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What everyone should know about...

I've seen a couple of links recently to the nonist "public service pamphlet" on blog depression, "the more insidious, prolonged strain of dissatisfaction which stays with a blogger, right below the surface, throughout a blog’s lifetime." Definitely worth a read, if only for the fact that I suspect we all go through this kind of stuff on a regular basis.

For a more optimistic take, though, esp for those of us in academia, I recommend Alex's recent post on scholarly blogging:

So, The Scientist writes up a story that says “This has the potential to change the world, why aren’t more people doing it?? and the answer is contained right there in the question. This has the potential to change the world, and not everybody loves world-changing. Those who do are probably already blogging.

There's not a lot that I have to add to Alex's account, because his three reasons are pretty darn close to my own. I've thought a little recently about how I feel less inclined to evangelize about blogs. One possible reason for this is that I think I feel pretty secure in how blogging has fit into my own writing ecology. It doesn't make sense to me anymore not to do it, but I'm not so far gone that I can't see how it might not be for everyone. But I say that guardedly, because I still believe that the habits I've developed here are crucial for success as an academic writer. I still believe that there's a shift in the kind of writing that we do in graduate school, a shift from the event-based model of the seminar paper to the process-based model of the dissertation, and that blogging has helped me continue to develop my skills at the latter kind of writing.

This is not meant to be a blanket claim about how bloggers write better dissertations, books, or even articles, but it's probably at least a hypothesis. When I'm not writing here, it's because I'm writing emails or working on a manuscript, but the thing that blogging has helped me to accomplish is that writing is something I do every day. The event model encourages us to decide whether to write (until the "night before" arrives, at least), while blogging has helped me instead to think about what to write. And as a writing teacher and scholar, it makes a tremendous amount of sense to me that writing itself is no longer a question, but a given.

I've accrued all sorts of benefits as a result--new friends, new colleagues, better contact with people old and new, new ways to think about things, advice, sympathy, accountability, visibility, etc.--but all that is gravy. It makes me a better writer, and that's good enough for me.

Okay, so maybe I'm not quite past the point of evangelism...

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» To Blog-finity and beyond... from Something Requisitely Witty and Urbane
Collin has a great post up which kind of addresses the dual nature of blogging, specifically when blogging becomes something that you don't always enjoy as much as you did early on. Most of the time this is temporary, even [Read More]

Comments

AMEN! (I think I done caught the vapors.)

Seriously, though, Collin, I never really thought about the event/process distinction you discuss. It makes a lot of sense. Write on, bro.