Yesterday I was the guest something (speaker, reader, killer of time?) in my friend Anna Kazumi Stahl’s NYU (Buenos Aires campus) writing class. A student asked me about blogging, if I got anything professionally from it, what it’s value might be to a writer, things like that. She was a pretty girl wearing a short dress and big cowboy boots.
Blogging is partly nothing more than a distraction. Something akin to watching TV when there isn’t anything else to do.
What is its value, really?
Through blogging I have encountered interesting people I have never met, and whose existence otherwise would have been non- in my world. Here are some of them in random order.
Brad Green. One of my original readers. Brad is one of the best of the young (meaning he’s a lot younger than I am) writers of literary fiction I have encountered. Remember this name, because you will be buying his books one of these days (and trying to remember what odd place you first heard about him).
And check out his blog. It is often wild.
Box Office Girl. Her name is Tracey. Next to Brad, probably been around reading this blog since the beginning. She lives in England and we occasionally have a lively correspondence by email. Understandably, given the often crude reality of Cyberspace and that she has children, she does not post a photo of herself, or much personal information. Tracey concentrates on playwriting, and has a life connected with the theatre.
Nicole, from Meditations in an Emergency, now in hiatus while Nicole thinks about things. You can read about her hiatus on her blog. Nicole is more of an artist, to whom writing is just another of the forms of expression that intrigue her. Were I a young man again, and without commitments, I would chase Nicole relentlessly.
Although I would have to go to Hong Kong to do it. There are worse places to chase a pretty young woman.
Rose Hunter. The title of Rose’s blog is suited to Rose: Whoever brought me here has to take me home. Rose has a life, and it is described and considered through her poetry; she is a published poet. She is also the editor of a poetry journal, the link to it is on her blog.
Next year I intend to meet Rose.
Cari Luna. Cari writes Dispatches from Utopia. She is also a novelist (and mother, and knitter, and cooker, and gardener, and lately activist). She could not have made up a better name than her real one.
Cari has a fine agent and a just finished manuscript, so you can expect to read one of her novels soon.
There are others, but these are the ones I think of as regulars. There are also bloggers I have met, a few I know rather well, but this is about the ones I have not met and only know as a result of the blog.
There is one other who belongs with this group, and although we have met, it was just once, briefly and in passing, a couple of years ago in Boulder, Colorado.
Court Merrigan. Court has a novel going around, but appears to be concentrating for a while on short fiction, some of which has been recently published. He also has a fun habit of writing about his rejections.
Court lives way up there in the high plains, and place permeates his writing. He also teaches.
So, pretty girl with the short dress and big brown cowboy boots, other than the TV-like distraction of it, this is pretty much what blogging is worth.