Writing and Reading, blogs and books

Untitled drawing

I have lost my way as a blogger. This site no longer gives me joy, and I’m not sure why or what to do about it. It is at the same time too public and not public enough. Too public for me to feel comfortable being too forthright. Not public enough for me to enjoy the profits of my labor.

Is it that I’m done with the midlife schtick? I feel as if I’m repeating myself, and what’s the point of that?

What is the point, actually? Of blogging, I mean. And I mean the question only for me.

Why continue?

Why do I still read those blogs I visit see regularly? I had to cross out visit because I don’t deliberately go to any blogs. They come to me, via e-mail. Where it is all too easy to pass them up like I do the ads. I just read three of the latest I received this weekend.

One was an illustrated picaresque  of the blogger’s walk with her dog. This is someone who I believe posts a full-fledged, well-written blog post every day. This too was well-written (not to mention full-fledged). And the dog is cute. But–it doesn’t fill me with any particular emotion, nor is it informational, so why bother?

Another post was also an illustrated photo, but the text this time was clearly fiction. The blogger was, I suspect, entertaining himself, and maybe showing off his fiction-writing, not to mention photography chops to the world. And he does have those chops.

The final post I read was–well, I’m not sure what these bloggers are up to. Their site is part travelogue and part advertorial and part, gee I’m not sure what. Alas for me, this combo is not one that makes me lust after their latest post.

So what am I reading these days, if not blogs? Books. Novels. Yes, I seem to have returned to my first love, and this after a many-year hiatus in which I practiced the profession of book-reading. That profession will quickly kill one’s love of reading, at least it did for me. But it just occurred to me that perhaps my antipathy isn’t typical. Perhaps it’s a function of my oppositional personality. You say I must do nothing but read, think and write about novels. Well, goddamit, I will soon hate the very things.

I just finished Admissions, by Jean Hanff Korelitz. I read her latest, You Should Have Known, last month. She writes a densely lived story, and one where the plotting is wild and wooly. Both of her protagonists are women who seem to be thriving, at least by society’s benchmarks, but in reality, they are stunted emotionally. I’m fascinated by that dichotomy and what a delicate balancing act Korelitz must do to bring it off.

I’ve returned to reading to see how the writer does it. For all those years when I practiced the profession of book-reading, I ignored the how of the writing to pay attention to the what was being said. Now I’m back to watching fiction writers write. Is it happenstance that two weeks ago, I delved into my archives and pulled out an unfinished story from twenty-odd years ago? Hah,I think not.


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