Doug Bruns

To blog or not to blog?

In Photography, Technology, Writers, Writing on March 17, 2012 at 5:53 am

I should clear up something I said in a previous post. I think I was disparaging toward my friends in the blogging community.

I went off on a rant regarding the word blog (and by inference blogging and blogger). I am sensitive to words and how they are used, even to what they look like. The word “impactful,” as an example. I simply cannot accept that word or its usage. I even think it is visually an ugly word. Like, I don’t need to go into details, like do I?

It’s not just the written word. Several spoken phrases in common currency drive me nuts. For instance: “It’s all good,” “reach-out” and “Everything happens for a reason.” Any of one of these will send me running, ears covered. It’s not all good, obviously. And please, call me or write me, but don’t “reach out” to me. You’re not Frankenstein’s monster. Everything happens for a reason? So…is karma the reason behind everything? Or perhaps a fore-ordained plan about which we are witless? (Interestingly, in my experience most of the folks using this phrase also, incongruously, claim they have free will. ) See how easily I can be set off? The word “blog” has the same effect.

Leaving aside my proclivities regarding things under my skin, I must release old discriminations. Blogging, the word and the activity, is here to stay. The question of writing vis-a-vie blogging is an inconsequential battle being waged nowhere but in my head. (If the battles in my head were only understood clearly…but that is another matter.) I confess that I’m an old-school elitist. It’s a mantle I can’t seem to shake. Elitism is haughty and snarky. Who needs that? The older I get, the less attractive is that position. (Maybe it works for a younger man, firm in his opinions, but maturity can wear away such sharp corners–or polish them to a razor edge, depending on the direction in which you choose to focus effort.)

I am certain Montaigne, a personal hero and influence, would have embraced the forum–blogging–and that is good enough for me. This is not just my opinion. Sarah Blackwell, Montaigne’s most recent biographer, commented in the Paris Review that, “Bloggers might be surprised to hear that they are keeping alive a tradition created more than four centuries ago.” Blackwell’s piece, appropriately, was titled “What Bloggers Owe Montaigne.” (I reviewed her Montaigne book, How to Live, last year.)

If I am sounding a little defensive, it is because I am feeling defensive–a little. The blogger-writer question for me is analogous to what has occurred in photography. It once was that only photographers had cameras. Now we all have cameras. That does not make us all photographers. Nor does having a blog necessarily make one a writer. That was my original train of thought. But as so often is the case, the train took the wrong track and ended up at the wrong station.

As I re-read this, I note that I settle no claim here, resolved nothing but to exercise my outcry. Regardless, I believe Montaigne would approve.

Thanks for reading.

  1. glad you cleared that up i think…but i agree with what you say about photographers and writers and the difference in having and being…if that makes sense at all

    • Jo ~ Thanks for the comment and stopping by. I used to have a gallery on the outskirts of Washington DC, a fine-art photography gallery. I represented about half a dozen photographers. Too many people too many times would visit the gallery look at something and say one to the other, Oh, you could do that. Everything can be conceived, but most is lost in execution.
      Thanks for stopping by.

I welcome your comments. Thanks for reading.

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