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.


Pants said...


That's so true - it is exactly like writing an essay every day. As an 'undiscovered' author I always think the day I write a crap post will be the day that someone from Random House happens upon my blog. I think if you're not in the mood to write a great post, don't struggle to produce a mediocre one.

I saw Tina Brown interviewed by Kirsty Wark last night and she said that one of the reasons her magazine Talk failed was that she put most of the good stuff in the first edition and, by the time she got to the third, she had no good material left. When I started my blog a year ago, I wrote a post every day for four or five months and they came easily because I had so many ideas. When I stopped being able to write and edit it to my satisfaction in an hour, I knew it was time to cut back. Like you, I had other work to do that had a higher priority.

Don't worry about the readers. They come back. Hope the play goes well.



Elizabeth Baines said...

Hi Pants,
Well, yours is definitely one I'd call an 'essay blog', and I'm amazed at the thought you put into it!

Ms Baroque said...

Elizabeth, even at work I always get this: "well it's only a press release, you can do that in half a morning." People just don't realise.

I don';t really see the point in announcing, though, that one is "no longer prepared" to read and respond to other people's blogs! My first response is, well don't then. But by announcing it surely one would run the risk of making them not feel "prepared" to read and respond to one's own effort? It's tit for tat, surely, with as little tat as poassible?

Anyway, I'm glad you've been in such a productive mode, it all sounds good!

Elizabeth Baines said...

And your posts, Ms Baroque, are works of art!