why i’m not posting
Paradox of blogging. When I justify – generally to myself but sometimes to others – the fact that I write this blog, generally my argument takes this shape: that the blog is helpful because it takes inchoate ideas, random reflections garnered in reading this or that, and forces me to follow through to a claim about them. In other words, the temptation to make a post of a thought moves distracted thinking through to un-distracted concentration. Time and again, I’ve found an argumentative line where there was nothing more than a passing fancy.
But here’s the paradox. I’m garnering a little more writing work lately, which of course makes more writing work easier to garner, as you can parade around your CV bonafides like a journalism membership card. But what happens when this happens is a sort of doubling-over of, or doubling-down on, the logic described above. Random thought turns into incipient blogpost, but then incipient blogpost becomes potential article for pay and in print.
This happened today, early this morning. I was working on a long post based on this article, when I realized that the thing I was doing had the reasonable potential to be a properly publishable piece. And so I stopped short, post nearly done, and wrote instead an pitch for the world-leading art magazine (as my department’s impact statement has it – and they’re not wrong!) that I sometimes write for. We’ll see what happens – I’d be thrilled to write this up for them. But it does fuck the blog a bit. Increasingly, when I think I’m onto something good, I keep it off of here. For instance, there’s this great idea I have for a piece about DFW, totally blogable, but…. It’ll never see the html.
My plan is to drop the pseudonymity at least by January 2011, right after my probation hearing – in which case, generally speaking, I’ll be able to link to published work and then all will be good and I won’t feel guilty about selling out my readers and being in general a bad blogger of the old and pure school. (There are funny stories to tell about the pseudonymity too – like the one about how I’d do my department good, again on the “impact” side of the REF, if I’d cop to having a blog… But… It’s a bit more complicated than that, isn’t it?)