The Perils of Blogging

Maud Newton has a personal statement about blogging well worth reading. Let me quote her:

Until now I’ve resisted the urge to post about the purpose of it, for several reasons. First of all, there are few things more tedious to me than musings on a weblog about the weblog itself. What‘s more, I pay for this site. I don’t profit from it. And I’m accountable to no one for what I post here . . . With all due respect, and pardon me for repeating myself, this site is the product of my obsessions, capricious whims, and questionable judgment. No one pays me to post here, nor I do expect anyone to pay me. I’ve never promised anything more than “occasional literary links, amusements, politics and rants.” And if I’ve failed to deliver on that score, well, sorry–but so what?

True, true. The tension for me, however, has always been between blogging for personal reasons and blogging as an interactive communication tool. I am far less reserved about naval gazing I will admit (see here) but it is not just because I am melancholy and self-referential. It is because I like to communicate with people. Having visitors, especially ones that leave comments or link to posts, means that I am communicating with people. I am not a writer driven to write even if no one is reading. I want to interact.

When I started this site I wanted to have a place about books and ideas, a place a little more serious than my personal blog. This would be a place to work on my writing and to post more in depth reviews. The problem is that, as Maud noted, one begins to feel the pressure to post regularly and intelligently about the subject of your blog (in this case books) in order to draw readers and get linked, etc. The more you give into this pressure the more the thing feels like work. Scouring the web looking for good links and interesting news is hard work if you have a day job that doesn’t overlap. It is hard not to want to be the hip/cool/informed blog on the block.

But let’s face it, I am never going to be the hippest/coolest/most current blog. I love to read and enjoy sharing my opinions. That is really the long and short of it. So, inspired by Maud, I am simply going to read books, articles, essays, and the like and report back my thoughts as best I can. If readers like the idea and decide to visit in droves, great. If no one cares, well that sucks but so be it.

BTW, I have at least half a dozen book reviews to write and post after a busy week of vacation reading. So if you are interested please stop by later.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).