To blog or not to blog?

I have been prompted to get blogging from two sources this week.  One an inspiring blogger and new friend http://lunarhine.blogspot.co.uk/ and the other a direct request for me to get writing online so we can get a writing collective organised (from  http://dirtygreyslate.blogspot.co.uk/).  I think this second use of online writing appeals to me because it directs me to the two sources of fear when it comes to blogging.  I fear that people will judge and think my work of poor quality – but this is only significant if they are people I know and care about; I also fear that my writing is utterly insignificant and will be read by no one – but if I am writing to be read in the first instance by friends who want to help each other giving feedback on work in progress then I already have an audience.

The first source of impetus, Lunar, is full of her blog.  She writes online as a place to be a writer and to present her take on her life and Dartmoor and present her artwork.  Perhaps her blog is full of Lunar.

I find Lunar’s blog beautifully unsettling in its display of feelings about people and places and meetings between them.  And the art.  The art is beneath it all and radiates a desire to share visual delights and connect with the world.

I already have a knitting site http://www.ravelry.com/people/thejemimas where I talk about projects so I don’t feel the need to display that stuff here.  But I do enjoy the odd picture.  And I do enjoy a craft blog.  And I can’t be alive and not engage in comment and critique of various happenings, however, I don’t have the skills or perseverance to add journalistic ethics to my responses to current affairs.

That is a problem.  What is your blog for?  If it becomes a place for everything then why would anyone chose to visit it?  I like single or at least grouped purpose blogs where you find a unifying thread – an interest, or a genre, or a house style.  The lyrical blog is good but it needs a more unified voice than just a voice unified by its origin.  There is the tendency to employ a gymnastical flexibility in one’s register and adapt to one’s audience so that the work becomes unified by its context rather than by the author.  In order to form a true lyrical unity there needs to be a style – I am put in mind of the need to give style to one’s character.  Then the spectre of authenticity emerges and the artifice of externally imposed registers seems more honest and easier for a public to interpret.  But I think here I am returning to the problem of one’s audience.  Why should you expect an amorphous general internet reading public to hear your words with any accuracy – or to bother take time to do so?  The importance of immediate connection as friends in your real lives and for those who remain at a distance to use your posts as a whole, a history, to work to cross that distance and see you dimly across the gap should be fundamental to the activity.

More on style later…

In the mean time: please look after these word babies.

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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.

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