Thursday, November 22, 2007

If a Tree Falls.....

If a blog is posted on the web and nobody reads it, does it matter? I have been mulling this question for awhile. Writing a blog is a bit of a paradox. It satisfies the writing urge, but you never really know…

Blogs provide a temporary therapeutic outlet for writers. If you have the urge to write and a correspondent need to GET IT OUT THERE, hitting the PUBLISH button is immensely, albeit only momentarily, satisfying. There! You think to yourself, I have PUBLISHED my blog post! The operative word in that statement is PUBLISH.

Moby Dick serves as the ultimate writer’s metaphor. Once you make the decision to put stuff down on paper (or into Microsoft Word) you can’t deny you have the urge to publish something, ANYTHING! But, like Ahab in Moby Dick, you ride alone on the vast ocean of the written word, hoping to spear a periodical that will accept the submission you sent six months ago. It isn’t easy, however. They dare you to write enough stories to BE ABLE to publish something. You have to have a stable of stories because, for the most part you can’t send your story to any other periodical because they don’t accept simultaneous submissions.

Let's say you have written five really good, polished, finished stories. This means you can only send it to five publications. Each publication takes a minimum of three months, usually six to reject you. Can you see where I am going here? You will be 86 before you can make the rounds of a modest list of publications. Your heirs will receive your final rejection notice or if you are really lucky, they will receive 10 complementary copies of the publication and the honor of telling everyone their dead mother’s short story will be published in the next issue.

You begin to develop a criminal mind. Yes, criminal. You say to yourself, “How will they know this is a simultaneous submission? What are the chances of all ten literary magazines accepting this story?” And so, you defy the carefully bolded submission guideline, that looks and sounds sinister “No Simultaneous Submissions….” You begin to dissemble…deceitfulness enters your writing habit.

Blogging is like being a shopaholic. You receive a momentary rush when you boldly PUBLISH what you have written. It feels like buying a new chatzka for the house. It comes perfectly packaged; the bag the shop owner places it in is crisp and new. Once you return home with your darling purchase you take the item out of the bag, which you carefully save as a reminder of the chatzka shop. You flit about the house, placing the chatzka here and there, you step back, you admire it, you feel a rush of contentment and tell yourself it is enough. Like Yahweh on the seventh day, you can rest. You have enough and you don’t need to ever buy another thing.

And then a week goes by and then a month. The rush is gone. Something is missing inside, you need something fun to happen , you are low, maybe you burned your oatmeal that morning or had to pump gas and the nozzle dribbled on your best pair of shoes so you smell like gas all day. What can you do? SHOP!!! Yes! You tell yourself “I’ll just look around, that’s all!” And the whole cycle starts over again.

Blogging is like that. Only instead of shopping, you write something. You bold the parts you want to emphasize, you lean back and make sure it looks fine on the screen, you move bits around with the mouse, you cut and paste. Finally, like Goldilocks, it looks JUUUUUSTTTT RIGGGHHHHTTT and you PUBLISH it. I just love that part, the PUBLISH part….can you tell?

But then, time goes by. You have a bad day. What to do? Write! Yes! Write something, work on that short story that has been rejected, add a creep or a big hearted prostitute! That will get their attention! That will make them want to accept your simultaneous submission, besides, since you added the creep and the prostitute, it isn’t simultaneous anymore! What if you change the first sentence! Make it “pop” as they say.

But you end up doodling around because you just don’t like to write creeps and prostitutes and you decide instead to comment on the immediate present, Maybe you have read something somewhere that makes you feel crazy like some wacky judge who just released a serial sex offender. You type a few hundred lovely words! You turn it into a blog post, you hit the publish button… You feel as if you have accomplished something…

But, if you publish a blog on the web and nobody reads it, does it exist?

Google philosophy! Google has all the answers. It is the giant chatzka emporium to the world. It has an immediate answer for every burning question. You click the best looking link and it makes you feel better because you find a long list of “ISM's.” You are browsing in the ultimate chatzka store and you end up buying into the ism that puts everything in perspective:

MODEL REALISM -a philosophy propounded by David Lewis, that possible worlds are as real as the actual world.

So the answer is, if you publish a blog on the web and no one reads it, it doesn’t matter because it’s your own little possible world!

1 comment:

Lizard said...

This is Isis from Booksie... I fucking loved your latest blog post. I was so indulged I couldn't pull away. I could not have put in any other way. I agree with it unbelievably. I hate(with an utter passion)posting things and have not one single person comment, it becomes irritating. I have like one blog post on my latest blog, I kind of forget it was there. I'll probably read the rest of your post sometime and comment, who knows. Take care.



Words to Live By

" desiring what is perfectly good, even when we don't quite know what it is and cannot do what we would, we are part of the divine power against evil - widening the skirts of light and making the struggle with darkness narrower."

Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot) Middlemarch

People who visit