Blogging, Im afraid, has made my writing worse. As I review the writing Ive done during the last year, I see a steady decline in quality. After much reflection, I attribute much of the decline to increased blogging. The more I blog, the worse I seem to write.
Its not a conclusion I wanted to make... I enjoy blogging. Blogging has many benefits. I like its interactivity... the quick feedback. I like the exchange of ideas. I like the immediacy. Blogging is a great way to develop and refine IDEAS.
But thats the problem. Increasingly, I write about ideas. Ideas divorced from immediate experience. Im commenting on comments. Im blogging about a comment about a post on another blog. Blogging has increased the mediation of my writing experience. As a result, the PROCESS of writing, for me, has lost much of its magic.
I used to sit in cafes with a pen and notebook, just watching. I watched people going by. I watched the trees sway. Mind quieted. Often, I sank into a meditative reverie..... lost in immediate perceptions.
Nowadays, I sit in coffee shops with a laptop... connected through wireless. My eyes are stuck to the screen. No observation. No reverie. Just agitated excitement...
Not unlike watching TV, in fact.
Im beginning to realize that for all its power of connectivity, the internet, and blogging... is still a very powerful form of mediation. A machine that cuts us off from immediate experience. Its easy to get lost in the internet's virtual world of abstract ideas. Its easy to believe the debates and abstractions are "real". Much like TV, the internet/blogging experience can become an addictive escape.
And so Im changing my writing routine. While Ill continue blogging, I plan to do so much less.... and (hopefully) more thoughtfully.
Beware ALL forms of mediation,... including (especially) this one.