I keep being told that I should have a blog. I’m pretty sure that this is because people are too polite to tell me I’m talking too much. Or because I have days where I treat my Facebook page like a Twitter feed and people are tired of seeing my face on their scrolls.
I’ve resisted the idea because I’ve always wondered what I would make it into. Should I write about parenting? About writing? About politics or religion? About food? About film and television? I like to talk about all these things, and lots of the blogs I read are specialized. I often wonder if I can maintain one, much less several, and my interests wax and wane in intensity. So I’m not going to specialize.
I’ve also resisted the idea because if I am sitting down to write something, it should be something that either does, will, or may get me paid, because that’s what I do, and my writing time already feels limited. I mentioned to a pilot friend of mine that it would be like a commercial airline pilot taking his or her precious day off to go fly a private or personal plane around. Could he imagine them doing that?
His response was, “Well, yeah, if they really loved to fly.”
And I do like to write, and I like to learn. I learned HTML back in the mid 90s and let that skill slip away. Maybe I’ll practice here. I used to write a lot more poetry back in the day. Perhaps I’ll post that here. But what I do know is that whatever appears in these columns will be specialized and unified by the fact that they will be things I love. It may be about a new recipe one day followed by a critical analysis of a memoir the next day and a rant about the Twins the day after.
So why do it in a blog? Because I know that I have had many, many ideas that I later incorporated into later works, writings, and practices that I came to only after free writing in modes like this, modes that I mostly moved away from once I had a steady stream of work to do and get paid for. And if I do it just for myself, in a non-public, unaccountable way, I might not get back to it.
So welcome to the mess. Don’t worry about taking off your shoes.