Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Meta-blogging about talking about blogging

I had the great pleasure today to talk to students in Anne Dalke's "Emerging Genres" class about what it is I'm doing here at Geeky Mom. I was preceded by my esteemed colleagues, Kate of Syllabub and Tim of Easily Distracted. It's a tough act to follow since their writing is so much more polished than mine. I tend to literally slap things up here. Even though I do read things over before I hit "post", I don't worry too much about how things are phrased or what vocabulary I've used. Sometimes I see things that I kind of cringe over and I hit post anyway.

Anyway, I thought Anne's students asked some really interesting questions about who I think my audience is, what I write about and why. It's interesting because a lot of what's going on with the blog has a lot to do with my identity, both in the virtual and real world. We talked about, for instance, the way I may write about things that have to do with my job and whether those things get aired face-to-face in meetings or with my supervisors. They do, often, fyi. I said that sometimes I'm working out what I think so that when I get to the moment when I can present my ideas in person, I have put some thought into it. But sometimes, maybe, there isn't another forum for what I think except here. I don't know. The conversation gave me something to think about. I might, indeed, be hiding behind the blog sometimes.

People asked me if I've ever regretted anything I've written and I don't think I have, though I'm sure if I dug through here long enough, I'd find something that I wasn't too thrilled with. Someone also asked me about the time when I said I was going to step away from the blog for a while. I had forgotten about that. Those of us that have been blogging for awhile have doubts every once in a while. But it made me think about the balance between my online life and my "real" life that I have to maintain. I know many of you (I think) in real life, but I don't communicate with all my friends and family through the blog, so I need to make sure I'm maintaining those relationships as well. I actually consider some of what I do here--maybe most--work, so really that's about balancing work and family as much as anything.

One of the things that I think blogging gets us to think about, and here some theoretical apparatus might help, is the relationship between self and authorship, public and private as well as what a blog is as a genre or form of writing. At any rate, I'm grateful to Anne's students for the conversation and I hope it continues here and elsewhere.