Okay, let’s get one thing straight, I can’t imagine for the life of me my favorite authors blogging. Keeping a journal, yes – it’s the repository of all things that come to you at 4 a.m. that you don’t want to lose, among other things and I’ve filled 127 in the last 30 years- 127!- but that’s for my eyes only, to make sense of things, develop stories and file away.
Plenty of authors blog; some don’t. And of course until the ‘90s, nobody did. Even if it were available in his day, Henry David Thoreau might well have considered eschewing the likes of WordPress a desirable form of civil disobedience. The authors of the Lost Generation certainly weren’t plugging in their AirBooks at Les Deux Magots. It’s a wonder in the days of limited means of communication that they garnered an audience at all. In his Nobel speech, Ernest Hemingway said, “Writing, at its best, is a lonely life.” It is at its very best solitary, but
not necessarily lonely. Hemingway added, “(The writer) grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates.”
Something’s got to be said for keeping it to yourself.
How would Hemingway – or Fitzgerald or the notoriously private J.D. Salinger- react if asked to keep a blog? What words would be exchanged if Maxwell Perkins said, “Ernest, I suggest you start writing a blog to build your readership.”
I have no doubt that he would reply with a two-word epithet and head to the savannah with a new book and a new wife in the works.
But these are the 2010s.
I don’t have a pith helmet or a quick escape to Tanzania planned. I have a book in the works and will row with the flow, quelling my urge to steer backwards toward the quietude of my personal Walden Pond, at least once a week. Stay tuned.