In Praise of Blogging

I was accidentally linked to one of my own entries last night, and found myself doing something I never do–reading old bits of this blog. I generally don’t look back much unless I want to link to something I wrote before to clarify something I’m writing now. But I found myself flipping through old posts and thinking thinkerly thoughts.

And other than: wow, last year was crazy and awesome and hard and crazy, wasn’t it? What I mainly thought was:

Holy shit, blogging is awesome.

I mean, I’ve been blogging since 2000 in one form or another, obviously I like it in a I-don’t-want-to-be-just-friends way, but it struck me hard looking at the old posts I never think about. You could know me really pretty damn well from this blog. (Not perfectly, ever, of course everything online is some level of performance–but pretty well. This is pretty much exactly how I talk, with more flaily Active Hands and goofy faces.) I overshare a lot. I record just about every professional thing that happens to me, and most of the personal ones. It’s so amazing that you can follow a person like that, through their whole life, and shit, this is how I met almost everyone I love. I guess I’m addicted to it. My whole life is kind of captioned: Blog Or It Didn’t Happen.

And beyond becoming a professional essayist, a gig even more mysterious and baffling to me than "science fiction writer," I can’t think of another way to make something of these pieces of writing, of self, which are essays or monologues or both or neither, which are speaking to a big room whose population drifts and changes, and we’re all like these little Twains and the internet is the San Francisco Chronicle, and it’s so unique, this form we chose, this thing we do. Some of us do it differently than others and yeah, it’s passed its heyday (meaning people who never cared about blogging to begin with and only wanted to bandwagon are off to the next thing) but it’s…peculiarly new/old and there is the chance of so much, the chance of everything in that little text box we fill day in and day out. The mass of what I read on the internet is blogs, it’s what makes the internet for me in a very real way, makes it worth coming back to.

(I remember making my first website, a geocities page with terrible graphics, which for us olds–yes I know you’re older/cooler and were on some other ur-service–was a rite of passage. Mine was lime green with an Egyptian crane motif, I believe. Oh yeah, baby. And I put up some of my favorite quotes and books I liked and an email address and I was all: but this is boring. Why would anyone ever come to this site? I wish there was some way to write on it every day like a diary and have it show all those entries in a nice way. And then, because I was a classics major just learning about the frightening computer-fire thing, I shrugged and went back to translating Greek with a paper and pencil. A couple of years later I was forced at cute-girl-point to get a Diaryland account. Even before I was a blogger I wanted to be a blogger.)

Back in the time known as the day, people used to make fun of me because I was a blogger and that was weird and new and out-there and uncool, with its lack of privacy and social filtering and geekiness. Now people make fun because blogging is so passe and old-fashioned and two thousand and late. They give up more personal info on Facebook in their profiles than I gave up on my blog for years. There was only ever one moment when blogging was both cool and popular, and it’s long gone, vanished into respectable journalism’s blurry lines and microblogging and animated gifs. When I think about it, I both feel that Mira Grant’s Feed was terribly, heartbreakingly accurate in its portrayal of bloggers and their world and also terribly dated, because even now, the revolution will not be blogged, it will be Tweeted, and whatever is after Twitter, and whatever is after that. Trademarks, eating their own tails.

But you know what?

Blogging is still fucking awesome.

And, spoiler alert, it’s still my hope to do it right up until the day I die, to have most of a life written out in these invisible pages, because when I was sixteen I found Anais Nin’s diary and I was staggered with the power of that kind of self-record, I desperately wanted to follow her, but never had the discipline to keep a paper journal. I think there’s a solid segment of early bloggers who wanted to be Nin.0, who wanted to be cybernetic Anaises. Who knows if we managed it. But fuck, I am so glad to live in the future, where all this can happen, and I can (with the great and powerful privilege of having a blog that is read, that is commented upon, so that I have the interaction I want instead of speaking into an empty room with a megaphone pointed the wrong way and don’t think I don’t know, strongly, what a privilege that is) say anything in my head and record it and have others know it as soon as I say it.

We are living in the Galaxia of the end of the Foundation series. We know what our loved ones are doing at all times, we can know the thoughts of beings a planet away with a good deal less effort than making a cup of tea. The lines between here and there are blurry to the point of total confusion. When I first finished those books I was horrified by Galaxia. But you know, it’s actually rather amazing, living in it.

So why the hell do I hide from my blog and not post for days and feel like it’s so much work and I’m not up to it? I gotta knock that shit off and get on with it.

Posted in Blog Posts

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