Ernesto recently wrote:
If you are going to have a blog, commit to it. Blogging, in my view, implies a responsibility. The blog makes me write. The blog, the new "papel máquina", opens up the previously-private process of writing."
Ernesto's rant was, well, ranty, but really well taken. I think he's talking about writing-as-praxis and the blogsphere as yet one more place to practice. Yet, like him, I find blogs that are sometimes just daily diaries of events and happenings, a way to connect to others, usually friends, too far away for a phone call (or perhaps too numerous?) Other times they are elaborate near-zines, daily columns critiquing the often maddening world we live in. Still yet, there are fan blogs and rant blogs. The focus is entirely author-based tinged with a sense of marketing, answering the questions -what do I want to say and how can I say it so others will read and perhaps even respond to it?
At least, that's what I think the gap is pointing to...gaps and spaces - these are the topics of my brainpan of late.
I'm a slow writer. I type really, really fast, but I write, really really slow. I once met a successful SF novelist who had the same affliction. Her whole day was about writing and she needed several pads of paper and numerous pencils around her house to be sure to jot down bits and pieces of story that would meander her way throughout the day. To sit down and write for hours like Stephen King and such was not so much antithetical to her as it was incomprehensible.
I find that I'm the same...I write throughout the day, even when I'm not actually typing or even jotting down words. Themes and stories run around in my head. Angles of essays, implications of social theories, applicability of assumptions/beliefs all just dance around, and I wait for them to congeal into something that might resemble a readable thing.
Gaps and spaces. Yeah, so gaps...gaps are the things we see or sense or experience that don't fit the 'norm,' the expected flow of things. Gaps can be small, like a misunderstanding between lovers about the proper way to put a roll of toilet paper on the spindle. Gaps can spur invention, like the problem of transporting thing A to point B, and we have a thing called a wheel which becomes a wagon which becomes a truck which becomes a plane. Gaps can be violent, like this social disease we call racism and it's cousin poverty.
When emotion is added, tough emotions like anger and fear, the gaps become huge and unmanageable, but they can also spur on the energy for change - couples learn to communicate better, new tools are manufactured, and underrepresented/invisible groups band together and become a voice to be reckoned with. Gaps, then, become spaces.
Space, as a word, is roomy, to me, and lacking the sense of loss 'gap' carries. Space for critique, space for understanding, space for equity, space for compassion. Space acknowledges that what can be viewed as a disconnection can be seen as an opportunity instead, a place for positive change, a place for healing.
Blogs are spaces that often point to/reveal gaps in our social/economic/spiritual/
intellectual/political/etc systems. And as such provide places to practice methods to address the gaps.
I don't know that I agree that bloggers have a responsiblity to regularly practice their craft in the blogsphere, but I suspect that bloggers do take their vocation, the ability to identify gaps and create space, seriously.
It just may take some of us longer than others to finally get that all down on the page.
Addendum: More discussion is also happening at Okir Thanks for hosting, Jean, and thanks to all who've responded.