notes on why i blog
June 11, 2003 03:06 PM

Some of Tish's recent musings have skipped to the heart of what it means to blog, what it means to belong to a community.

[Coming soon. There's a longer post about what community means that may or may not end up merging with my shifting analysis of what I think VA Spider called "girls gone wild bisexuals". So, ironic that Tish is also thinking about this, in a different way. This longer stuff is sitting on the laptop at home, without phone lines. Or even, currently, email. Sheesh.]

Anyhow. Tish talks about no one blogging without wanting to be read, then says she does it for herself (the blogging, that is). Which seems to be the way most people wrap their desires around this particular mode of communication. I think most of us write in part to savor the shapes of our words and in part because of tiny voices in our head screaming to be heard, to make some form of connection.

And the world of blogging creates in a literal sense the connections that Orson Scott Card once speculated into being as philotes (essentially non-matter string twining from heart to heart, resulting from relationships growing closer). The connections between bloggers are made real with the links and references we make. And things like BlogChalk turn those connections into maps, making it not only real, but parallel to things we understand as off blog community. Neighborhoods. States.

I blog from my fascination with that. With the blog as vehicle for connection with broader world concept in mind. And I do think that concept of blogging invests us with responsibilities to each other. Blogging and reading and linking to other bloggers is entering into a community, a social contract. It's also defining yourself as related to certain people or things (namely the ones you link), not unlike what you do when joining groups or neighborhoods IRL.

Which is, by the way, why I maintain the blog/journal distinction. I keep a journal to document memory, or feeling. I keep it online to have it (theoretically, and nearly) always at hand, to place it in the physical context of a page of my own design. And if you read it and think it's written well, or it speaks to your own experience in some way, more's the good. If you read it and know me, even better. But. If you don't, I still have the narcissistic pleasure of re-reading and seeing the growing beauty of my own words and remembering the self I was a day or year ago, which is ultimately the heart of journal-writing.

By simply being online, though, even my journal participates in community. But it becomes the one-sided conversation you have with your best friend at a coffeeshop. The blog proper remains a larger monologue, addressing your whole neighborhood.

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your wicked thoughts

It is funny. I so often seem to say things that are almost contradictory. I long for and love my blogging community. And I constantly feel the need to hold the truth of my aloneness. Both things are true. There’s an arrogance, a petulance in my feelings of aloneness. And one of the reason I blog is to put the lie to it. Clearly I have support and love in my world. I am not alone. And. Yet.
These are interesting distinctions that you are making about the blog/journal.
So I am reading this on a day when I am dug into my aloneness. And I feel the string that holds your heart to mine. And. So. Thank you.

these are the thoughts of Tish on June 17, 2003 11:39 AM

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