Thursday, January 31, 2008

State of Blog (ver 1.1) Why Blog, Again?

When I started this blog in late November of last year I asked myself a question: why blog? The answer I gave seemed sufficient. But in truth, it didn’t really address the question. It was little more than a mission statement: the world of an aspiring writer as he takes steps towards refining and hopefully selling his work.

But that wasn’t really the full answer, so far as I can see it. So that’s why we’re here again. The question returns, in a bit of metablogging retrospection I’d like to call the State of the Blog Address.

You see, the problem with giving you the up close and personal view of what it takes to be a writer is that being a writer is a long, abstract, fairly boring process. I sit and goof off, until I write a bunch of stuff down. I do this for two months. Then I sit on it, until I’m ready, then I spend two months going over everything I wrote and make it better. Rinse and repeat with new ideas.

If I only made my blog about when something relevant happened in my writing, I’d be posting maybe every two weeks. Probably more like three or four. And I want to blog more regularly than that. Or … not regularly, but at least with a higher frequency. Regular is for regular people, and I’m not. Just consider me your irregular literary rock star.

So the blog really isn’t about writing. For an author’s blog, I talk about writing and the process and my books almost none. Instead, the blog has become more of a statement on life. Part philosophy, part observation, part sounding board. It’s limited only by what I do with it. And as such, it’s grown past a place for writing-related news. Instead, I want it to be something more.

To create one must have experiences. One can’t create in a vacuum. If you live in a Skinner box, you are only going to be able to create based on the reality of your Skinner box. To be successful at creating one must make a normal life look like a Skinner box and go beyond the mundane to something much different and more interesting.

So that’s really what my blog is about. It’s about finding the content in everyday life. To blog with anything resembling frequency I have to continue to pull worthwhile things out of my day to day experiences, which are repetitive and not worth talking about more often than not. It’s a practice in insight and world view. There’s as much interest as I make there be.

So everything I write is written to help me connect to the world and connect the world to my writing. There is no vacuum, I write in the world I perceive, and if I can mine ideas out of it I will be stronger for it. A writer must have an eye for the worthwhile in the worthless. The moment in the noise.

So my writing blog isn’t about writing, but at the same time it is. Writing has to have content. We don’t just write words. We write meanings and purposes and images. This blog is for me to express myself one-on-one with an audience, sure, but it’s also a content-generator. What comes to me here helps inspire and reinforce the mindsets and attitudes that push me to continue to make new fictional content.

The hope is that it’s useful. That my kind of slanted world view appeals. In a way, it’s a direct line to the kind of themes and ideas that will make up my eventual fictional works. Somewhere a long way down the road, I want people to be able to read a novel by me and read a blog post and say “this is clearly related.” The blog will be the nonfiction centerpiece of a fiction writer.

A writing blog should aspire to no less.

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