As with everyone else in this course, I love to write. It has been there for me my whole life as a way to express my opinion, be myself, and make sense of this crazy world around me. Of course in each of our readings, I had an “aha!” moment, where I could totally relate to what was being discussed. But the one article that resonated the most with me was “Why I Blog” by Andrew Sullivan.
In his article, Sullivan argues that blogging is a way to log events as they happened, without time to alter the story. I have never blogged before, and this article gave me mixed feelings about the whole concept of blogging. I love the idea that the truth comes out; I think we are more ourselves in our writing before all of the edits. However, in something as open as a blog, anyone can comment on it. Sullivan uses the word “brutal” to describe the readers who respond to some of his posts, but I don’t think I am ready for any “brutal” responses.
This fear of criticism and failure has already struck in our first few days of class. Although the majority of writing I have done has been in a journal, I did a few different kinds of writing in high school. I wrote in the school newspaper, participated in writing contests, even took a creative writing class. At the high school level, I considered myself a great writer. Flash forward to last Thursday in class when we were introducing ourselves to each other. I hadn’t taken a class that involved writing in over a year and I was so excited to get back in to an old past time. But as each person spoke, I realized that my year off meant that I was no longer the writer I used to be (or at least the one I thought I was). Our class is filled with people who write in the Michigan Daily, people who write screenplays, people who are actually doing something more interesting with their writing than keeping it in an old journal sitting next to their bed.
This is the main reason “Why I Blog” stood out to me. My favorite writing I have done is in a journal. I keep the raw truth in there, recapping instances to the best of my ability. I am not a writer for a newspaper. I don’t have much experience thinking through my writing and editing it. I write what I think when I think of it. Maybe that’s why my weakness is organization. Maybe that’s why I love reading blogs. Maybe that’s why I’m so frightened about writing MY first blog post.
Although I agree that criticism is something that comes with the territory of blogging, I have to argue with Sullivan’s claim that a blogger’s fear of being “exposed, undone, [and] humiliated” doesn’t exist. Maybe it doesn’t exist before the published work, but I am sure tonight after posting this, I will have the fear of humiliation. See, unlike him, I’m not an experienced blogger and I am terrified of the criticism my writing may receive. I am finally writing my thoughts somewhere other than the book next to my bed. I am finally trying to make sense of the thoughts and sentences that come to mind. I am finally taking a step toward being a writer.
So here goes nothing.
My first blog post.