So it's been a year since I started this blog. Over that time, it's become something like the intellectual equivalent of . . . lingerie? (or at least what I imagine lingerie is like for those who wear it: I don't think that my Hanes cotton underwear and cheap bras from Target really count. Those are underwear.) What I mean is that this is a really great part of my life that I keep pretty secret, except from those closest friends who I don't think will reveal it, on purpose or by accident. I and others have said plenty at other times about the reasons for pseudonymity, so I'm not going to get into all of that. But there's something satisfying to me about having this life that flourishes under the surface, beyond what the day to day people around me have any idea of.
It's also kind of like writerly push-ups: something that if you do it regularly enough, gets less painful and helps you get stronger. Like push-ups, too, I'm often jealous of other people's prowess, and sometimes inspired. I know I'm never going to have deltoids like Ripley, but I can get my workout done and that's ok too.
The social dynamic has been really interesting to me -- the ways this practice both is and isn't social. I feel like I've encountered some amazing people who I'm really glad to know. Some I communicate with (on off-blog email or just in comments) and some I never do, but I listen/read. I'm good at listening, more reserved at speaking, IRL -- and by and large the same dynamics hold true for me here. Sometimes I'm "on" and sometimes I'm really not, and just don't feel like saying much. But I think I started this really for myself, never having any idea that other people would start reading it, much less commenting. That was a surprise.
There are many different tidal flows that govern the blog soup: the semester's rhythms, the force of external events, my neurochemistry, and yours too. There have been nights at 3 am when I've scoured my blogroll and can't find anything new to read and can't think of anything to say myself. And mornings at 8 when it seems that every single person has written a zillion interesting things and I have to prepare for class -- and then again that night at 10 I glance at the list and feel overwhelmed by what I'm not caught up on. It's not homework, silly, it's just blogs. "Just" the lives of all these other people that I'm now interested in. I think about you people during my days -- the books you've mentioned, the arguments, the losses, the joys.
But also it's about writing. Every day that I do read blogs, I come across someone, somewhere, writing about something in a way that catches my breath, makes me cry, makes me think, makes me smile. In this oh-so-visual world it is still possible for words to be juggled and handled and passed around. And that is a great thing.