Christina Katz of The Writer Mama suggested I start blogging to create an online presence two years (?) ago and I remember thinking, what am I going to say and who is going to listen? I continue to seek for ways to answer that question every time I write a new entry on my blog, each time I think I’m getting a little better, a little closer to what I want to say.
In The Atlantic’s November issue Andrew Sullivan answers the question, Why I Blog. He says, “Blogging is therefore to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free -form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud.”
I don’t often read The Atlantic except for when the fiction issue is published, but the headlines of the November issue (such as, Should Women Rule the World? and Will Blogs Kill Writing?) grabbed me. I was relieved to read that Andrew Sullivan does not think blogs will kill writing. He writes about the wonderful immediacy of blogging, of stepping over editors, publishers, fact-checkers and copy-editors to reach instantly, “any readers on Earth.” This was revolutionary, and the form of blogging created a new intimacy between two people: the blogger and her reader. Sullivan actually says that the act of blogging will give back to writing, and that blogging is a conversation, “similar in this way to the host of a dinner party. He can provoke discussion or take a position, even passionately, but he must create an atmosphere in which others wish to participate.” He uses wonderfully rich metaphors for blogging such as a dinner host or a dj or that blogging is even like jazz. He says, “Jazz and blogging are intimate, improvisational, and individual-but also inherently collective. And the audience talks over both. The reason they talk while listening, and comment or link while reading, is that they understand that this is a kind of music that needs to be engaged rather than merely absorbed.”
I’m still not always sure who is out there listening…but thanks to Sullivan’s article, I now feel like I’m part of a conversation.