In two classes last week, I have already learned something very important that I would like to share. It seems as though Serious Writers look down on blogs and bloggers.
I’m not sure what to do with this highly sensitive information. Especially since most bloggers I know and read are also making a go of Serious Writing. I feel like I’m caught in a conundrum. Like I need to make sure that I have a clear idea of why I blog and how it helps, rather than hurts, in the realm of Serious Writing. I’m trying to think of why I started this thing in the first place, and I believe it had something to do with discipline. Like if I parade my wills and desires and plans in front of the faceless internet, I have made myself accountable for my own actions, successes and failures. This is an accountability that I need in order to continue to develop as a Serious Writer, myself.
I guess it just struck me as arrogant of my professors to imply that the blog has no value. Although at the same time, I also kind of understood. With blogging, anyone can write something and publish it–drivel links to genius with a button for the “Next Blog.” Perhaps the Serious Writer looks down on blogs because of the excess drivel pouring into the blogosphere. Because to be honest, there are far more bad writers out here than good ones. The thing is, the same could be said (and I’ve said it) about poetry. Does that mean poetry is a pointless pursuit? I don’t think so.
I think that when Serious Writers turn up their noses at those of us who happen to blog, it’s probably because they don’t really understand what many of us are doing with our blogs. For me, and for others that I read and love, it comes down to my distinction between diary and journal. I am not keeping a diary, here. This is not a place to put down the daily minutiae of my existence like time of breakfast, length of commute, side dish at dinner, etc. This is a place for thoughts and reflections about things that occupy my mind. It’s more like a journal that way, a place to organize thoughts and turn memories into something more than dates and details. I happen to think there’s something noble in blogging. In putting one’s inner self out there to be identified and understood. It connects me to myself in ways that are both simpler and infinitely more complex than a private notebook ever could.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that even though I got defensive (silently defensive) when some Serious Writers implied that blogging is beneath them (and most Serious Writers) this week, their suggestions also made me think about how limited some people’s perspectives can be. I think that as long as a person finds fulfillment in the kind of creative activity they choose to engage in, it does have value. Regardless of what anyone else thinks. Blogging is just one facet of my artistic expression, an exercise in word wrangling that doesn’t have to be perfect or coherent all the time. It’s low pressure, but it still keeps me in practice, keeps me on my toes, thinking about writing, grammar, sentence structure, word choice, and how to say exactly what I want to say. Even if I end up not quite right or clumsy, any writing helps me to learn.