Thank you all for the comments, and the additional questions, and the concern, and the advice. I’ve been pondering all this for the last few days, and trying to process a response. You raise many of the issues that have kept me from venturing down the primrose path of personal-blogging thus far: there’s something a bit self-absorbed and self-indulgent about the entire enterprise that is absolutely entwined with a youth that I’m rather happy, most of the time, to have left behind. (Seriously, if I’d have had a blog at 20 — oh, and lord knows, if the technology had existed, I would have — how mortifying would be the lingering traces of that? I can’t even go back and re-read my old journals from ten/fifteen years ago; I’m embarrassed for myself, and I was my only audience.) (Which is to highlight, in a certain sense, at least, that this is not just a blog-related issue; I loathe the memoir as a print-form, mostly because I find 80 percent of them self-absorbed and self-indulgent and entirely TMI.)
So there’s never been, at least not since entering the decade I’m now a little over halfway through, much danger of my suddenly airing all the dirty laundry of my life all over the place — but even the slightest suggestion that I might be doing so has kept me from the personal here. The other issue that Mariah and BT both raise is, I think, more of a danger, and one that I’m seriously pondering: the “steals the fire” problem. Gibson did point out (and you didn’t mean Gibson, did you, Mariah? Gaddis really had a blog? If so, how disappointed am I to have missed it) that blogging requires a kind of daily attention and a kind of writerly brain-space that can easily crowd out the other kinds of writing that one ought to be doing — easily because those other kinds of writing require slow, sustained attention over long periods of time, without the instantaneous gratification of blog-publishing. No conversations with the audience. No links from other writers. Years of labor between the inception of an idea and its seeing the light of day. It’s easier and more satisfying, on some level, just to blog — and yet there’s something about the permanence of the book that the blog can never approximate, and one likes to think that some ideas are too big for this format.
But yes. So. I worry that blogging will keep me from other writing. I worry that blogging about the other writing will (as BT suggests) provide for potentially stultifying feedback. On the other hand, I want very much to explore the kinds of possibilities that rhubarb (on her own blog) and Cindy and Francois suggest: a multi-layered subjectivity that is always caught in the act of encountering its own incompleteness. There will be experiments, soon. You’ll probably recognize them when you see them.
Oh, and Francois: thanks for being concerned about my sleep. Alas, the lack thereof mostly had to do with travel — early flights, time zone changes — and the conference, but after a few days’ rest, I’m feeling a bit more myself. Whoever that is…