the october issue of navel gazing monthly. free issue!
The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things....
Iíve been thinking; what is the end purpose of this blog? Is there one? I thought it might be a springboard to a writing career, but as the blog world multiplies, so does the amount of good writers on the web. Plenty of bloggers have deservedly gone on to bigger and better; theyíve been picked up by big media or publishing companies and Iím happy for them. This doesnít happen overnight, though. And you need to be connected to the big guns somehow; they notice you, they link you, they pass your writing along and before you know it youíre being hired by the Wall Street Journal.
See, I know what keeps me from ever becoming big. I donít have a niche. I donít write about just politics or just war or just nanotechnology or music or science. I pepper my political rhetoric with obscenities. Iím callous. Iím rude. And in between my rants on the Middle East and homeland security and Ted Rall, I write about things that people who are big, people who are snapped up by bigger jaws than other bloggers don't write about. Kids. Shopping. Comic books. I post silly contests and song lyrics. I make idiotic statements about Red Sox fans and wax nostalgic about hockey fights.
I have blogging ADD. I donít know how to write on one thing, how to concentrate on a specific topic. I donít even know how to keep my tone even. One moment Iím indignant and righteous and then I post something an hour later and Iím being a self-deprecating asshole. I write two sentence posts and five page essays. I canít keep still. I hunt down the demons of Indymedia and sift through the dry rot of Mark Morfordís writing so I can say a few funny things about them while still trying to make a point.
And what is that point? See, there is none. There is no point whatsoever to what I do here. There are words, and those words form sentences and people read those sentences and sometimes comment on them and then a day later, the words are scrolled off the page and they are never commented on or seen again except by people who want me to grow a bigger penis or want to convince me that Courtney killed Kurt.
Iím torn between wanting to write about whatever strikes me and wanting to write what will get me noticed. In the end, I always choose my muse and it may be the wrong choice if I want to end up on the path lined with gold and honey. But itís the only way I can write. I canít narrow myself down to one field, to one subject or even one specific tone. I write on the fly. I donít prepare any of my posts ahead of time. I sit down at about six in the morning with my cup of coffee; itís the only time the house is quiet enough to think. I take a quick look at the news and then I write. I donít edit, I donít think it out, I just write. Sometimes I write a ten paragraph post in about three minutes. Of course, thatís probably why I will never be asked to write an opinion column anywhere; the writing here is not clean, itís not professional. Itís raw and unfocused and filled with typos.
And I go back now to the my original question. What is the purpose of this blog? And when I have no answer I ask myself, does there have to be a purpose? Does there have to be some kind of end result in order to make myself feel satisfied with what I do here? Or am I justifying the time I spend putting my words here, telling stories, making people laugh or pissing people off or boring someone to death with my incessant navel gazing? What is the redeeming feature of keeping this blog? What is about the past two and half years of maintaining this site that keeps me bringing up the New Entry page every day, several times a day?Is it worth it to spend so many hours writing and researching and expending my emotions to total strangers and a few good friends and acquaintances?
Yea, it is. I canít give you a good explanation why it is worth it, it just is. So I can stop forcing myself to write about the in thing, to get on the same soapbox as the big guys in the hopes that I can be one of the big guys, and just write for the simple fact that I enjoy it.
And thereís my reason, my explanation and justification all rolled in one. Simply put, I enjoy it.