The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

16 April 2006

No pesky dust-jacket photos, either

MissPenName (not her real name) has picked up the blogging bug:

I began this blog with only books in mind. At the time (a whole 6 months ago) I only read book blogs daily such as Maud Newton and Bookslut. I'm a freelance writer and thought having a blog would motivate me to write every day (because you can tell yourself it's ok to procrastinate, but a possible audience wouldn't be as forgiving) and help me get into the online literary community — the cool kids table at which I so wanted to sit.

But the door opened wider than she had anticipated:

Along the way I've found that the world of books and the rest of the societal fodder for blogs are not that far apart. Book blogs covered free speech cases for journalists. Political blogs can't resist talking about new books written by the left or right. Books, their existence, their ideas, their creators blend into every single facet of life, even if no one realizes it. The Feminine Mystique added fuel to the women's movement (some say kicked it off), which changed everything from a women on the Supreme Court to latch-key kids. The Da Vinci Code has gotten people more interested in religion that 2000 years of church going ever did. Recently Melvin Bragg published a list in the Guardian of the 12 most important books in British history, all of them nonfiction that directly changed society. Because of these books, by Darwin and Wollstonecraft, for instance, the way people lived their everyday lives changed. Books still do, and they're being joined by blogs.

I am a humble blogger. An unknown. I am less than a flee on the blogosphere dog. I know this. But I'm still doing it. I'm still writing. I'm still discovering more about the world, and myself, everytime I log on. I can't separate my devotion to books from my need to know about what happens around me in the world. And for all of this, I just want to be heard. I just want to blog.

I do know this: if I take a day off from here, I'll hear about it. (I even hear about it if the site is temporarily unreachable due to some bizarre twist in network topology.)

And while not all of us have the wherewithal to stock up on new books every single day, we can find new blogstuff every single hour, should we be so inclined. The real danger is that we'll spend so much time reading the blogs that we forget about the stuff we were supposed to be doing in the first place.

But don't let me scare any of you off. Welcome to MissPenName, and may she make a name for herself on many screens for months to come.

Posted at 12:15 AM to Blogorrhea


True, there's stuff to blog about for every hour, let alone minute, but that doesn't account for quality. And if it gets so severe that you are always thinking about blogs, it's definitely time to step away from the computer.

Posted by: sya at 1:10 AM on 16 April 2006

Blogdom, like every other human endeavor, is subject to Sturgeon's Law: 90 percent of it is crap. We calibrate our crap filters, and we proceed.

My one advantage, if advantage it be, is that I always have a few half-formed ideas kicking around in the back of my head which I can toss up on the screen when needed; sometimes there are entire weeks when I have no new ideas whatsoever. (Maybe this isn't such an advantage after all.)

Posted by: CGHill at 9:57 AM on 16 April 2006

And if it gets so severe that you are always thinking about blogs, it's definitely time to step away from the computer.

I'd wager - not from personal experience, of course - but still, I'd wager 99% of the bloggers are always thinking about blogs, in some capacity or diminished other.

That's what keeps them coming back. Day to day. Hour to hour.

When Anais Nin said we write to taste life twice, I assumed she meant life is lived so it can be blogged about later.

Posted by: Jennifer at 2:32 PM on 16 April 2006

Always? No. But certainly rather a lot: scarcely anything out of the ordinary happens to me without my wondering "if I should blog this."

This is no doubt at least partially due to the fact that much of my life is getting to be a blur: I have never been much of a diarist, and some things I've blocked out for various inchoate reasons. As I get older, memory becomes less reliable. The blog, therefore, becomes the last line of defense against forgetting. (If only I'd had these tools twenty, thirty years ago ....)

Posted by: CGHill at 3:07 PM on 16 April 2006