This is a little blurb because, through Kate in Wales, I found that Doris Lessing has poo-pooed the blog, and bloggers in a piece in the Guardian (known to lovers of spelling as the Gaurdain due to the profuse spelling errors it contains) saying: “the internet has seduced a whole generation with its inanities so that even quite reasonable people will confess that once they are hooked it is hard to cut free and they may find a whole day has passed in blogging."
My first reaction is that anything Doris Lessing is against is probably something I should try. It is like being told not to date someone with a motorcycle by your grandmother. My second and more thoughtful reaction is: That old hypocrite.
Blogs and blogging have brought the literary and the inane; the wacky daily photo-shopped picture to the political pundit. But the one group it has freed to equal or greater status is women. Women write blogs and women read blogs. While guys are off playing on-line games in the hundreds of millions (something else Doris Lessing probably hates….so enjoy!), women are blogging about baking, about crafts, about mothering, about life. There has never before in history been the expanse of female experience to see, to participate in, to understand and be part of as today. And I believe that is far more to do with blogging than the existence of Doris Lessing and Joyce Carol Oates (no offense to the works of either).
One of the central purposes of literature is to ask the basic human questions: Why? Does what I do matter? What does this mean? And most important, am I alone? Most of us, before this computer generation, found that spark of connection between two minds and spirits through a book. And still, I am connected to women (and men) long dead through books.
The reason I write a blog instead of writing a novel (although I actually do both) is because at this stage of my life, I am driven both by the need to narrate MY story, whatever its end, and the need to know I am not alone in doing this. I need a community and as a mostly housebound individual, blogs and blogging give me that community in a depth and breadth I could not achieve in any other current form.
The reason I read blogs is the same reason I read books, only more so; to understand or at least get a glimpse of what life is like for point X, for person X, for the life from 'here'. If someone came to me and said, “How do I learn about children in the autistic spectrum” I would NOT give them the book The curious incident of the Dog in the Night (since I think it is holding up the end of my couch). I would point them to Crystal Jigsaw and Marla and Casdok at Mother of Shrek and the many, many other excellent blog sites written by people within the autistic spectrum and those who care and love them. No novel can replace the nitty gritty experience from the individuals perspective. And that is what we have here, individual perspectives, some wonderful and eloquent, some rough and in-your-face and what you take from it and what you learn is up to you. You want entertainment? There are thousands of blog writers waiting to do it; want to be challenged on your political beliefs, religious beliefs, cheese eating beliefs? There are hundreds to thousands waiting to do that as well. As a reader, when have you ever had the joyful abundance as now? And for free? With a blog you can share a hobby with someone halfway around the world and encourage each other on. The comments left by people I have never met have helped me get through a day. The writing of someone who has never been 'officially' published has MANY TIMES helped me see my life in a different way.
And this is bad, how?
I write because first I am a writer and while I am not too sure on the plot, what I have going on in my life is GREAT material (would be nice to know where the climax might occur though). But second because, unlike women of a few generations ago, I will not go out of here leaving only a journal in a drawer, or some collections of writings which might be published after my death. My history will stand to be sifted in the here and now.
When I lie in bed at night, and the fear creeps in, I know that I am NOT alone. I know that other people, other women who may not have exactly my condition have felt this, have struggled with the uncertainty, the pain, the isolation, the medical system, the whole chorus of whispers in the darkness. I know this because they wrote it down and I read it. And so I will write it down and someone else will read it. And the writing will be fun, and it will be silly and serious and sad and all the other things that make us human. And when my turn comes, and my blog falls silent, then the story, this particular thread of the human story will be taken up by another voice. And it needs no editor, no board of approval, no publishing costs. Just the time and determination to continue.
This is “a seduction” I embrace.
2 hours ago