In the High Peaks

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

No One Reads My Blog, & That's a Good Thing

Starting a blog, or reviving an old blog, is clumsy work. A lack of focus and precise writing, grotesque experimentation, and general floundering prevail. This is to be expected. The problems can be hammered out to lie flat and crawl away. There's time. Because no matter what the experts tell you, no one reads a new blog, as long as you keep your head out of the line of fire until you're ready.

I'm puzzled by all the "reading challenges" many book bloggers take on. I find the behavior and the challenges vaguely interesting, but I'm not sure the efforts themselves make for good blog reading.

Maintaining a reading habit is challenge enough in the wilderness. Outdoor activities constantly beckon. This past winter I'd have to be out the door no later than 8am if I wanted to be on perfectly groomed ski trails by 8:30am. When I'd get home around 1pm, the dog would need a good snowshoe trip and off we'd go on our trails for an hour or two. And after that, I'd try to find time to write and then cook dinner before collapsing on the couch before bed.

So, back to what Reader in the Wilderness to focus on:
One Focus: I'm interested in blogging about the experience of reading a particular book or author or poem or essay. I want to get at the barebones gestalt of reading.

One Focus Reconsidered: So many bloggers write about book news. This is fine, but unless you have something novel to say, why report it? Most recently, for example, the Long List for the Orange Prize appeared on dozens of blogs. What is the point, unless your brain and your experiences can interact with that list and say something startling new about it?

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