Blog, blog, blog: thoughts on growing in public

To be honest, I had barely read a blog before I got ready to start blogging myself. I was perhaps a bit suspicious of the medium. It’s true that ever since I was a child, with my first Hello, Kitty journal, I could not keep a diary without imagining a future reader. In fairness to the vanity of my young self, the diaries I was most familiar with were those that had been published–Anne Frank, for example. In any case, the blog circumvents the necessity of pretending you are writing for reasons of personal growth, even as you become most aware of your desire to grow, personally. I have admired writers who are willing to grow in public. Michelle Tea is a wonderful example. She is prolific and talented and has written with a work ethic I envy and then gotten her work out to a growing public (via spoken word tours–the infamous Sister Spit–and publication) since she (and I) was quite young. This means that she’s gotten better, and broader, in front of that public. Yesterday in the car, Angie played a part of a podcast for me in which the speaker made an important distinction between the natural, healthy dissatisfaction a writer or creator feels towards the work he or she has done and contempt for that work. There is slippage between the two, and contempt does no good, since it casts doubt on the worthiness of everything you do or might do. Dissatisfaction, on the other hand, will push you to stretch, to grow. To try something different. (Although the boys were not interested in (their...