Tuesday, March 6, 2012

In Defense of Blogging

There's something that's been eating at me all week. I'll just let it all out, dear reader.

Last week in my creative writing class, my teacher was discussing point of view. Since I write primarily in 1st person narrative and have a strong base for language, I felt pretty clear on this, but wondered if I wavered into 2nd at times.

"So what about that conversational type of writing where you are addressing the reader as 'you?' Like you often see in blogs as though telling a story to a best friend? Does that waver into 2nd person?"

Well, the gist of the answer was no, it is still 1st person unless the author is writing as if YOU baked a cake, YOU took a writing class, YOU are the character in the events.

But what got to me was that my beloved teacher wrinkled her nose and said, "Sloppy writing. That's the style of blogging."

I was disappointed, even a tiny bit crushed she felt that way. I'm sure many writers and academics feel the same.

Then I felt defensive. Blogging has not necessarily changed my life, but it has certainly given me more of a direction in my writing. It has increased my output, and encouraged me to write. Every day. (For a writer, this is huge.) It has pushed me to become more familiar with the computer and to share my work and bring it to light from mere musings hidden between the pages of countless notebooks. It has made me take a started thought and finish it, even if it is simply about a cracker tin or a rock that inspired me.

I want to think that readers feel the same- that they are reading everyday and joining in a community of followers with common interests. I love that the Pioneer Woman makes me smile and feel lighter just by posting a photo of her goofy Bassett Hound, Charlie, wearing nerd glasses. I love that I get to see what adventures my friends, Amanda Rae and Georgia Pellegrini are up to each day. Just by showing up and reading, makes me part of the connectedness, the adventure. And if that's simply from being addressed like I'm an old friend from far away, then I am totally more than okay with that.

I have to acknowledge that not all posts are created equal, that there will be days that you don't give a tinker's toot about what I had for breakfast or where I took a walk, and that other blogs may generate a similar response. But even if there is one day where you can relate to my experience, or be entertained, or inspired, or annoyed, or enchanted, or opposed, or amused, or interested from something you've read, then isn't that the point? Doesn't that make it worth it? I mean, sloppy? Really?

There is something beautiful about stream-of-consciousness, unedited thought. Why should James Joyce have all the fun? And glory?

So until my next great American novel is published, and as I try to hone my craft, come out of my shell, and try to take advantage of the delicate mysteries of life and the human experience, I want to keep sharing them with you, even if we've never met, as intimately as I know how.

Slops and all.

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