Hundreds of years ago, when I had the kind of job that involved showering daily, putting on nice clothes, and driving somewhere, I often spent my commute time listening to NPR or the classical station. It was during this period that the term “blog” first entered my vocabulary.
On NPR, some speaker (radio personality? social analyst? I don’t know the lingo) was doing a brief segment in which he discussed and described this new phenomenon called “blogging.” He likened it to the self-centered scribblings of a Victorian-era gentleman whose journal had recently been found, and which contained entries such as: “Had tea on the veranda today. Biscuits were dry. Must consider new help.” Or: “Went riding this morning. Cut a fine figure in my new waistcoat. Will do so again tomorrow.” And so forth.
Blogs have evolved significantly since then. Authors keep them. So do politicians. Sometimes, blogging precedes an author’s first book. Blogs have, in fact, established themselves as a legitimate form of written media, with as much credibility as magazines or newspapers.
Still, first impressions are hard to shake. For a while, I’ve toyed with the idea of starting my own blog, but feared that such a move would prove the depths of my self-absorption. “Silly,” I’ve chided myself, “times have changed. Everybody has a blog now.”
Wait…everybody? But I want to be a writer, and if blogs are as common as smartphones, then what’s the point? Anything I write will be lost in an ocean of blogs, most of them much better than mine. Forget it. I’ll just wait until I have time to be a real writer, then buy myself the latest copy of Writer’s Market.
And so it’s gone…back and forth, back and forth, until I realized that, really, I was just making excuses for not writing. Which is foolish, really, because it’s the only thing that’s ever come naturally to me. Sure, I can play piano, but that’s because I’ve practiced; though I do love music, I’m not innately musical. And although I can run, it’s because I’ve disciplined myself to do it, NOT because I’m an athlete. But I’ve always loved words, and express myself in writing much, MUCH better than I do in speaking. And maybe this is just why I’ve put it off…because I’ve been afraid that the only thing I’m truly good at won’t be nearly good enough.
Well, be that as it may, I’m done making excuses. Journaling doesn’t work for me – not solely – because it’s the expectation of an audience that motivates me to do well. So here is my blog. It won’t be an inspirational parenting blog…or a blog of withering social commentary…or a critique of literature and music in the twenty-first century. It will just be whatever I feel like writing about on any given day.
Which does smack suspiciously of self-absorption.
“Began a blog today. Jolly good writing. Will likely have one thousand followers within a fortnight.”