As I delve further and further into the world of blogging, I’m continually struck by what people do not include in their blogs as much as I am by what they do include. Some bloggers will write about their personal lives, others abstain. Some manage to “write” up the middle, sprinkling their blogs with enough anecdotes to produce interest while not bogging the reader down with TMI.
Here lies the essence of good blogging. Readers expect some regularity with blog posts – it’s what makes one blog distinct from another. Yet blog writing is inherently a different sort of writing. It’s supposed to be written casually, but not flippantly. Smart, but not cold.
I’m on the verge of digressing, so let me get to my point. On a blog that proposes to be about writing, what do you do about the writing that takes place outside of the blog? Is it enough for me to merely describe the essays I’m writing for class? Will the reader care about my novel if I only write about its development, not plot?
Yet including writing samples on blogs poses several risks. For one, creative writing that hasn’t been published yet exists in a nebulous region of public and private. I’m writing for public consumption but the writing isn’t ready for prime time (thus, kept private). My academic writing will eventually be presented at conferences, in journals, and eventually in a dissertation. By posting it in a casual space like a blog, I risk that it won’t be taken seriously by academics. At the same time, the blogosphere (is it still called that?) is supposed to be a forum for ideas to be shared freely.
What do you think? How do you feel about writing blogs that post works in progress?