Saturday, September 25, 2004

A Blogger's Debt

I predict that 2004 will be remembered as the Year of the Blogger, immortalized by a network of self-published forensic journalists who deconstructed lies and hoaxes accepted uncritically by the mainstream media. The bloggers of summer have colorful monikers like Buckhead, Hindrocket, Big Trunk, Beldar, Captain Ed, and The Elder. Some are known by the names their parents gave them, like Glenn, Hugh, Roger, Charles, Jonah, James and Jim.

I have a baby blog that I adore. Unlike a real baby, I leave this one alone for big chunks of time to work, to shop, to cook, even occasionally to get a decent night’s sleep. When my blog grows up, it wants to be The Corner. But right now it sleeps a lot and sometimes it makes a stinky mess.

When I arrive home each workday, I am greeted enthusiastically at the door by my husband, my son, my brother, Hershey the Republican Attack Dog, and Tigerlily the Fluffy Angel Cat. My family showers me with love and support – that is, when they’re not showering me with demands for conversation, affection and tasty vittles. A happy family is a work constantly in progress – the best work of my life. While I am busy wifing, mothering, sistering or working, I will have one of those clarifying thoughts that I wish I could share with the world, but some other political news junkie beats me to it. I don’t think my experience is all that special or uncommon.

Writing is one of many passions competing for my spare time and, although I envy full-time bloggers and greatly admire several of them, I am content to be a part-timer . . . for now. To be a well-informed blogger, one must be an avid reader of other blogs. I can’t help but marvel at the productivity of the high-traffic giants of the blogosphere. I wonder if they are blessed with awesome powers of organization or the kind of support system that fosters success. Some gratefully acknowledge their helpmates, the Fetching Missus or the Instawife, as they should.

Is it just random coincidence that the rightly famous bloggers who have become poster children for this new medium also share that Y chromosome? Unlike Ann Coulter, I do not disparage the intelligence of my gender. A few succinct words from Kathryn Jean Lopez can be as effective as prosaic paragraphs penned by her homeboys, who are some of the most talented writers of the blogosphere. I suspect, though, that K-Lo is a better editor because she is a woman. Many of us tend to nurture the gifts of others at the expense of our own.

I know well that anyone who loves a writer must be patient and flexible. The muse often strikes at the most inconvenient hour: when my husband wants me to go to bed at a very sensible 9:00pm, when my son is itching for a deep discussion of the day’s news, when my brother asks me at the last minute to print out maps and bus schedules. Even a part-time blogger like me needs help with time management.

Behind every successful blogger is someone who keeps our pajamas clean. So to speak.

No comments: