Thursday, May 7, 2015

Why I (still) blog

Fresca said that she’d like to read responses to this question: Why do you (still) blog? The adverb suggests, rightly, that it’s a little archaic to write this way. As I joked in a 2013 post, blogging feels so early-twenty-first-century. And older still, reaching back to the commonplace book and daybook.

I began writing here as a way to collect items useful in teaching — when such items began turning up more often online than in print. And then my purpose and my readership began to widen. I now think of Orange Crate Art as Philip Whalen thought of his poetry: “a picture or graph of a mind moving.” (But I’m not comparing myself to Philip Whalen.) To write in this daily way is to make a record of preoccupations, questions, habits of attention, associations of ideas. It’s all personal, but in the spirit of illustration rather than confession, snapshots along the way. And it’s all factory direct. No middleman, or -person.

I (still) blog, and I still write letters (with a fountain pen), and I still wear an analog watch (Timex). That fewer and fewer people do so makes no difference to me. My writing practice here is, to use a Van Dyke Parks phrase, of supreme unimportance . One can read that phrase with emphasis on the third word or the second.

comments: 9

Rachel said...

Hip Hip Hooray!

Zhoen said...

Oh, yes, I do like the unimportance of it all. Unpretentious and direct, aimless and engaging.

For me, beats collecting some obscure artifact.

Chris said...

Strangely enough, some of us equally perversely continue to read what you write!

Anonymous said...

I check your blog every so often. I enjoy reading your lines.


Fresca said...

"so early-twenty-first-century"
Ha! Exactly.
Thanks for writing about this.

And yes to blogging being like snapshots and commonplace books.

But for me it also was about the public back-and-forth with other bloggers, which I do miss now that fewer people blog.
Come to think of it, odd to say, blogging feels a little more... private these days.
Of course that's an illusion, but the handful of people who regularly blog and comment alongside me is so small compared to the 250 "friends" I had on FB. (But you actually never know who all's out there.)

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks, everyone, for your comments. I, too, like the possibilities of community, or coterie. I’m Nobody! Who are you?

Fresca said...

I am Fresca's blog on view,
Pray tell me sir, whose blog are you?

Michael Leddy said...


Diane Schirf said...

Very few read mine except students trying to plagiarize book reviews, but still I soldier on.