When I began blogging, I didn’t have a clue as to why I was doing it or what I would write about. I had an inkling of an idea. But ideas are fluid—they begin as something and morph into something else as they mature. As time goes along, they reveal themselves as something else again. And again.
An idea is just that—a seed of something else, hopefully better and greater than its first glimmer.
I’m still not sure what my blog is but I do know one thing. Blogging takes time. I’m not one to spit out a post in ten minutes. I write, read, edit, and search for interesting pictures and/or music to accompany a post. If I can’t get it “right,” (in my terms of right) then I won’t post. End of story.
I thought I’d share my fiction writing on my blog, but I don’t and I’m not sure why that is. I share it with a few people, outside of the blogosphere instead. I submit work and hope for acceptance instead of rejection. I’ve had the good fortune to be paid for writing nonfiction/business writing at times. But fiction is a whole different animal and much more difficult. That’s what I’m going for now. That’s what I want.
The flash fiction I see others doing, well, let’s just say keeping anything at 100 words is excruciating for me to accomplish. I greatly admire those who can.
What Are We Doing?
I try to inspire, enlighten or make light of a life situation through blogging. After reading over some of my posts, I think I succeeded greatly—sometimes, and failed miserably, others.
I’m currently reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night. I’m not sure it’s writing that would be popular now. It takes concentration, focus, and a devotion to the prose and process. It takes time. You can’t scan this book and make a quick quip about it. At least I can’t. How could I sum this up in 140 characters on Twitter and give it justice?
There are flowery descriptions. Some words are crafted so beautifully that it makes my heart flutter a bit because I realize that this was written with a fierce dedication. An everyday-look-at-a-blank-page-until-the-words-come laser focus and a talent that is honed through dedicating one’s self to the task at hand.
I’m only forty pages in and I’ve had to reread some passages because of all that descriptiveness. But I appreciate it for its tenacity, the effort it took to write it.
According to one bio of Fitzgerald, this book wasn’t successful upon its release. The Great Gatsby, which I read in high school, was his claim to fame, but none of his work became “great” until after his death. He died at 44 and his characters and their lives bear strong resemblances to the person he was and his own life. He was educated (Princeton), wealthy, a playboy, and suffered from depression.
In Tender is the Night, he writes passages like: “…arranging an umbrella to clip a square of sunlight off Rosemary’s shoulder…” and describing leaves and petals as “curled with tender damp.
And this: “Knotted at her throat she wore a lilac scarf that even in the achromatic sunshine cast its color up to her face and down around her moving feet in a lilac shadow.”
There’s just so much of this. This took time. This took thought, reflection, and insight.
Fearing that my writing here is moving past the point of too lengthy for a blog post, I’ll sum up.
What has blogging done for me? I believe that it’s helped me become a better writer. Blogging requires one to dedicate a period of time to putting something down on paper, so to speak. What it doesn’t do, at least in my opinion, is encourage one to take time to really explore the craft and process of what writing is, or I should say, what it once was.
Maybe I’m the one who needs to learn. At the risk of sounding old-fashioned, out of it and not relying on Twitter feeds to learn about trends, I prefer to absorb words and the time it takes to crafting a story at a slower pace.
And, those passages that make my heart flutter at the beauty of them, I’ll read again and again. In doing so, they become a part of me. I think that’s what a writer wants when they put pieces of themselves out “there,” in a story—it’s immortality—it’s magic.
Has blogging made you a better writer? Why do you blog? What’s your average time spent writing a post? What good books have you read lately that have resonated with you or made you reread passages just to relive them and feel them again?
Do you think it’s necessary that a writer, budding and/or experienced, engage in blogging and other forms of social media? Why?
Am I asking too many questions?
While you’re contemplating this, listen to the Great Satchmo. Wildly popular during F. Scott Fitzgerald’s time.