Monday, July 11, 2005

blogging as lentil stew

In her 8th Sunday after Pentecost Sabbath Journal, Nancy Nordenson asks (in response to reading Genesis 25:19-34 - the story of Esau selling his birthright to Jacob for a pot of lentil stew):

What exchanges or tradeoffs have I made in my life? At the time, have I been conscious of the exchange? On what basis have I made my exchange decisions? What have been the long term effects of these exchanges?
I sometimes wonder if self-publication by means of blogging hasn’t in some ways been my pot of lentil stew as a writer. The image of a blog satisfying certain hungers – for control, quick feedback, relationships with readers to name a few – certainly fits.

What is given up?
- Time. Blogging takes time away from what I could otherwise spend on possibly lucrative projects (that ‘possibly’ is always the stickler. So many other variables here though and no guarantees).
– The ability to be patient. Blogging makes me impatient – with the traditional writing, submitting, and publishing process.
- The carefree ‘who cares what people think’ attitude.
- The honed piece. Though I know that to write something I am happy with has always taken me time, sometimes days to weeks of re-reading and editing, blogging militates against that. It has a trigger finger mentality.

I wouldn’t say I was conscious of these exchanges when I started blogging. They are things that showed up as I went along.

Fortunately, my exchange of ‘blogging for real writing’ (although who’s to say blogging isn’t real writing) isn’t permanent or irrevocable. On any day, I can delete my blog – or stop submitting my writing to more traditional media for that matter – and reverse this exchange.

The germ of the reason I haven’t chosen to do that is in Nancy’s last question: ‘What have been the long-term effects of these exchanges?’ Because that’s what I don’t know. One effect I’ve noticed is that blogging is making me a quicker-thinking writer. But I’m still not sure about where this is all going and what is its value in the coin of eternity.


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