I would be astonished if anyone who cared was astonished that I enjoy writing. Especially blogging. Blogging almost never feels like a chore.
Most days, I even look forward to it — which is certainly more than I do my cooking.
I believe, in fairness, I am moderately skilled at blogging — which I think of as mostly a separate category of writing from, say, writing a novel, a magazine article, a short story, etc.
Blogging, I believe, has its own rules, and those rules are still being worked out and refined by us fearless bloggers.
As time goes on, it will become an ever more distinct form of writing. But already, some people are very good at it. Some are very poor at it. And I am somewhere in the middle.
What is it like being in the middle? I confess that, every night, I retire to my bed in tears that I will never be the Shakespeare of blogging; but soon, I turn into smiles that I will never be the Bulwer-Lytton of blogging either. I am routinely tossed between one grand passion and another. My life is truly exciting because I am a middle of the road talent. Only rock climbing, race car driving, and running with the bulls are arguably more extreme than life in the middle.
I think, among other things, really good bloggers write sentences, paragraphs or short passages that can stand alone. I know that is true in other forms of writing, but I think there is something about the medium that might make it especially true in blogging.
Here’s Dana Hunter, an outstanding word smith and blogger, describing just how moved she can be by the written word:
There are moments, when I’m watching or reading something, where the story leaves me hyperventilating. Shivering, shaking, aching, breaking, flying apart in fragments. Crying, yes, because strong emotion of any kind has this tendency to sting the eyes, stun the brain, leave a person feeling like they’ve shaken hands with the third rail while breaking the fourth wall.
I’m not sure, but I think really good writers like Dana usually feel words much more deeply than the rest of us. And it probably has something to do with why they are such good writers.
What I do know is that I — for all my love of words — am never moved to “flying apart in fragments” by words alone. I need more than words: I need also in conjunction with words, the sight of someone’s perky, naked breasts, to move me as much as Dana is moved by words alone.
I am going to try my best to write something on Tuesday’s Election Day
massacre political fubarcoronation of the stupid classes, but I am more of a mind that folks should just look away. Just avert your eyes as though you were at the proverbial urinal….
In just a few words, he sums up the election results, the political consequences, and arguably the best way of handling the situation — all the while pumping into the passage enough snark to jolt the moon in its orbit. Not bad for a big city kid.
Now, I think Dale’s posts contain some of the freshest language I’ve seen in blogging. He is also at home with logic. And here he is employing a combination punch of creative language and hard logic to thoroughly knock down the argument made in a video against gay marriage (I believe his third paragraph is especially creative, and that it could almost stand by itself without the other two paragraphs introducing it):
Declares a guy with street affectations in this video, “we have got to have a standard, otherwise everyone in our society will be affected”….
The legalization of gay marriage is, of course, the foul specter that will affect “everyone in our society” — somehow. True to the pro-inequality position, the guy with the street affectations and the other speakers in the video don’t bother listing the effects, let alone specifying why we should care about the effects, let alone detailing an argument (philosophical, political, sociological, or other) that links the suggested cause with the unnamed effects.
I gather they’re bad effects, but are they unjust effects? Oppressive effects? Painful effects? Will our hair fall out, our skin get blotchy? Will our cats fill their litter boxes more frequently? Will Christmas move to an every-other-year schedule? Will more college football programs adopt a garish shade of turf, as they have done in Boise?
I think any fair minded person, even if they are opposed to gay marriage, would have to agree that Dale has kicked the bejeebers out of the video’s argument in far fewer words than it takes many professional columnists to warmed up to their topic.
Dana, Chauncey, and Dale strike me as three bloggers who each in his or her own way is stretching the medium, and pioneering what can be done with it.
I seriously doubt they see themselves as in any way special, but I think if you were to read much more of their blogs than I can republish here, you yourself might see them as exceptional writers by any standards.
Moreover, so far as I know, they have each of them managed to excel at blogging without requiring the crutch of perky, naked breasts to inspire them.
How weird is that?
By the way, my sidebar contains many more links to well written blogs than just these three. Just so you know.