the words "yay", "sheesh" and "heh" a lot. I also think many newspaper writers would enjoy the benefits of strikeout.)
One thing that has really struck me in the blog world is the interactions between bloggers of different ages - there are so many young things with great blogs, like Jellyfish
and Rachel of Quick Little Splinter
. And blogs by older (ahem) writers, whose scope and depth of interest is inspirational (I'm lookin' at you, Mr Tiley
. And check out his raisin date
.). I love that we all just meet here and read and talk about things that matter to us.
I've had a few odd reactions to my little pastime. My mum was just stoked that the computer she'd provided was giving me such pleasure. Like Link, I've told a few friends, almost none of whom have been here. Bitches. O doesn't read it. Aah, let's face it, he hears enough of my point of view already - which is what I call the backpages excuse - "I only do this to avoid boring my meat friends".
We played Carcasonne with Nick Crustacean
and his wife a couple of weeks ago, and it was funny to see the non-blogging half of each couple say things like "why would I read it, I already heard that story. I TOLD you that story! (That was O, BTW) My sister's partner, who is both very self analytical and very motivated, asked me if I wanted to "make anything of it" - I don't think so. My sister thinks it's a bit sad, but she reads it from time to time and mentions things I've talked about. She's very private, which is why I don't talk about their family much, apart from the odd bit of unavoidable rooster slaughtering
Of course, there are many readers (well, not that many) I don't know, including my loyal readership in the United Arab Emirates. Bless you both. But I think of my "blog friends"; the way that I have "mother's group friends" or "uni friends" or whatever. And tomorrow, I get to meet a new one, TJ
I was a little bit glum tonight. Nothing to write about, so I thought I'd drag up this draft that was lying around. And it's the participating, the writing something to put out there, that I value. I'm not glum now, I'm really engaged with what I'm doing, and I'm interested to see what others will say. ('specially Flute
now his faith in blogging has been restored by - of all things - watching bad telly.)
Over Christmas, at Mum's, I was having some face time at the laptop in the dining room one night. She walked past and asked smiling "What do you call someone who's addicted to it?"
Duffer that I am, it took me a while to work it out. A blogger.