A Year of Blogging


21 January 2010

I’m coming up on the one-year anniversary of this blog. (And I know this because WordPress reminds you that your annual fee is due).

If you’ve been reading from the beginning, you know how much angst I had about short-form blip writing. I still have it. Halfway through the year, I started writing for The Millions, where there’s a little more room for essayistic wandering, but the angst is still there; anything that gets written in a day, two days, always feels sub-standard to me. I read over what I’ve written both here and at The Millions and feel a certain kind of melancholy.

On the other hand, I’m finding that this space here is becoming a thinking place for the longer pieces at The Millions. For instance, this post is the thinking-out-loud stage for what I think will be an essay about struggling with short-form, and why (for now, anyway) I prefer the novel form. I am on deadline to complete a short story for publication, and as I work on the story, I already feel an onslaught of the writerly challenges that nudged me into writing a novel in the first place.

Is it useful to think out loud? Is it useful to witness someone thinking out loud? What is the value of all this fast-writing we do for public consumption? In other words, a year later, I seem to be asking pretty much the same questions I started out with…

I’ve been re-reading the masterful stories of Chekhov, who wrote quickly and voluminously.  It’s a good reminder.


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