JUST WHAT THE FUCK IS A BLOG??? AND JUST WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING SHOOTING ALL OF MY LITERARY SQUIRTINGS INTO THIS WENCH???
The question of what a blog is can be answered differently by everyone who starts a blog. This is one of the joys/frustrations of this form of writing. I like the freedom granted trained writers like me, though this same freedom leaves me with enough rope to hang myself often, sometimes daily. I refer here to the kind of blather about daily banalities that fill a lot of blogs, mine included... though I tend to erase them. People who don't end up with blogs that are more diary than anything else. And as we all know, few pages of our diaries are interesting. Come on, admit it.... if your life was that interesting, you wouldn't be off by yourself scribbling your daily whinings, and records of how you felt about the days weather, how your pants fit, how much you want a hair cut. . .
I have basically derailed a novel to spend my time working on the shit in here. Not because I decided to let this happen, it has just kind of organically come up because I write in here a lot, and basically I shoot my wad.
On my first book, it was the center of my universe. My own personal Hitler or Jesus. I judged myself by this novel. Used to get up at three thirty in the morning to write before work and school. Used to make myself sit down and write no matter how I felt, though as often as not, I loved the idea of writing and the hours passed un noticed.
When the blog started, I was just going to put up my stories, poetry, and excerpts from my novel. Then I started just kind of writing letters to the general public. Eventually, since I do live a kind of monk-like life most of the time, I found my entries were often boring to the point of unreadible.
I erased a hell of a lot of them.
My solution to the lack of an 'interesting life' (a curse in China, as we humans would be well served to remember before going out and creating more of those 'interesting stories,' though we won't) came accidently. I decided to go back into my past to write tales from when I was more of a slut cab driver. This delving into my own past led me to creating a huge scandal in my family, which kept the blog way too interesting for a few long, long months. Between this and my old writing and my novel notes, the blog became a messy mix of this and that which was not consistently interesting enough.
Like the accident of circumstance that led me to writing a blog, my meeting a writer named Jason Pettus, who everyone should look up and read . . . the turn toward comedy that the blog has taken came up when I started a literary reading, and found that though I had been reading 'serious' poetry and literature for years, people liked my comedy better. Having a weekly show to perform for, which I did for like a year, and 'trying' not repeat myself, caused a flurry of writing. Now I have probably seventy nice little funny stories. They are rough in here, and some I would probably never try to publish anywhere except here, where I can let my hair down and eat potatoe chips and belch, etc... but they exist, and I trust that I write okay, so maybe something will happen with the words.
The original question -- what the fuck is a blog ? -- remains woefully unanswered. . . I know, I know, I know -- we had a contract, which started when I kind of promised I was going to define blogs.... but then I just ended up deconstructing the medium down to what happened with the progression of my blog.
I probably can't answer this question for anyone else, anyways... or at least not for anyone interesting.
I am allowing this blog to take over my writing life for various reasons that no doubt range from petty and ill convieved to noble and deluded. Some days this thing seems like the old journals I used to keep, which I eventually got so sick of that I tossed them -- despite a few good lines or whatever, they got very boring and even embarrassing in their descriptions of the minutia of my life. I was always upset over some bill. Year after year of worrying about bills... when I have always paid my utilites and rent, year after year for twenty five years, and still I wasted a shit load of time, not to mention I felt like total shit about this stuff, like a loser.
I now look at the elves attic as my magazine. The stuff I write could not be used by newspapers, and there are few underground magazines that cater to the punk sensibility. I could get the stuff in here published in the small presses, but I am tired of publishing in them. Seems like Vanity to me. I have a good record when it comes to getting stuff published -- I get in about 75% of the time. BUT... I was not exactly submitting to the New Yorker, you know? I stayed with the small presses, where there is no money at all to be made. I didn't send my stuff to the big magazines because deep in my heart I hate myself occasionally, and this side of me shades all of my thinking with doubt. . .
I ended up describing a blog, rather than defining one... maybe that is all one can do at this point in the infancy of this writing form? Definitions always lead to some kind of reductionism, anyways...
(for those who wonder, I will give an example of how I use 'reductionism:' you can't describe a person without leaving so much out that you end up making people whatever their job is or how attractive they are or their race or nationality or... all things that reduce humans, mis-represent them -- like anytime we get sloppy and rely on old myths to emotionally or intellectually prop up our thinking selves).
THOU SHALT NOT STEAL THE WRITINGS OF JOHN SCOTT RIDGWAY... YOU CAN EASILY GET PERMISSION FOR A NON COMMERCIAL REPRINT BY CONTACTING MY EMAIL.