Annelie and I are now in Sweden, and I am ready to think about giving this blog more attention than it has had in the past two years. That invites a bit of thinking about why I’m writing it.
There are many kinds of blogs out there, and all serve some purpose or other. There are loads of blogs on a specific topic, such as politics, cars, and even echidnas. This isn’t one of those. My professional interests are primarily linguistics and computers, but I’m not interested in starting a blog on either of those topics at this point.
Then there are the various kinds of personal blogs. I’m really not a fan of the “here’s what I did yesterday” type, or the “here are my opinions/random thoughts on some topic” type, both of which seem to me to be essentially making public a personal diary, and so are interesting primarily to people’s voyeuristic impulses, or to the author’s mother. Especially since the content itself tends to be uninteresting.
The blogs I like are those in which each entry is a self-contained story, or a little essay on some topic. That’s what I’m inclined to shoot for. I like to read things that (a) have interesting content, (b) are well written, and (c) are entertaining. Even content that is not so inherently interesting is worth reading when the other two factors are present. So if “what I did yesterday” is en entertaining and well-written story, I’m all for it.
So, then, my goal is to write well about whatever content is at hand, hopefully in an entertaining manner. But therein lies the problem: The higher I set my standards, the less I write, because it becomes such a challenge. Not that I mind challenges, but I get plenty of those in my work. And on the priority list, this blog has always been somewhere down around beating the rugs. So it’s easy to avoid.
But of course this blog is conceived as “a never-ending struggle against disorientation”, and now I’m living near the Artic Circle among a bunch of people who think straw goats are wonderful. So it’s really the time to set down some of the fascinating things I’m observing and/or being subjected to.
Therefore, I’m going to try to lower my standards slightly and write more often about life here and wherever else I happen to be. I hope that the content will be interesting, and I hope the writing will be at least entertaining. I’m also going to try broadening the horizons a bit and see if I can write about a wider variety of things. Feel free to let me know what interests you (you are a reader, you know), and I’ll take that into consideration.
Speaking of readers, if examining why I’m writing this blog in the first place, I need to point out that, in addition to being a creative outlet, it is an attempt to stay in touch with people I’m far away from. And boy am I far away now. I mean, if you were in Stockholm, you’d be pretty far away, but I bet you’re in Iowa or something. So please contribute if you can, if only by leaving a comment saying “you misspelled arctic”.
I’m sure that the very worst sort of blog is the “thoughts about my blog” blog, and I realize that’s what I’m writing here, so I’ll stop now and let you get back to your echidna blog.
Posted by: Gregory