During the first year of my MFA, when we’d all returned from our month of winter break, the professor who was my favorite at the time asked us if we’d gotten any writing done.
I said, “Yeah, if blogging counts.” It was facetious. Of course blogging counts. Teehee! A joke! I had done lots of blogging! Lots of Twittering and lots of Tumblring and lots of blogging and lots of reading others personal narratives via blog.
He returned, dead seriously, “No. No, it doesn’t.”
And at the time I couldn’t even really respond because that idea flabbergasted me SO MUCH. The idea that, somehow, because the writing was going on the internet by my own hand instead of into a folder on my hard drive to be theoretically published by some authority figure was absolutely FLABBERGASTING. FLABBERGASTING. Do you understand how significant the feeling of flabbergast is? IT IS UNBELIEVABLE.
And I sort of gaped and said nothing. But I got home and RANTED to my poor girlfriend and yelled at him through the miles that divided us. This guy had spent his formative years as a ROCK CRITIC!! And then became a genre writer! IF anybody should understand why playing writing police is bullshit, it should have been him. But instead he was an ass. FUCK YOU, DUDE, FUCK YOU A LOT.
One of my other professors later went on a rant about how “THEY” — this large and unidentified entity that included what seemed liked all media producers — didn’t want you to read or write. They wanted you to “watch movies and buy things and BLOG about it”.
I have literally never heard the word “blog” spit with more venom ever. No one will EVER yell “blog” with that much hate in their throat. I think I got some on me, actually. And it super a lot pissed me off. Like A LOT A LOT. Because you know what? Fuck you. Writing is writing. Writers have different processes and different kinds of writing has different processes but they are all WRITING and fuck you if you’re going to belittle one in order to raise up another.
ALSO, it’s not like book publishing and writing are fucking noble-ass pursuits! PEOPLE WANT YOU TO READ AND TELL PEOPLE ABOUT IT TOO SO THAT THEY CAN SELL MORE BOOKS. This is not a complicated idea. People make things and then sell them because they want to make money. If they didn’t, they’d put everything ON THE INTERNET FOR FREE. (People should be paid for their creative products. I am not arguing otherwise at all.)
I blog because I love writing. I love it. I like talking about myself and I like talking about dumb shit and serious shit. I LOVE THE INTERNET. I love the sense of community that comes from blogging. And fuck those guys and anyone else that doesn’t get it.
Anyway, I’m not mad. (LOL I AM REALLY NOT OKAY) But I saw someone having a crisis about whether they should keep blogging the other day because it wasn’t “real writing” and I got super bummed out because there are so many of us who have had to absorb that bullshit from other people and just laugh it off and pretend to be unmoved by our belittling.
Blogging matters, man. It’s instant, constant, and current. It’s often genuine and funny and honest. It fosters community and interaction and idiocy and genius and creativity. It keeps a whole lot of people WRITING. If I didn’t blog, I wouldn’t write nearly as much as I do now, I would’ve missed out on fiction ideas that came from the process of blogging. Blogging is writing and it matters and it’s awesome. THE END.
This isn’t a very thoughtul blog but I believe in it. BLOGGING MATTERS. And stuff. Also, if you have the desire to cry today, DO I HAVE A RECIPE FOR YOU.
Man, just put these sad ladies and their pianos on loop and you will cry and cry. You will be SO SAD. Can’t spell piano without PAIN.