I cannot tell a lie. I have blog envy. You know the blogs of which I speak (er, write): those hip, beautiful, impossibly current and tirelessly relevant blog entries that someone, somewhere out there in the ether, devotedly posts in such timely and regular fashion as to make the rest of us (read: me) look, well, lazy. (After all, the title of this blog just about necessitates that I, in fact, post in fits and starts, wouldn’t you say?)
These blogs are witty. Or full of beautifully staged photographs keenly stylized so as to look precisely un-stylized. The bloggers have christened themselves with clever nicknames. Or they’ve christened their readers with clever nicknames (because, you know, they actually have readers—scratch that, they have followers).
Some days it’s enough to make this rookie throw up her hands in despair.
Because, to be honest, I find the Internet—and all its constant, continual updating of information and commentary—to be, well, exhausting. Sure, I waste as much time as the next writer reading Buzzfeed accounts of the nostalgic whimsy of the Koosh ball when I should actually be, oh, I don’t know, writing. But I find it over-stimulating, this kind of reading—it’s burdensome, draining. I still operate in an increasingly shrinking universe where paper rules. I find comfort and rest and beauty in the pages of physical books. I need to hold the story in my hands, feel the weight of the words as a physical presence in the world. (The word made flesh, you might say.) But I digress. (Sigh.)
Here’s the thing: I think my reluctance to take up blogging seriously (which is to say, consistently) has less to do with my own laziness (stay with me here) and more to do with my own tendency to take myself a little too seriously. In other words, I think too much. And sometimes I overwrite (shocker, I know).
When I think about that first blog post I wrote oh-so-many months ago (it may as well have been light-years ago, such is the nature of time in this age of the Internet), I cringe: it may have been right for something (one hopes), but it doesn’t seem to fit the nature of a blog post (or so I’ve gleaned from my own limited experience as a reader of such things).
Are there blogs out there that parse out the nuances of blogging? I don’t mean the occasional how-to posts by those other, experienced, successful bloggers. I mean bloggers whose blogs actually cover, as their sustained topic of interest and exploration, the blog as a genre? (In this self-referential age of comedy, there must be, no?) Because, as you might have guessed already, I have no idea how to blog. It strikes me as such a painfully self-conscious and labor-intensive way to write—but then again, what isn’t?
So, all this to say, my new commitment to this humble little blog of mine is: Think less, write more.
Wish me luck.