There are many ways that people seem to be using the medium of blogging. What I’ve been attracted to here is mostly the more creative and reflective blogs. By looking at them, I’ve learnt from what different folks have been trying to achieve through blogging. (In what follows, I’m not thinking of the informative, expository kind of blogs.)
For me, this is mainly an exercise in self-exploration to see where I might go with blogging myself. Looking at what other people are doing is a great way to learn and increase the possibilities of my own blog.
The journal blogs: These seem to to be written mostly to document the writing life of the blogger. A lot of these are about writer’s block, achieving weekly goals in writing, acceptances, rejections and some are, happily, about completion of big projects. Others are simply about the daily life of the person. These provide encouragement to the writer and others in the blogging community and often help overcome obstacles or relieve frustration.
The idea based/ creative style blogs: These are literary pieces in themselves. Some post excerpts from their fiction or episodes of their lives in memoir syle or just short, self-contained pieces that say something about the world around or respond to the world in some way. I like to read these a lot and have tried some myself. I think most such bloggers have larger projects they are working on and use the blog to gain exposure.
The craft blogs: These talk about technique, craft of writing and what people are doing in their own fiction, poetry or other kinds of writing. Unlike formal books, these are constantly evolving with the writer and therefore may not have a unified stance on these aspects of craft which make them more interesting to learn from.
The side-blogs: These are professional blogs of writers, educators, librarians (things that I’m interested in) which people keep on the side to talk about their main work. Students do this too hoping to have a body of work to show when they enter that profession or higher studies in that field.
Just blogs: These are just that. Blogs. A picture or a line or a moment that’s caught the writer’s fancy. These don’t have an end goal in mind. They embody the essence of the genre of blogging.
There are millions of other kinds of blogs out there. And really, any attempt to classify anything as diverse and amorphous as a blog is futile and could be counterproductive. But then, it’s also too easy to say this is my space and I can do what I will with this. Why do I need to think of a goal or an audience?
The only reason I’ve been thinking of types of blogs at all is because writing good blogs, just like writing anything else, takes time. Therefore, in order to do justice to the blog, its audience and myself, a goal might not be a bad thing.
There are accompanying anxieties too. For example:
- If all my good ideas turn into small nuggets and become blogs, will I have any left to follow through and develop into long pieces to put in elsewhere?
- If I streamline my ideas and fit a category, will I soon run out of ideas since my topics will get restricted?
- If I’m using the blog as a daily journal to get through writer’s block, is it providing me a false sense of productivity?
- If I think a craft technique is great right now and discover it’s not later on, will I have to eat my words in a public journal (the blog) later on?
- Is the time spent blogging justified considering that except for the fortunate few, anything one writes goes down into oblivion very, very soon after the publish button is hit?
Fortunately, blogs don’t need conclusions and this is about as much as I have today.