A little while ago, I was wondering aloud to my wife Allysen whether keeping this blog going was a smart use of my time. After all, I don’t post to it nearly as frequently as I should to keep up an audience, and it does take up writing time that arguably I should be spending on my next book. Still, it’s a connection to you folks that I might not otherwise have. (Yeah, I could post to Facebook instead—but really, what’s the diff?)
And so, with perfect timing, along comes a very funny column in today’s Boston Globe: “Not Blogging,” by James Parker, a contributing editor to The Atlantic. After the first two lines, I knew I had to read it aloud to Allysen. Says Parker:
I should have one, of course. I mean, shouldn’t I? I’ve been urged to get one. A confused middle-aged literatus like me, trying to keep himself afloat while the old industry paradigms, the old machineries of reputation and reward, shiver into fragments around him? I need a blog. A place to consolidate my brand. A forum for my views, untrammelled, unedited. A one-stop shop for all my “stuff.”
That established, he goes on to offer the opposing view:
So allow me then to dissent — to offer, if I may, a small and fading valentine to not-blogging. Or, as it used to be called, “living.”
Let’s start with the most obvious point against blogging: the labor. A blog must be fed several times a day, like a weight lifter or a Great Dane. Are you ready for that kind of commitment? Update, update, keep the posts coming… We all know the tiny electronic swat of dismay that one experiences upon checking a favorite blog and finding it unchanged or unrefreshed. Do that too often to your readers and they’ll ditch you, and your blog will die…
It’s not that I won’t blog — I just can’t. I’m a slow writer, for one thing. I write ve-ery slowly, in a soft mist of incomprehension, like a garden gnome coming to life on an English hillside. This is no good for a blogger. Bloggers write fast. They react.
I do sometimes wonder if that describes me. Though certainly there are some days when, if I didn’t write a little on my blog, I wouldn’t get any writing done at all. Hmm…
Excuse me while I go make sure that this isn’t one of those days.