Saturday, July 18, 2009

Confession #1: The Real Truth About Bathrobe Blogging

Well, I found out that wearing a bathrobe doesn't make the blog writing easier. I actually have to write!

So, I got up this morning (wearing the green plaid bathrobe that I have worn since 1995--a birthday gift), sat in front of my laptop, turned it on, and waited for the blogging to begin. It didn't--for a while. Was I waiting for "inspiration" to come and knock me in the head so that I could begin writing? That's just not how it's done--at least, not if you really want to write. I did do the first thing that I was supposed to do: as Julia Cameron and others have famously said, I did "show up at the page." And there I sat, immobilized.

Blogging is quite different from the writing I usually do--it's got an immediacy and power that is truly awesome. So, fear of writing without doing a lot of editing (as I am used to doing in my academic life) is one of the reasons I just sat in front of the laptop for a while without beginning to pound the keys.

The very notion that my thoughts would be available for the world to see (forgive my hubris!)once I hit "publish post" was paralyzing. How, though, could I get around it? What is the point of blogging if not to share one's thoughts with a wider audience? I'm not writing a news blog, as there already are many bloggers in our town who do that, and I'm not necessarily focused on community life, although I will touch on subjects that are close to my heart (like our fabulous public library).

What am I seeking to accomplish? What kinds of comments (if any) will I engender with this blog? What is its ultimate purpose? That is still to be determined, but I will probably focus more on American culture, very broadly defined.

My blog ruminations will be about what interests me: education, the arts, (high, low, and pop) culture, politics, and every day life in the 21st century. I will probably write about my students on occasion, and also about my peers and my professors. I also lead a writing workshop, so some of my posts will be directed to those who are a part of the workshop.

Those who know me know that I teach literature and composition and that I am an active scholar and writer. Although I am a 19th Century Americanist whose work centers on the antebellum era, I also occasionally direct my focus toward 20th American literature.

Each week, I will direct readers' interest to writers (and filmmakers, poets, journalists, visual artists, musicians, photographers, and cultural critics) whose works I think are particularly deserving of our attention, along with a bit of critical commentary of my own.

All best, Rebecca


Dan said...

Welcome, Rebecca!!

I know it's really you when you refer to 'pounding the keys' as your poor laptop bears witness -- Remember when I asked you why several keycaps were missing and you said 'Because I pound the keys'?


apj said...

congratulations... looking forward to reading your entertaining thoughts. tj

Bernice said...

It's definitely a 21st Century experience to be a blogger. Welcome to the Plainfield panoply of all-age, all-angle bloggers!

Just a friend... said...

The fact that people do this without being paid amazes me. Well, I'll be glad to read it with my morning coffee!