Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lisa vs. The Blog

Should I admit that I set up this blog last September? I was excited about it, too. I knew what I wanted to name it. I knew how I wanted it to look. I knew the kinds of things I wanted to write about. All I needed to do was start.

But how does one start a blog? With an introduction, right? So if my blog was going to be about writing, then should my introduction be about my writing? Or should it be more personal? Or both?

Can we say “overthinking,” boys and girls?

I found myself staring at the blank page as an adversary, which rarely happens when I’m writing fiction. My little blog became my nemesis. It became The Blog.

Periodically I would recommit to the idea of blogging. Yes, it was time again to think about The Blog. It was time to write that first entry. I’d open up a blank document and write a line, maybe two, maybe even a whole paragraph. Sometimes I’d even start off feeling that high of inspiration. But it never took long for the resistance to set in, and eventually I’d put it aside for “tomorrow.”

So flash forward six months and then some, and I’m once again contemplating The Blog, still untouched, and the whole concept of, as a writer, how much do I reveal.

Now in all fairness to myself, it’s been a rough six months. I separated from my husband of 16 years and had to have Bandit, my faithful feline companion of 17 years, put to sleep after a prolonged illness. So I’m cutting myself some slack.

And due in part to the events of the past six months (and a few others prior to that), I also understand my resistance to The Blog. It’s the intimacy of blog writing and the fact that I’m an intensely private person.

I’m a fiction writer. My short stories have seen print in a number of small press and semi-pro publications over the last few years, so I’m no stranger to having my words read, and some of those stories have been quite personal for me in ways that people who know me may or may not recognize. But fiction, by its very nature, puts a comfortable distance between the writer and the story. In a short story or a novel, I’m not, after all, writing about myself. I’m not a writer whose fiction is thinly-disguised biography. You won’t find my life’s story in the pages of my fiction. Rather, the pieces of me that find their way into the arcs of my stories are more intangible.

I know some might argue--and rightly so--that there’s often more truth in fiction than not. Still, though the emotional core of a story might be drawn from real life, or maybe a theme, a subplot, some universal truth, ultimately the story itself is fiction.

A blog, though, well that’s an entirely different beast.

Still, the more I’ve thought about it, the more I believe that even a private person can have a blog. And, of course a blog doesn’t necessarily equate to a journal (though I do believe that a successful blog should have some degree of intimacy; otherwise, what’s the point?).

So I think perhaps my reticence itself should serve as the best introduction, a feeling-out of sorts into this whole new world of blogging, taking that first tentative step onto that thin ice before I’m ready to dance on it.

No comments:

Post a Comment