Tuesday, December 09, 2008


A moment of idleness finds me -- done teaching and finals aren't until Thursday and Friday. Of course I have a billion things to do that have piled up for various reasons, but I can actually draw breath for a moment and reflect on how to fill my one month break with a massive load of work.

Of course, a lot of it is already filled with holiday celebrations and travel (have to go to MLA to interview candidates for my department), so there might actually be about two weeks "free" -- and yes, today I already need to use to order my spring texts (long overdue), catch up on web updates for a couple of organizations, schedule some interviews for Prose at the Rose, and oh, about a million other things.

Naturally, I'm instead thinking about Twitter and its effect on blogging. Seems like every one is "so over" blogs. Twitter, for those of you who don't recognize the Fail Whale, is microblogging. You have a limit of 140 characters to blip your thoughts. Suits a lot of people who have things to say, but don't ramble on like your average blogger (e.g. moi). There's also Facebook, of course, which allows people to waste as much time as they do on MySpace but without all the hideously ugly clutter and endless ads.

All of which makes me wonder how much time I ought to be investing in blogging -- is it worth doing anymore? Especially with three blogs (since I am a glutton for punishment), I'm beginning to sense a law of diminishing returns. Part of this is the lack of interaction here (i.e. few comments but spam), but I'm also thinking about these issues for the conference next June and the grad class in the spring where we'll be exploring the effects of new media and Web 2.0 interfaces.

I just don't know. Given my obsessive need to write, it's always good to have an outlet, but I'm beginning to think I'm a tree falling in the forest with no one to hear it. I'm no Stephen Fry after all.


CL said...

It's what you're looking to accomplish, I guess.

I have two blogs...one on MySpace that is there for no other reason but to waste time and have fun. The other is specifically for my on-going scholar-related project.

I have a third blog, but it's only for class, and when the semester ends, so will the blog. I'm forced to update it every week, and you know something? If you have nothing to say, it's tough to fill.

I don't like writing for the sake of writing...because writing is a chore. I will admit that blogging has made me a better writer...at least technically. But if I didn't HAVE to do it, I wouldn't.

But where you make your living as a writer, that's a different story. Writing is important to you as a profession, so you write where and when you can. It's only natural...

And who says you have to have feedback all the time? Who are you trying to reach with your blogs? Do you get feedback from traditional publishing all the time? Are we conditioned by Internet to satisfy our instant gratification? I see people comment on this blog often...maybe not for every entry, but people do comment.

Anyway, just my two cents...

PS...please don't give up The Mangrove Legacy...like a soap opera, I need to know what happens next!! :-)

C. Margery Kempe said...

LOL -- thanks, Cranky. I must admit, I'm very curious about what happens next in The Mangrove Legacy, too. ;-)

I guess you're probably right about the "instant feedback" expectations -- that's the thing about FB and Twitter and such, there's always something new to distract you.

I realise writing is more of a chore for you. I just can't help doing it. Although it is often a struggle, it's one I am compelled to undertake.

I think part of my dissatisfaction is that I'm re-evaluating my current writing goals and like house-cleaning, there's a tendency to want to chuck everything out. I may just need to let the feeling pass.

But thanks for your input! I don't always have the most perspicacious view of my own writing.

Crispinus said...

I would be sad to see this blog go -- I like to hear what's up with a good friend, and I think overall that WW amounts to an impressive body of work, one that deserves to keep growing.

Not to mention that:

(1) the thought of Twitter-ing and the idea of getting a tweet any moment, even as a welcome distraction, scares the bejeezus out of me; and

(2) I've begun to neglect my own blog again -- it's that time of the semester. But my inspiration for starting -- and sometimes even maintaining my blog -- has been this one. But hearing you tweet won't inspire me to sing a reply!

Anonymous said...

I, too, would be sad to see your blog go, and The Mangrove Legacy, which is keeping me in suspense these days! I know I don't comment often but I do read. Writing is not easy for me but having a blog does force me to try. I do love the connections it has made for me. I'm not interested in Twitter or Facebook which seem too much like chit chat, something I'm not good at.

C. Margery Kempe said...

Thank you, Crispinus and Marja-Leena. I'm really surprised and pleased to know there are still readers. I guess I was trying to convince myself that there wasn't really an audience here.

I certainly don't find Twitter or Facebook a replacement for blogging, but I had suspected that others were more caught up in those spheres to be much interested in this. I tend to use tweets for more "throw away" things and to follow people who don't blog -- though come to think of it, the people I follow also tend to do blogs and FB or MySpace as well.

LOL -- maybe I just needed to feel the love! Well, thanks -- I do. I'm especially pleased to know there's two readers of The Mangrove Legacy. Some Sundays I feel it's a pain, but mostly it's just a hell of a lot of fun.

The Queen said...

Keep the blog, Kate! We are all too easily seduced by the new, shiny things out there. Your gratification may not be so instant, but we do comment and we like your blog!
FB is a different type of time-suck, and having to take a little more time to put your thoughts down is not a bad thing.

(And I will personally hand you your ass if you drop this blog as you insisted I start one!)

C. Margery Kempe said...

LOL -- I should have known you'd take the hard line, QoE. Yes, yes, all right! I won't stop. I was just turning over the thought in my head. I think it is all part of the house-cleaning impulse -- end of the term and all, ready to chuck things out sort of mood.

But I won't! It's a keeper!