Sunday, August 3, 2008

blogito, ergo sum

Here was a curious question from a visitor: Why do I blog? I know I never did it before ... I didn't believe I had the time, for one thing; I also didn't think I had enough to say which would be interesting to a wide variety of people. Not until very recently had I even seriously considered blogging, and even then it took some arm-twisting from DreamCraft. I used to say, "evrything I have to say, I say in my books, or in the feature articles on the website."

And in a way that's still true. What I have to say for posterity is in the books. The blog is more of a bull session. It's not fiction, it's not journalism, it's not (usually) about news or press releases. It's more a commentary on some of the things that actually drive fiction-writing. What's on my mind, what's bugging me, what movies have impressed me lately, what news item is aggravating today, what's amusing me ... what work is being done, behind the scenes, on publishing and marketing, what's in the planning.

As such, you could actually call this a writing blog. I'd hesitate to call it a "gay book blog," because although I'm inclined to talk about gay books and the industry of gay publishing, and even the tribulations of being gay, I'm not at all sure these would qualify as the theme of the blog -- and I'm reliably informed, a blog has to have a theme. It's the law.

Such as, the environment, movies, travel, politics, food, being gay, gay rights, gay news, science breakthroughs, natural health, the space program, a region of the world, sports...

The truth is, this blog has turned out to be about all of the above, and the only common demoninator I can find (so far) is writing. I'm a writer, I see the world through the eyes of a writer.

So, I would have to say ... this is a writing blog, which halfway answers the question of why I blog in the first place. Most of what I write professionally is fiction, and one works long and hard on a novel-length piece of fiction. It takes months to write, edit and publish a book ... the downside to which is, nothing in it can ever be time-sensitive, or really topical.

I do know some critics of blogging are very down on the blogosphere for this very reason. What we say here, now, today, is topical, but in a week or a month, little of interest will remain. Unless you were uploading recipes, or short stories, or photos, of course. Those remain "good," since they have no "use by date."

And I suppose this is one reason why a blog like this one has its up-side and its downside. It's very nice (for me at least) to be able to write about something topical, such as the Mars landing, the announcement of the lunar colonization plans, and so forth. The downside is, in ten days anything written here will be consigned to ancient history --

Then again, they wrap today's fish and chips in yesterday's newspaper, so what the hey?! What's good enough for the Sun Herald ...!

Why do I blog? I think ... for the fun of it. And (surprisingly) it IS fun. I've only been doing this for a couple of months, but I actually enjoy jotting down a day's thoughts, humorous or not, on topics as widely disparate as possums, grammar, the space program, poems, Achilles, whatever.

In the end, why does anyone do anything? For the fun of it, right? Put it another way: "When it stops being fun, stop doing it."

It ain't stopped yet ... and I hope this answers the guy who wanted to know what the heck I'm doing blogging, when I could be writing novels! He makes a good point. But there's a vast difference between finely-crafting fiction and jotting thoughts into a blog. For a start, blogging lets me keep in touch with readers on a daily basis (and many thanks to those readers who are swinging by each day: I appreciate it).

Alas, having said all of the above (!) I now have to get some work done!

Ciao for now,
BEST BEFORE 11.11.47

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