I felt very personally connected to Andrew Sullivan’s article about blogging. I have been using the medium since middle school as a way to post my writing, whether it be a mindless rant about the day, a short story I had written, or a review of a book or movie. I always knew I wanted to do something with writing, but I was never sure what. After years spent blogging on my page, I realized I wanted to be an author. Write fiction stories and encapsulate audiences with my books in ways that I wished I could via my blog.
Since then, I have neglected my blog, placing more emphasis on my personal writing in hopes of furthering my novel. I’ve struggled with techniques on writing; how to write anything longer than a short story, how to capture an audience’s attention, how to write about something that matters. All along, I never realized I needed to do the same thing with my blog, and I was, without noticing.
Sullivan writes, “A novelist can spend months or years before committing words to the world. For bloggers, the deadline is always now.” This is totally true and the very reason why blogging should be considered a modernized journalism. For my first year of college (before I realized I wanted to be an author for a living) I majored in journalism in hopes of becoming one, writing breaking news stories and being in magazines and newspapers across the world one day. But isn’t that exactly what we as bloggers wish to accomplish as well? Get people to choose our blog over someone else’s to get their news or the latest scoop on the media. We have no choice to wait or write about something now, because if we don’t hop on it right away, viewers will find the information on someone else’s blog.
This wasn’t a concept I dealt with growing up on my blog, because it was always more self-centered rather than centered from the outside-in. Reading this from Sullivan made me wonder whether I had been doing it wrong the whole time… but then he told me! “You end up writing about yourself, since you are a relatively fixed point in this constant interaction with the ideas and facts of the exterior world.” Isn’t that what makes blogging different and unique from any other journalistic medium? The fact that it’s not just a regurgitation of straight facts, but instead incorporates the writer’s view on the issues and the world. Without me, what would my blog be after all?
I think that was the point that really hit home for me – that I am allowed to put myself into my blog. I am allowed to have opinions and arguments and ideologies and express them out in public for others to see. Blogging is the closest thing to a diary, like Sullivan says, except instead of confining our thoughts, feelings, and ideas to ourselves to dwell on, we’re putting them out into the open for people to connect with us and hear our voices.
Who says social media is the death of all human interaction? Maybe it’s just the start of another level of it.