Monthly Archives: January 2013

What are we getting ourselves into?

What, exactly, is a blog supposed to be?

I’m dating myself here–something which paradoxically seems to bother me less as I get older–but I was there at the birth of the blog. In fact, if you’ll permit me some self indulgence (and if the internet isn’t the safe spot for self indulgence, surely then no such place exists) there are parallels to draw between the growth of the blog as legitimized form of expression, and my own muddy slog into adulthood…

…and I’m not going to bore you with any of them. Self-indulgence has its limits, and if ever there was a lesson uniquely crafted for any one granfaloon it would be that one for those who fancy to call themselves writers. Suffice to say, I was there while LiveJournal lived, dancing during DeadJournal’s death, and was even one of the first people in the birthing room when Facebook crowned. I did every single one of them, however briefly, and I never really knew–or know, to be honest; a license for self-indulgence is only issued concurrent with a necessity for sincerity–what to do with any of the sons of bitches.

This will sound absolutely laughable, given the preceding glob of text you just worked your way through, but talking about myself never appealed to me. Not that I lacked the ego (clearly), but like most nascent writers I was, and am, an introvert of the keenest variety. More importantly, a large ego is an easily bruised ego, and it’s so much easier to maintain your own sense of self-importance when you never actually produce anything to be savaged. If that sounds suddenly doubtful, leaves you with a creeping sense that maybe you’re actually just lazy rather than brilliant, well then you simply pepper your super-ego stew with a bit of resentment for a world so unfeeling as to not simply open itself up to you, eager and willing.

But time passes, egos mature, and here we are. A blog, as it turns out, is not by necessity an avenue for self-flagellationĀ  and passive aggressive pleas for notice. Intervening years–the life of LiveJournal and the death of DeadJournal–have taught us that it can in fact be a tool for full force offensive all out pleas for notice. And that, dear hearts, is called marketing.

And hopefully that’s as much time as we’ll have to spend talking about me. As a great American industrialist (A phrase so foreign in my ears that I think my fingers literally cramped in protest) said, “When your work speaks for itself, don’t interupt.” I’ll try to avoid any further distracting throat clearing.

So, let’s bring it all home. What’s a blog? Well, this one, chiefly, is an orphanage. Like apple cheeked babies and good dogs, every story needs a home, and this will be where mine live. I hope for it to also be a place for literary discussion. Real literary discussion I mean, not the painful sort that our schoolrooms have trained us to view as all that’s legitimate. Practical tips on the craft, stuff we enjoy reading and writing (Enjoy, not endure), authors we love and loathe, all that great stuff.

There’ll probably be some politics. Ooo, scary, right? Well I friggin’ hate this idea that politics are off limits. Our politics are reflections of who we are, our values, fears, loves, hates, and a million other gooey, all too human things. Trying to deny our politics, or worse stifle them to nothing in the interest of being more marketable, is wearing a crushed red velvet suit with a single blue cotton sleeve. That stance taken, I also recognize that political discussion can all too quickly turn to poison, everyone retreating to familiar ideological trenches to safely lob grenades factory stampedĀ  with the words “Talking Points”. My promise to you is that, while I’ll never simply pretend my politics aren’t a real and vibrant part of who I am, who we are, neither will I let exclamation points take the place of precisely chosen words.

So that’s me. That’s the blog. I’ll whip up a more formalized, codified mission statement for the whole shebang for my next post, but for now the big empty void has something to coalesce around.

Let there be words!