Sunday, December 30, 2007

Blogging about blogging is merely venial

I was telling a friend of mine that I write a blog and I post every day (unless I'm on hiatus). He's never seen a word of this blog (no one I know in real life has, because I've never told them about it), and he asked why I do it. Not only that, where do I get the time?

Well, the time thing is easy enough. Writing has always come very easy to me. I've been typing literally all my life (two fingers, eyes always on the keyboard, 60 words a minute). I've also been reading and writing creatively ever since I can remember. It's not as though I ponder my posts for hours on end, stumped for synonyms, selecting the mots justes and pausing to arrange the phrasing. I just sit down and start tapping.

I never wrote rough drafts in school, unless they were required and someone was going to look at them. I always began a ten-page paper the night before it was due. And back then, I wrote them on a word processor, not a computer, so every word I typed hit paper and was permanent --- no going back. So I'm used to crafting sentences off the cuff, rapid fire. And let's face it, the end result on these pages isn't exactly Shakespeare. Or Milton. Or Twain. Or Elmore Leonard. Hell, it's not even Waiter Rant.

So I don't spend very much time on each post. Also, it does happen sometimes that time gets away from me, or I don't feel like it, and I don't get around to posting that day. Or two. When that happens, I just do the entry for the previous day(s) late, predate it, and post it as if I hadn't skipped it. And then there's the cartoon posts and other cop-out posts for when I don't have time to discuss my day, or simply don't feel like it. Like the vocabulaire posts --- open a French dictionary, pick a slightly obscure word, write a stupid sentence for it, and c'est tout, mon chou!

As for why, that's a larger question. It's not to gain readership or disseminate my ideas. Indeed, the eclectic nature of this blog's contents --- attempts at social interaction, being a loser, health, comics, French, books, television, education, my jobs, in-jokes, poetry, music, whatever grabs my fancy at the moment --- pretty much ensures I'll never have a steady group of readers.

Don't get me wrong. I am very gratified for the readers I do have (or had in the past), and I'm immensely pleased that people who comment here tend to be the kind of folks who write blogs of their own that I find impressive, witty, and entertaining. I've found several extremely well-written and fascinating blogs by following links from comments here, and for that I'm glad. But I probably would have posted just as much (and as little) in the past two-plus years if I had never received a single comment.

I write here because it's a good way to keep a personal journal, for my own instruction and as a memory vault. I've started journals before, but always stopped; Blogger has kept me going much longer than I ever have when I wasn't publishing my thoughts on the Intertubes. For whatever reason, the blog seems a more worthwhile endeavor than a private journal.

So why keep a journal? Well, various reasons, which shape the content of these pages as the impetus changes. I first started in order to keep a record of my teaching certificate classes. Well, that was the putative reason. I also used it as therapy, because back then I was pretty messed up socially, having come from a very destructive breakup. That was when I met the Maddening Angel and hung out with her constantly. I began the blog just as she and I stopped being quite so inseparable, but she still loomed huge in its early entries. (Now, I hardly ever talk to her, much less see her --- though I did have lunch with her last week.) When those conflicting feelings about MA and other stuff died down, I kept blogging about my classes. And then other things.

As for why I post every day... I don't know. Who am I, Socrates? Gnothi seauton yourself.

So, the blog keeps going as long as there's new things to record, even if sometimes, maybe even most times, the entries aren't of any interest to anyone but myself (like the quotidian duties and events of my professional day, for example). From this point, I guess I'll blog primarily about the new job and maybe my health. Given that last, I may sometimes in the near future be blogging my decline and death, Timothy Leary-style. That would be kind of cool.


Janet said...

I admire the way you post so frequently. I actually get blog guilt when I haven't posted in a while and that doesn't help my productivity. I tend to save writing as a reward for myself when I get done with everything else. I need to make it a higher priority. I tend to blog for the same reasons you do.

NYC Educator said...

Well, I hope we don't hit your decline and death for some time. I wonder, though, if you meant you used to write on a typewriter, rather than a word processor.

I used to write papers in longhand and edit them as I typed them. I was amazed the first time I saw a word processor, which was I think on a friend's Commodore 64 computer. The ability to edit so easily just amazed me.

Chance said...

Of course I started typing on an old fashioned typewriter. But by the time I was in college, I had something that wasn't a typewriter but not quite a word processor, either, I guess. Now that I think about it, it may have held one line of text, then printed it the whole line out at once when you reached a certain number of characters.

Millie said...

I got a hard time for the few people in the "real" world too for the fact that I blog everyday too. Whatever...I blog for me.

I love reading your blog so here is to another good year!

Michael5000 said...

I've noticed that no one ever asks me the following questions:

"Why do you play guitar?"

"Why do you jog?"

"Why do you read books and watch movies?"

"Why do you quilt?"

"Why do you garden?"

But I am asked "why do you blog?" a couple of times a week. That's kind of interesting to me.