Blogging Evolved

Blogging has never appealed to me. My writing experience and style is rooted in more traditional journalism and other research-based writing. Naively, I thought that since the tenets of blogging were antithetical to more traditional writing, there was no place for it. Yet Andrew Sullivan makes a great case that the “free-form, accident-prone, less formal and more alive” aspects of blogging are to be embraced rather than be frowned upon. Sullivan admits that blogging cannot “provide permanent perspective” like more traditional forms of writing do, but this new form still has carved out an important niche.

Sullivan hails blogging as being “rich in personality.” Sure, arms of traditional writing such as reflective pieces, personal narratives and poetry could be personal, but a blog’s presence on the web and the bond a blogger has with readers is certainly unique; this writer-reader connection is unprecedented. After reading Sullivan’s piece, I have a restored appreciation for blogging and its presence as a form of writing.

Moreover, Sullivan’s piece seems to be a fitting evolution of what George Orwell and Joan Didion wrote in their respective pieces. Orwell’s relationship with readers is rooted in his own motives to write: “sheer egoism,” “aesthetic enthusiasm,” “historical impulse,” and “political purpose.” All of these motives deal with either the writer’s self-satisfaction or making an impact on the reader. Joan Didion also wrote about the personal stake in her writing, saying that it is “the act of saying ‘I.’ What motivated Orwell and Didion to write was their own gratification and the gratification of influencing others. In Sullivan’s world of blogging, those two spheres of motivation come together in a more direct relationship.


2 thoughts to “Blogging Evolved”

  1. I feel like we have had a very similar outlook on blogging up until this point! I too, as I explain in a portion of my blog post, am firmly rooted in the traditional forms of written expression. It is comforting to know that we are both new to blogging and the more personal genres of writing. I also discussed the “more alive” quote of Sullivan’s post because I believe there is something very intriguing about the risk one takes with sharing thoughts and opinions that often go unshared. Concurrent with our discussion today, I think we can both agree that there is a lot to be said for writers with personality and distinct character – flawed or not. This type of writing holds much potential for extremely creative and out-of-the-box ideas. In my opinion, the best ideas are questioned, revised, torn apart and reconstructed.

    Thanks for the post!

  2. Ben,

    I have to say, I’ve always been fond of blogging. I’m glad to know you’ve discovered a newfound appreciation for this platform of writing after having read Sullivan’s Why I blog. You made a very interesting point on how blogging has created a “niche.” I’d say that blogging has created a unifying, yet at the same time, diverse sphere of communication, where every person has the ability to express him or herself in his or her own unique way.

    It’s true, “[blogging] is rich in personality,” and has created a community in and of itself.

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