I've spent the past hour analyzing the blogs of strangers. An assignment. And although I have nothing to say, here I am--exhausted, but feeling obligated to write having not posted for a couple of days.
Looking at blogs has got me thinking about Walter Ong and his theory on the fictional construct of audience. This blog began, for me, as motivation to write on a regular basis. Actually, I began writing for myself. No one had my address and no one knew I was writing here. Then I gave my link to a friend. I knew it meant my writing would go public. I told myself I would write everyday and since others would be reading it, this was my motivation to keep going with it. Even so, at the time I my only real imagined reader was her. Simple. We were used to writing long winded e-mails to each other. But over time various people told me, "hey I read your blog." My fictitious audience has grown more complicated--grown into a diverse group of people. I find that I censor myself more than I did in the beginning. I think this ties in with the notion that we are a myriad of selves. We are one way with our friends, another with our parents, another with co-workers, ect ect... you get the point. But this is for anyone to see. So what do I include and what do I omit? It gets perplexing at times and I end up not writing anything. Or... I go back to my paper and pen to record those secret little thoughts I sometimes want to express.
My fictional audience has grown slightly out of control. It's frustrating and thought provoking all at the same time. Then you add the comment option and it adds a whole new slant to blog writing. It becomes "conversation" rather than simply personal journaling. hmmm... interesting.
It leads me to wonder what other people think about me, about my writing. Fictionalizing once again. It's one thing to get bored with myself. It's another thing to start worrying if others are too. Oh the tedium of our everyday thoughts. What is this strange fascination we have with it? What have I gotten myself into anyway? My writing has traveled a long way from the guarded notebooks that I filled like a maniac. A private writer gone public. Have I no shame?
So Walter... what do you have to say about blogs? I'm curious. Did you ever imagine such a thing?