A Year of Blogging

6 Jul

A Year of Blogging

I hear talk of plague: laptops burning out, flopping over, dying and spitting out sparks. I tug on my collar whenever people tell me how old their laptops were when they died. 2008. 2010, in some cases. Mine is from 2006 and has yet to show any signs of even catching a common flu, much less the technological Ebola that seems to be happening to Ipods, Iphones, Zunes, tablets, kindles and zippits of all kinds.

Longhand is always an option but as long as old Betsy is still showing vital signs, I’ll kindly make use of her. She works good but looks bad, like most veteran farm oxen. There are pencil tips wedged between the keys along with crumbs of unknowns I can’t ever seem to get out. The screen is perpetually dusty save those instances when someone offers to clean it for me, followed by scolding, dentist-like enquiries as to why I haven’t cleaned my screen in so long, which I have to take in politeness since they are offering me their services.

There are bits of gunk in the hard-to-reach crevices and, in some cases, right out in plain sight, all of which have collected cobweb-looking dust. I once went into Fry’s Electronics where an employee absolutely insisted on cleaning my screen and giving it a good wipe-down. When she opened the laptop, I felt the way you do when a new girlfriend shows up unannounced to your apartment and uses your uncleaned bathroom for the first time.

The device is sufficient for writing and activities like email, but I’d be afraid to test its strength. I work a real job which, if Henry Miller had worked there, would probably be called something like The Cosmodemonic Literature and Lounge Loft. I work there mostly in the evenings—counter to my morning preference—which often means I wake up later than I would like and guilty for doing so, never really getting around to anything like breakfast until 11:30.

Working in the evening often pulls a cheap trick on me—it would like me to think that my day is over before it even begins. Grumbling and frowning the whole time, I get ready to face the day, which means I’m driving around deciding on which coffee shop I want to go to in order to get some writing time in. The decision will be contingent on the time of day, the day of the week, my mood, the weather and my particular craving for a particular drink. Once I get there, it is a constant war to find plugs, since I don’t have a battery that lasts more than seven minutes. This is always an awkward affair. I’m always sitting across from people who are too shy to make conversation. I know the feeling. I feel the same. We’re always stumbling over one another, cutting into conversations and personal business asking if they could … maybe … oh sorry, but can I just plug this in?

Why then, you might ask, do I fight for plugs about town when I can just as soon find a plug and write at home? Because, everyone knows this: you go about town to meet people. The thing is, no one meets anyone this way because everyone is too busy. Everyone sits around in Wi-Fi hotspots with furrowed, studious brows over their schoolwork, personal work and upside-down newspapers as though it’s the last possible place they can go. We all know this isn’t true. People want community, even if they don’t admit it.

I guess this is what blogging is about. I’ve been told that’s what it’s about. But then, people are always telling you what something is about. Yet, this particular about seems right.

So when I look back over my last year of blogging, I feel happy with a sense of accomplishment that I’ve been able to keep at it. Yet, I realize I don’t feel very communicative with a community. This is no source of puzzlement. I have only to compare my blog with the blogs of friends and see the difference as to why they have strong, ongoing communication with their followers. For one, and this is not exactly a huge shocker, they are systematic in their blogging subject. I imagine the reader always knows what genre to expect when they read these blogs, whether the blogs are devoted to fiction, opinion pieces or cooking.

My blog, on the other hand, is unsystematic. As far as the unsystematic goes, I’ve seen worse, but ‘I’ve seen worse’ has never been the most useful excuse. My blog is vaguely literary. It’s also vaguely devoted to ‘empty theory’ which, I suppose, is just a premeditated way of warning the reader that there will be random pieces of writing whose genre I’m not even sure of.

I’ve often thought it would be beneficial and relevant to discuss more current books, or books that followed some thread, or books everyone is reading. The reason I didn’t follow a formula was I felt that, with a blog, I had the freedom to write about things in an essayistic form without the constraint of magazine and newspaper deadlines. I felt that if I were to write about more current things, more current books, that my blog would merely be an amateurish imitation of journalism, which is never what I wanted it to be. I admit I’m not sure how to solve this particular problem.

I’m also aware that most blogs assume a personal tone and invite comments. I suppose my tone, for the most part, isn’t initially ‘personal,’ but I’m not so worried about that. The particular subjects don’t seem to call for it necessarily. However, I suppose I could have structured some of the posts so that they invited open-ended discussions, rather than ending most of them with an opinion that ends up on the page fully-formed and forbidding.

I’m open to suggestions. Perhaps it will be a year yet before I develop something more systematic, but as for now, I’ll continue to write about books in no particular order while making use of useless theories. I’m bad at this part, so excuse the trite phrasing, but, what do you think?


2 Responses to “A Year of Blogging”

  1. forzadms July 7, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    I think it’s an awesome post. Random topics can bring some people together anyway, anyhow. Keep it up!

    • Shane July 8, 2013 at 4:57 am #

      Awesome! Thank you!

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