Friday, August 14, 2009

Wilson on the Worth in Blogging

Frank Wilson of When Falls the Coliseum blogs about why he blogs. The impetus for this particular post came from a question and answer session at St. Joseph's University, Wilson's alma mater. Excerpts:

A particularly interesting question was posed, however, not by a student, but by Tenaya Darlington, an assistant professor at the university who had decided to sit in on the class. She asked what effect blogging had had on my writing.

I can't recall now the free-associative response I gave to her question, but I'm pretty sure I mentioned something Somerset Maugham says in his quasi-autobiography The Summing Up: "You cannot write well unless you write much."

If there is any benefit to be derived from blogging it starts with the doing of it. Writers write. Blogging is a good way of finding out if you have what it takes to sit down at regular intervals and write something. For someone like me, who already has deadlines to meet, it's a good way to start the work day, like practicing scales. ...

But I have continued to think of the question Professor Darlington posed -- usually, when I sit down to blog in the morning -- because there's a larger answer to it than I provided that afternoon at St. Joe's. ...

One thing is that the more you write a particular kind of thing, the more your writing in general is going be characterized by the kind of thing you write.
Read the whole thing. Truth be told, this is exactly the reason why I blog. Yes, it's an added pleasure to know that a few interested folks are reading. (It makes me a little glum to watch the veil drop behind the eyes of family and friends whenever I bring up writing-related matters.) But I park myself behind the keyboard precisely in the hope that sheer repetition will help develop consistent structures, logical transitions and interesting similes. Does it work? Well, something's happening, although I may be the only one noticing. Lately writing has begun to come a little easier, to feel less like trying to dig the Grand Canyon with a spork. And on the encouragement scale, that rates pretty high.

(Picture: CC 2008 by
Ferran.; Hat Tip: Brandywine Books)

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