Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Burden of Blogging

I never intended to leave this blog for so long, but have been almost entirely preoccupied with another, artistic, project, and coming back to it today, and checking into other litblogs again, feels like coming back to your home town after living away: whole discussions have taken place which have passed me by (and the population has changed: some blogs have gone inactive, others which were in abeyance have started up again), and, although it's only been a fortnight, people have started to forget me: my site stats for this blog have gone down.

The fact that blogging is a huge project which can clash with one's other, more creative work is the perpetual dilemma of the writer-blogger. In fact, I didn't find it quite as hard to keep in touch with my other, writer blog, as I could make it part of the current project, which was promoting a play, and use it as a personal diary of my current obsession. But keeping writing while blogging is a different matter, and I neglected even that blog while I was writing that play. This is a paradox, since - let's be frank - most writer-bloggers blog partly to get exposure for their work (and apparently some publishers now expect authors to blog as part of their marketing duties).

As far as I'm concerned, though, it is critical discussion - with which this blog is concerned - which takes the real time and commitment. Today Susan Hill has announced that she's no longer prepared to spend the time reading other blogs and getting drawn into their literary discussions, and who can blame her with all that writing to do? And Daniel Green at The Reading Experience gets to grips with Sven Birkerts' assertion that litbloggers fail to engage as thoughtfully as print reviewers in a long, thoughtful article that must have taken him hours.

It's like the Partner of the Bitch said: 'I don't understand it, this blogging. How can it take you all that time? Why are you up there all hours, and so late?' Darling, keeping up a litblog can be like writing an essay every single day.
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