Open Letter: An Anti-Bloggers Manifesto Blog-List. Thanks to Becky Tuch and the Grubstreet Blogging class for their backing on this one.
Blogging is democratic, economically fair, a powerful tool for social and political change, a way to make intellectual and artistic connections, and today I learned it is a way to improve exercise habits. Despite all this, I do not want to blog. And despite not wanting to blog, I'm blogging anyway. At least for a while. Here's why:
1. The world is going on-line. The world does not look each other in the eye anymore. We look each other in the eye online now. I am blogging to look you in the eye. To shake hands through pixels.
2. I am blogging because I fear death. I'm getting older. Long ago, I learned to write with a pencil. More and more people are younger than me now. The kids all write with pencils very poorly. If I want to be part of the New World, I have to write on a keyboard. I have to tap tap tap and then press send. Hope that someone sees, that the receiving brain translates my dots and dashes into something like the sound of my voice.
3. I am blogging because humans are herding animals. We hate to be left alone on the Savanna. When you are left alone on the Savanna, a lion eats you. I don't want to be eaten, therefore I blog.
4. I am blogging because I have maternal instincts. I don't have children so perhaps I have extra maternal build-up. I have written these stories. They are my babies. I want my babies to go to Harvard, just like every other Mom in the world. If I want my kids to go to Harvard, all the publishing blogs say I must blog. It's like scrubbing toilets. I'll do anything for my kids.
5. I am blogging as an expression of gratitude. My publisher changed my life by accepting my book, and my publisher's viability depends on book sales. My publisher wants me to blog. They want me to have "a social media platform." I love my publisher (though I have never met them eye-to-eye). The publisher and me, we are in this Together. I am all for Teamwork. I want to make my publisher happy, sort of like making dad or mom happy. So I am blogging, I admit, also with a childish instinct.
6. As a fiction writer, I'm comfortable expressing myself as a character, not as myself. It was told once that each person must have a certain distance, some amount of "insulation," from the subject. If the subject is the Sun, some people can write about the Sun from Mercury, while others must retreat to Pluto. If a person writes about the Sun from Saturn, she might blog best in form of parodies, jokes, lies and other fraudulent settings. What does it matter if the thing is Fact, if the thing is True?
7. I have been political in my life, spoken out for many things, with joy and enthusiasm. If I can find a way to be indirect, perhaps with Fish Obits or Manifestos, then this blogging thing might catch on.
Fish Obit #827
If you would like to contribute a fish (or reptile) obituary to this blog, please post a comment below with the basics.
Robin McLean also blogs at Mike's Maze.