Blogging and Habit

Because I have not had the time to either read blogs, or writing posts here, I’ve reached sort of an impasse. It amazed me just how little I really missed it. It’s been a persistent habit; I’ve been doing this for many years. I’ve also started taking drugs—Zyban to try to quit smoking. Though I’d like to give up the smoking habit, I really don’t want to give up the blogging habit—either as a reader or a writer.

I started asking myself pointed questions about my reading habits. It crossed my mind, while teaching the photography class, that I only read photographic (technique and news) magazines for around three years. After that, they were really boring. They repeated themselves over and over again with the same clichéd techniques. Was blog reading like that?

The same sorts of questions about authority, authenticity, and voice just go round and round and round again. Somewhere at this moment I’m sure someone is having deep thoughts about women in blogging, or about the latest governmental injustice, or about the future of literature in the age of five-minute attention spans. After several years, it gets really old. But then I thought— no—the people that I’ve read consistently over this same span don’t usually spend too much time on this sort of thing. Most of them are as bright and lively, unique and interesting, as they have ever been. It’s just that I have less time to keep up.

I think the thing that has always attracted me about blogging is that things are constantly being made. Not in the sense that anyone has a master plan about what they want to achieve through public writing (though some do), but in the sense that by developing the habit of trying to say something interesting on a regular basis, a sort of chronicle of interesting things happens. Each one is as unique as the individual behind the page. The snowflake metaphor comes to mind. But at the same time, the amount of interesting things to read sometimes approaches blizzard proportions. You want to go inside and shut the door.

I’ve always wanted to approach blogging as a techne in the Aristotelian sense: an activity that is dependant on a sort of awareness and reasoning about the object being made. It isn’t an empty habit, but rather an art of maintaining a sort of liminal awareness of the activity without being overtly conscious of it. It favors the accident, the subtle twist of fate, and above all—sustain. Having faded back into a distant echo, I’d like to find something to make noise about.

But there is a weird sort of emptiness about the prospect that just doesn’t abate.