When I first started blogging I was kind of scared. Being from an older generation I wasn’t sure that I would be able to handle the technology part of the process. I knew the rest would be easy since I have always been in love with the written word and passionate about books and writing. I have always loved to swirl and swing words to convey my feelings and emotions. I have done so one word at a time.
I personally think that at no time in the history of writing has there been a global community of writers as today. At no time have writers come together as today. In his introduction in Paris Review interviews in 1992, William Styron wrote:
“Credit must be given to technology when owed. Certainly it is the tape recorder- despite the prejudice against it held by a few subjects- that has made the greatest difference in the technique of the PR (Paris Review) interview over the years. If nothing else, the tiny machine has allowed a copious, leisurely, unimpeded flow of dialogue to be captured for transcription. … There can be no doubt that the tape recorder has been an important factor in making these encounters livelier and more comprehensive, more densely textured and satisfying.”
I doubt if anyone from the latest generation of bloggers has actually used a tape recorder. And yet the use of current technology has allowed them (even after two decades), in Styron’s words, a “copious, leisurely, unimpeded flow of dialogue” among them, and brought them together. At no time in the history of writing has there been “livelier and more comprehensive, more densely textured and satisfying encounters” with literary friends as today.
Gone are the days when we writers sought the approval of a family member or friend before exposing our writing to the world in laying it out in the open for the rest of the world to read. Allen Ginsberg once said that writing is a public act but we writers live privately. The way to write- to write well, to reach new ground- is to break through this convention of privacy, and to talk to the reader as you talk to your friends. In Ginsberg’s words:
“We all talk among ourselves and we have common understandings, and we say anything we want to say. So then what happens if you make a distinction between what you tell your friends and what you tell your Muse? The problem is to break down that distinction: when you approach the Muse to talk as frankly as you would talk with yourself or your friends.”
Blogging has enabled us to quickly break down that distinction. It has helped us reach new ground- it has helped us talk to the reader as we talk to our friends. There’s a sincerity in the world of blogging, a frankness in the articles posted, an honest exchange of ideas among the open conversations and discussions that follow with people who share our passion for writing and who are as much in love with the written word as we are, if not even more. It’s like a general wave of creativity has swept the world and taken everyone with the same gusto along with it.
As Henry Miller wrote:
“A writer is a man who has antennae, … knows how to hook up the currents which are in the atmosphere.”
Do you agree that today’s technology has created a community of such writers which is as crucially important to blogging as the words themselves?