It’s been a month since I started thinking about why I write. Sadly, I don’t know if I’ll ever be capable of developing a clear answer to the question. Over time I’ve found that my perspective and opinions are always changing. I’ve come to the conclusion that reading and writing new material forces me to open up to new ideas.
When it comes to blogging, my experience in this class has provided me with new insight on the topic. A month ago I didn’t really understand that blogging was considered a genre of its own. I read blogs due to their strong Internet presence, but I never explored or experimented with the genre before reading Andrew Sullivan’s piece. After reading it twice, I’ve found two main points:
(1) Blogging is all about the now.
“A reporter can wait – must wait – until every source has been confirmed. A novelist can spend months or years before committing words to the world. For bloggers, the deadline is always now. 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.”
After getting a chance to blog, I’m starting to grasp this concept. I think the idea that the deadline is now is what makes blogging different than other genres. My experience has clearly not been as intense as Andrew Sullivan’s, but I realize that many characteristics of blogging stem from the fact that it’s instant. Quick/unpolished writing provokes a more blunt and informative style than most other genres. In Sullivan’s words, “Reading at a monitor, at a desk, or on an iPhone provokes a querulous, impatient, distracted attitude, a demand for instant, usable information, that is simply not conducive to opening a novel or a favorite magazine on the couch. Reading on paper evokes a more relaxed and meditative response. The message dictates the medium.” Interestingly enough, this notion can be applied to my repurposing essays. As a writer, using the appropriate genre is essential if my goal is to reach a certain audience. I find that knowing my audience often dictates my approach, and with the repurposing essay I know the audience of my old paper – my professor along with the students in my class. Now it’s time to determine how I can repurpose it for a new audience. Andrew Sullivan’s Why I Blog has made me realize that I need to consciously consider my audience as a write.
(2) A Writers Dream (Or maybe not)
“It was obvious from the start that it was revolutionary. Every writer since the printing press has longed for a means to publish himself and reach – instantly – any reader on Earth… From the first few days of using the form, I was hooked… Blogging – even to an audience of a few hundred in the early days – was intoxicatingly free in comparison. Like taking a narcotic.”
This also stems from the whole idea that blogging is in the now, but, is more concerning certain types of writers. Andrew Sullivan’s is clearly the type of writer who loves to have instant access to a sea of readers; it’s his fuel. In Why I Blog, Sullivan shows the world his perspective. Now that I’ve read his essay twice and have gained experience in the blog-o-sphere I can start to understand his point of view, but I also don’t 100% agree with it. Writers have their own comfort zone, and Sullivan’s is the Internet. Maybe over time, I will start to adapt to his thinking, but for now I like the reasons Why I Write.