There are many specialized blogs out there: blogs about writing, or editing, or politics left and right, or literary theory, or philosophy, or the art of the book review. I’ve known for a long time that I’m not doing this blogging thing right. I hate flogging, for one thing, which is the usual raison d’être for maintaining an author blog. The blog predates my first acceptances, too, so I use the term “author blog” loosely. I’m ostensibly a nonfictionist (although I’ve been in crisis about that pigeonholing for a while now); I should be better at this, I suppose. And I do like building weird little narratives of observed phenomena. My favorite posts are those ones.
Plus it was absurd fun Worldcon- and Clarion-blogging, even though on both counts I felt the need to be HYPERBOLICALLY! UPBEAT! in a way that is unduly uncritical and therefore less than honest. I’m a coward, is all; I don’t particularly enjoy Internet flame wars, for all that I was one for Halloween last year. It’s easier and less time-consuming to be just be kind in the first place. Except that “kind” too often means “uncritical,” and I’m finding blogging less and less fulfilling the more I pull punches.
So what the hell is the point of this blog? Well, it’s put me in contact with several writers I wouldn’t have e-met otherwise. It’s kept me in touch with friends and former students, which is a lovely side perk. But mostly I blog for my mom.
I know, we’re supposed to be beyond that. It’s a cliché workshop gag, “this is an essay only your mom could read through to the end,” or “I’m assuming you showed this to your mom and no one else,” etc. I used to show all my writing to my mom. Her, and my best friend Rhin. I don’t anymore, because I’m producing too much of it and they both have exciting lives of their own and don’t need a side job revising my effluvia. Am now at a place of “read it when it’s published or it probably wasn’t worth reading in the first place.”
My family was out of the country all of last year, and I’m living many states apart from them still, and this blog is a chance to narrativize the minutia of my life, those things that are too dull or silly to warrant a phone call, but that let me open a window onto my daily life, for those people I love but who live far away. People whose daily lives I used to be a part of, but for whatever reasons am not any longer. Especially my fam.
If I were better at self-promotion (if I gave a shit about promotion rather than viewing it as a necessary but wholly evil blight) I’d broaden my audience focus. Navel-gazing does not make for fascinating blogging, I know. These posts are not crafted shiny pennies; they’re uninterpreted neural scans fresh off the MRI machine.
But for those few people who read this, I’m grateful. In a perfect world, all my far-flung friends on many continents would blog back, and I’d get non-FB updates on their lives, little narratives rather than 100-character Tweets and status updates. Since I can’t remake the social media landscape to suit my aesthetic preferences, though (yes, I like tiny narratives over one-sentence blurps; sue me), I’ll just be here, quietly navel-gazing. But if I know you, and we’ve needed to catch up for months, and oh it’s so hard to pull off Skype or a phone call, consider: I WILL BLOG STALK YOU UNTO ETERNITY I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING. Half of you suckers have blogs that you no longer update. Get on that shit. I’ll probably even comment.
Oh, and: hi mom.