Re-visiting “Why I Blog”

Re-reading “Why I Blog” was very different this time from when we read it a month ago. While the first time I felt like the article dragged on and repeated itself, this time I four myself fully emerssed throughout. I think reading this essay and comparing it to essays on the same topic, but from a different time was incredible. The entire time I was reading “Why I blog” I found myself wondering what did I think Orwell would have thought about blogging? Would he have been a blogger if he lived 100 years later? Would Didion find this an easier method to figuring out what the pictures in her head meant? I think I found myself asking these questions because I could see not only the similarities, but also the differences between the ideas and arguements of the three articles.

One similarity I saw throughout every essay was the emphasis of the personal motivation to write. Orwell couldn’t deny the fact that personal egoism was one of his motivators. Didion was always clearly on her own personal quest to figure out something for her gain when she wrote. The wording of that last sentence may make Didion’s motives sound very sellfish, but that is not my intention, I just find it hard describing the unique way she is motivated to write. And lastly Sullivan talks about how naturally bloggers end up writing about themselves because they are one of the few constants. While what Sullivan i┬áblogging about may change, he will always have his own personal experiences or feelings to talk about in his blog. While the way “I” worked itself into each writing process may be a little different, it was consistantly a motivator for each writers work.

The main difference I saw was how each writer viewed the process of writing. Orwell especially, and Didion sometimes seemed to not really enjoy the writing process, while Sullivan loves it. Orwell consistantly talks about how writing a book is excruciating, but then Sullivan says writing his blog is thrill. I think this speaks to why blogging is so popular. I know these individuals lived at very different times, having dramatically different ways of getting their writing to their readers, but I think this still says something about blogging. I think the great thing about blogging is that the stakes are not too high. If Sullivan writes a bad blog post today, it doesn’t really matter because he can write a good blog post tommorow. On the other hand, if Orwell writes an unpopular book, he may not write another one for 10 years. I think the freedom, easieness and closeness to your writing that blogging gives bloggers are things Orwell was missing from the writing process. Because of this, I think Sullivan’s motives seem the post pure, while Orwell’s seem double eged, and Didion’s still confuse me. What is the signifigance of the pictures in her head that make them the ones she gets fixated on and writes novels to explain?

Quickly I just want to talk about something in “Why I Blog” that got me excited to start me E-Portfolio. Sullivan says something he loves about his blog is how he can look back and see what he was doing and how he was feeling at certain times. I don’t think I really have anything like this in my life right now. But I think my E-portfolio will give me a chance to have something like it. I think it will be really cool to get to go back on my E-Portfolio a year from now, 5 years from now, and see exactly what I was feeling, what was interesting me, and what was motivating me right now.

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