Twitter: The Mini Blog

When I finished my first Intro to Writing class yesterday I thought to myself, “I’m in trouble.” What do I know about blogging? The answer that rang certain in my head was absolutely nothing. I tried to make a blog once… It was called “Sarah Out Loud” and I updated it maybe once. I didn’t understand it and I knew that nobody would ever look at it besides me so what the point, anyways?

So that’s it. Thats the only time I have ever blogged.

Or so I thought. (Yes, this is a piece of self-realization.)

While reading Andrew Sullivans, “Why I Blog”, I found myself in a sync with the author. He started off right off the bat by saying something that I never thought about before: The word blog is a conflation of two words: Web and log. HMM! Right then and there I knew this was going to be an interesting piece that got my gears moving.

One of the major ideas of the piece was that blogging allows for the most truthful instant reaction/thought/feeling in response to a situation. According to Sullivan, “It is the spontaneous expression of instant thought–impermanent beyond even the ephemera of daily journalism” and “the deadline is always now”. And then you know what he said? “It is, in many ways, writing out loud”.

I was hooked. Remember my blog that I tried to write one time? Sarah Out Loud. “Maybe I should give this blogging thing another try,” I thought to myself.

THEN IT HIT ME. I do blog! Probably 8-10 times a day. On Twitter! It’s just like blogging isn’t it? Just shortened. When something makes me mad, happy, excited, sad, silly, hopeful, or intrigued I tweet about it. The more I read the more I confirmed that tweeting is a form of blogging.

Tweeting requires a person to say something personal in a public manner. In the heat of the moment, say when you are mad at a friend, boyfriend, coworker, teacher or other companion, it is so easy to tweet right on your phone about why you’re so pissed! Hey, it’s probably good for you to let it out a little bit. But then a few minutes later when you’ve calmed down… There tends to be that “oh crap” feeling when you kinda wanna go delete that tweet before many people see it. But you know what? I never do. I think a true tweeter doesnt go through and filter their tweets after its all said and done. The point of twitter is instant thoughts, feelings, opinions and reactions, so by going through and filtering your tweets afterwords just ruins the whole idea of it. And as I read this article, I started to understand that many bloggers also feel the same way.

“To blog is therefore to let go of your writing in a way, to hold it at arm’s length, open it to scrutiny, allow it to float in the ether for a while, and to let others, as Montaigne did, pivot you toward relative truth.”

Needless to say, I was a large fan of this piece. Like a huge fan.

Both of the other articles were interesting and unique in their own ways, but it was Andrew Sullivans piece that really struck a cord for me.

Guys, I think I just became a blogger.

Or have I always been?

In with the New

Looking back at my blog posts, I noticed I sounded way more professional when there was a prompt to write to, but I also found myself liking those writings less. For me, it seems like the blog is more of a way to talk unfiltered about what’s on my mind in regards to this class, the minor, and writing in general.  When I’m just free writing, my personal voice makes itself much more present, and I also find it easier to come up with ideas to write about. Prompts are nice for giving me a jumping off point, but ideas flow far more easily when I’m “writing out loud,” as Andrew Sullivan would call it. I love writing with one point in mind and letting it spiral out in to places I couldn’t have ever seen it traveling in my most vivid imaginations. And, while sometimes the blog does seem a little like busy-work, I have to say, every time I’ve finished writing a blog post I feel a lot better about everything going on with my writing, in this class as well as others. I’ve found blogging is a really nice way to turn on the tap and get the faucet running.

I’ve been a terrible commenter, and a goal I’m setting for myself is to change that. I think I maybe comment once a week, and that’s being generous with myself. I personally appreciate comments on my posts; they’ve helped me out a ridiculous amount  and it’s not fair to not participate and engage with other peoples’ work like they’ve engaged with mine.  To my old group, I’m sorry, and to my new group, I promise to be better, because obviously, the comments are important, maybe even more so than the actual post. In our first blog groups, before we tragically parted, we all noticed that the blog is really conversational: “it feels like having a really interesting conversation with a friend” as one of us put it.  And that’s kind of how I like it.  Writing’s fun.  Talking’s fun. Friends are fun.  So talking about writing with friends is kind of a blast. And it’s helpful. I’ve found the best way to make my writing better is to talk with someone about it, and the blog really lends itself to starting a conversation. I guess I’m hoping this new blog group works in a similar way. I’m sad to see my old group go, but excited to see where the new one takes me, and the rest of us.