Just blog it.

Jeneane Sessum has this to say in response to the Jupiter business blogging conference:

No. Seriously. It’s like this. What the best teachers of writing tell you–and I did have some of the best under Leslie Fiedler at UB–is this simple secret: Don’t take writing or English classes to learn how to write. Take philosophy, take history, take music, take anything but. It is the context that surrounds your voice that informs what you say.

So too with blogging. Don’t paint it as a discipline. Don’t cloak it in a methodology, Don’t sully it with law. Live and grow, be bold enough to say what you see, and powerful blogging will follow. And if it doesn’t follow us into business, then all the better. Because business will have to rearrange its context to keep up.

I don’t know what to think of this. I like it in spirit, but in practice, who doesn’t blog about blogging. Including… um… her own criticism?

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4 Comments

  1. Posted 6/14/2003 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Sounds much like some advice I got once from poet John Ashbery at Bard College years ago when I wanted to write for a living and was wavering between a pre-rabbinic and a creative writing major. Ashbery championed the work I was producing, but said it was all the better for the spiritual questioning which was popping up in my work at the time; he was avidly against my majoring in creative writing, because “If you major in writing, all you have to write about it the process of writing, and no one wants to read about that.”

    Of course, I don’t really write much poetry anymore, and I dropped the pre-rabbinic thing when I dropped out of college altogether, but I think it applies to all writing, and…well, here I am writing, after all.

    In response to your own note on blogging about blogging — I call it metablogging, but that’s just ’cause I like to overutilize the term “meta” ’cause it makes me feel like a real academic — EricJ of webraw, a blog I found early on, notes that most bloggers go through several phases of “settling” into their blog-ness, and that navel gazing (blogging about the process of blogging) is endemic to several of these stages (including the first “hey, look — I’m blogging!” and “hey, look, I decided to change my template again!” stages)…but he ultimately decides, like most “how to blog…or not to blog” sites out there, that people will ultimately come for the content…and that they will see metablogging as but one of the myriad facets of context which they will need to feel affection towards you and your writing, and ultimately, to come back.

    In other words, I think if you blog about what you do, eventually, you’ll find yourself blogging about blogging, as you’re doing it, aren’t you? But if blogging isn’t the MAIN thing you do, and thus not the main context in which you frame your metaphors and ideas, and the platform from which you make decisions about what’s worth blogging and how (and why), then your blog will be interesting to us — after all, hearing about blogging is no big deal to us, because we’re all doing it, aren’t we, or we wouldn’t be here to find you talking about it.

    Hmm. Sorry for the length. Everyone else is asleep here.

  2. Posted 6/15/2003 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    hey, I like meta-blogging as much as the next guy. what I thought was fricking weird though was a bunch of bloggers sitting in a room blogging about each other blogging at a blogging conference held by big business who doesn’t give a flying flip beyond making a buck on this thing they don’t get, and meanwhile we’re showing them the WORST of what blogging is, not the best.

    In other words, a blogging circle jerk among 12 different blogs all blogging the same stuff AND about the bloggers blogging the stuff is likeley to implode the entire blogosphere.

    hee hee.

    but the part about writing–that’s right. EVEN WHEN you blog about blogging, you can inform it with context outside of blogging. You know? That’s relating. That’s the trick. That’s what moves you one tiny step at a time. Or something like that.

    thanks for reading. nice blog!

    me

  3. Posted 6/17/2003 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I think I’m definitely in the navel gazing stage. Probably because I don’t feel as if I’ve found my blogging voice yet. I’m avoiding becoming too narrowly focused, and I don’t want to be categorized, “oh, this is a *that* blog.”

    The blogs I like most have content that I would call public displays of introspection. Most of their content is varied though. Some news, some fun, some thought and/or comment provoking.

    I put questions about my blog in my writing because I’m looking for responses. Hey, maybe I should put questions about my writing in my blog!

    Wow, that was kind of like a therepy session. My 50 minute hour is now over.

  4. Rorschach
    Posted 6/17/2003 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    This isn’t true just of blogging or writing. This is true for almost any vocation. Study mathematics but then what can you do with it? Engineering? Music? It seems pretty much any *single* field of study is limited.
    Architecture? You can design a building but it’s going to be pretty boring without history or art.
    Music? More history, mathematics, and add in some art just for good measure.
    Art? Heh, how ’bout some sociology, architecture, math, and engineering too.
    The same goes for blogging. By itself it’s very limited other than for self-replication.

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