Unlike Andrew Sullivan, there are no readers banging down my metaphorical door for posts or flooding my inbox in hope for a quick update. Instead, I have due dates. Nonetheless I would disagree with Sullivan calling blogging the “spontaneous expression of instant thought.” I say this because the word “spontaneous” implies a certain amount of unselfconsciousness, which I think for most writers, when they know they have an audience, is next to impossible. However, I do agree that “we blog now.” The emphasis on the “now” is that it is does not have the benefit of hindsight, which is crucial to recognizing patterns and appreciating the full range of data. My views will change. Those stages will be captured by my blogging like a ship’s log as Sullivan writes. I will one day look back at my blogs and think “I really wrote that?” either positively or negatively. Like a ship’s log, it records the journey rather than the final destination. I’m lucky then, that I don’t have Andrew Sullivan’s large following, critiquing and challenging me. This way, I can be less self conscious than I would be otherwise, more honest and sheltered. However, in the same way, it’s a shame (not that my blogging is worthy of such attention) because such scrutiny is definitely an opportunity for growth.
However, blogging isn’t entirely about writing. People don’t necessarily blog because they write. People write without blogging. Blogging is also about exposure. It’s about sending ideas out into the universe and hoping that somehow, someway, the universe will respond back. As such, one must catch the universe’s attention or at least a small planetary system’s. This can be done by attaching oneself to a larger body (linking to a popular blog.) The goal is to attract one’s own little asteroids and planets so that the universe will be more likely to respond. Did I stretch that metaphor too far? If you’ll excuse yet more figurative language, I suppose blogging is kind of like light; one definition, one model, is not enough to describe what it does. Sullivan’s “walking on a trapeze” and “ship’s log” are also highly useful in understanding what blogging can be. There’s a sort of fearlessness in making your thoughts public and exposing yourself and the same time there’s a reflective nature in seeing what you think without much time for reflection, once you’ve reached a certain critical mass of work. As such, my thoughts about blogging are the similar to my blogging itself, transitional and ad hoc.
I tried finding a funny video of Andrew Sullivan to lighten up this pretty cerebral, serious post but all of them are very trigger happy (meaning political). He is a rather angry bald man. If you’re interested in him more as a human being, see: Andrew Sullivan on Sarah Palin