Jani Allen, whom i have hugely conflicting feelings about but will nevertheless address in capitals, tweeted this week that if a column was a speed date, a book was a marriage.
it went something like…
hahaha i’ve always HATED the word *pomp*.
i liked anib’s fuck buddy thing, because lately i’ve been paying attention to this blog only when it’s been convenient and i just want to blurg a few words between focusing on my booky marriage and writing money words.
and tbh, it’s upsetting, considering how close we’ve been for so long.
but here we are. for now, like any new marriage that consumes the doe-eyed and romantically inclined, the book is my main focus. but regardless of the little time i’m spending here (in comparison to what i was) i’m feeling increasingly protective of my work here as ‘just a blogger’.
naturally, my response was less ‘literati’ and more ‘fuck you’
i guess it all started in 2006 with a piece Marianne Thamm (also, please notice the caps) wrote for fairlady. while i think MT is amazing now, i wasn’t so thrilled with her then. it was my first introduction to her writing.
it was a piece about how unimpressed she was by blogging. i wrote a rebuttal here, but one of the bloggers in the community who kicked off the convo posted a quote from her column:
‘People who enjoy reading should always be suspicious of people who write for fun (or who do so for no remuneration). And I’m not referring here to the world’s acknowledged literati, but the general masses who feel a need to express themselves in writing and share the minutiae of their lives in an online diary.’
naturally, my response was less ‘literati’ and more ‘fuck you’. (sorry MT)
it amused me that that same year, time’s annual ‘person of the year’ cover featured a piece of foil…
look i’m not gonna lie. i get really irate when someone does the whole ‘just a blogger’ routine on me.
for one thing, i do a lot more than blog here. i write for a living, for fun and satisfaction, i make stories, write about other people’s stories and do a heck of a lot of research, listening, and asking questions about stuff that matters to me.
for another, what does ‘just a blogger’ mean even? blogging might be one platform for me, but it’s been one of my most rewarding. i’ve found my voice here, learnt how to be a disciplined writer, shared stories with people, worked out ideas, written my way around new ideas and found solace, fun and education.
hell i’ve even managed to build a career from it.
and on that note, i’d like to address another little angle to this being ‘just a blogger’ yadda yadda.
i’m hearing lately how much blogs and their owners are just fronting, putting on an act, a show, a pretense, being a commercial … none of it’s real, it’s all a lie, a fake, a doddle, a joke etc etc
some of the most vocal about this are those who are a branding exercises themselves.
unfortunately, when people think of blogs now they think largely of lifestyle/style wanks, content aggregators and competition platforms.
and maybe, in that light, MT was right.
‘just a blog’ can reach readers that book writers might never be able to
but i know that that isn’t right for me or people i know who find meaning in their blog, who have a voice and tell their stories with honesty and a deep need to figure shit out. who use words for this, because of the whole ‘human’ thing. not because an MA or Phd says their voice is good enough for it. they write their stories that are loved and read even though they’re ‘just a blogger’.
moreover, it’s these people, on their digital platforms, on their ‘just a blog’, that can reach readers that book writers might never be able to.
these are the thoughts i’m thinking as i move my writing towards more books, less per-word articles… when i finally have this book published and someone refers to me as ‘just a blogger’ will it sting, or will i be cool with it?
i guess the real question is ‘when this book is published, will anything be different at all’?
and the answer is no. i’ll still blog. i’ll still write other writery words for doccies and magazines and scripts. i’ll still need a place to say ‘cunt’ liberally and post funny pics with funny captions that make me laugh. i still need a place to play with voice.
so, sorry you’re just fuck buddy for now blog. but you know what we have is real, right?