I’ve been doing this for a little over two years. I suspect what kept me from starting sooner was the word used to describe it—blogging. I don’t like the word. I think I’ve had a web site for about four years, and my initial aim in constructing one was to provide myself with an exhibition space. Writing in a digital mode has changed me. But was it the form, or was it the writing? There isn’t an easy answer.

People who haven’t been reading me for very long probably get confused. Is this an academic blog? Is it a political blog? Is it a poetry blog? Is it a personal diary blog? I like the description that 2 Blowhards gave it a while ago—a complete cranial environment. It’s whatever I need it to be at the time.

I woke up this morning to the staccato drum of hail the size of a quarter. Turning on the television this afternoon showed a tornado warning for Melbourne (Arkansas, that is). The weather is unsettled, and so am I. There is so much writing to do, and I keep thinking about blogging. It reminded me of my introduction to BurningBird and her righteous indignation over my reduction of her argument that she wasn’t blogging—she got really upset with me. It was a matter of timing, I guess. I had by that time decided that the software had little to do with the form. I’ve become less concerned with the label of “blogging” and more concerned with the creation of public spaces. I have contributed to help her maintain hers. I can’t afford much at this point, but I asked myself if I’d still want to do this as a slave to someone like blogspot, and the answer was no. Independence is a good thing. While it is a different situation than Mark Woods faced, I feel it essential to try to prevent any tornados from uprooting what I’ve begun to see as a sort of neighborhood.

So, what is this? I can only take a pragmatic view. It is a space for writing that I pay a fair amount of rent for. I can move in whatever I like, and move out or delete what I find to be harmful. I’m not sure about the spatial metaphors, but at the same time I don’t see a viable alternative. This is my space. Welcome to my head.

I get nervous when my traffic goes up. Mostly, because I’m afraid that I’ll start writing to please other people instead of myself. So far, that has not been much of a problem. I have no need for a large audience. A small, intelligent one is enough to deal with. I try to provoke questioning mostly because I’m involved in questioning myself—not to change anyone’s mind other than my own, really. So far it’s working well. Thanks for visiting. Increasingly, I feel like this has been one of the greatest thinking exercises I’ve ever done. It’s like a notebook, but it’s a notebook that doesn’t wait until after death to be published. There’s no telling what you might find in it.

11 thoughts on “Personal”

  1. I hated the word “blog” too. It just doesn’t sound like English to me. It’s ugly.
    But I’ve said and written and read and thought it so many times now that I’ve come to accept it.
    Thus changeth the language.
    Whatever ya call it, glad yer doin’ it.

  2. I don’t mind the word “blog.” Don’t know why. I’m a fuddy-duddy in other ways.
    I’ve felt much more possessive about Languagehat since I moved it off BlogSpot and got my own domain. I take it more seriously now that I pay for it. Strange how that works.

  3. I think I’d move off of Blogspot if I were more confident in my tech skills. I’m thankful for the access it has given me to spreading my voice out there to the world at large…in a way that feels creative but also safe, for me.
    I like what you said here:
    “It�s like a notebook, but it�s a notebook that doesn�t wait until after death to be published. There�s no telling what you might find in it.”
    I love the element of surprise involved in (count me also, as one who hates this word) blogging. I really never do know what I’m going to find on most of the blogs I read. Much of the time, it’s exhilarating.
    Thanks for being one of those…and for giving me things to think about.

  4. The word “blog” is ugly but the long form “weblog” isn’t much better, but I suppose we’re stuck with it so I don’t waste energy fighting it.
    I moved from BlogSpot to my own domain and Moveable Type. After about three months of smooth sailing I started having problems that were beyond my ability to solve. I finally decided to go primitive – no database, PHP, Perl or any of that other geeky stuff that I don’t understand – just simple HTML pages. At first I felt like some sort of freak but after a short time I started to really like doing it that way. I understand how it all works. I think it has changed the way I blog. It takes a little longer to prepare and post a new entry so I don’t post as many one or two liners as I used to. I’m not saying that’s good or bad. A lot of the blogs I like have only short posts with a link, but I think maybe I’m getting a little more consistent and that’s a good thing.

  5. So much to say

    The best thing about a road trip covering a lot of miles (4300 miles, round trip) is returning home, sleeping in one’s own bed, and waking up in the morning realizing that you don’t have to drive through the pouring rain. It looks like the storm that’s…

  6. I started my blog a week ago and since then I’ve probably told about a dozen friends. Without exception, they all asked me what a blog was. I had no answer other than the standard definition. So thanks for this post.
    I’m a relative newcomer to your page, but I’ve really been enjoying. Keep up the good work.

  7. It seems to Me that if You had hail that was disc shaped, it wouldn’t fall very fast, like a leaf. But I guess if it came out of the clouds with a spin on it…..

  8. Well, I’m gearing up to move to my own domain & MT this summer, though I’ve got one of my geek honors students to help me set it up & he’s only a sophomore, so he should be around long enough for me to fully get the hang of it. I’m grateful to Blogger & I think they provide a great way into the medium & I’ve now got a customized template so I don’t look qhite so off the shelf, but I want some of the bells & whistles that MT has–& somehow just a cleaner look.
    I take a pragmatic & pluralistic view of what blogging is: the technology seems to be fostering the development of several new genres. It’s going to be interesting to watch. One thing seems clear–there are enough interesting people out there writing blogs–& I mean really writing, like writers, you know?–that interesting things are beginning to happen.

  9. Bygones and all that — that was then, this is tomorrow. Or something.
    Jeff, thanks for the link and for the contribution. I know you’re in the midst of academia and can’t spare much. That you did was a very nice, generous thing to do.
    No tornado this time.

  10. The Price you Pay

    There’s a price you pay to be a part of this virtual neighborhood, and it’s the little bits of connectivity broken when one member or another goes silent for a time — maybe forever. When I didn’t have the money to keep this weblog going, several of yo…

Comments are closed.