Saturday, January 30, 2010

This blogging malarky

This blogging malarky can be a bit hard from time to time (thanks, Donna, for reminding me of this wonderful word, 'malarky').

I've come to blogging relatively recently - about 18 months and 150 posts ago. For me, blogging's manageable if I don't think about it too much and just write, but once I start wondering what I'm doing and why, I'm in danger of becoming immobilised by self-consciousness. My blogging arose principally from sharing my knitting with other knitters who blog. But as time's gone on, I've blogged about the other things that are inextricably part of my life - principally reading, films, theatre, Sydney, travel and occasionally, politics very broadly defined. Sometimes my family, particularly my grand-daughter, are caught up in the blog, but I've always been a bit inhibited in writing about them - or indeed about my friends - by a fear of intruding on their lives too much.

Over time, my blog has come to reflect my own, idiosyncratic set of interests. I imagine my readers are mainly friends who share my knitting interests, so to assume they'll also want to read about the other concerns of my life is possibly stretching their tolerance...or is this how blogging works?

I've been brought to think about this by my January focus on the Sydney Festival. As someone who has never kept a diary for more than a few days and has a notoriously bad memory for the events I've attended, the books I've read and the films I've seen, I've been delighted by the way my blog allows me to keep a record of such things in the sidebar. But my Sydney Festival entries have gone beyond this and have let me capture some of the feelings and associations from attending particular performances. This has been great for me but I'm not sure it's been great for the blog. Balancing what you write for yourself and what you write for others is hard. I've long thought that the key skill in good writing, or indeed good art, and presumably good blogging, is the capacity to edit well. I suspect my January entries have been a bit self-indulgent.

But having gone so far, I will continue. My final Sydney Festival attendance was last night - a very modern (indeed post-modern) re-working by a British playwright, Rupert Goold, of Luigi Pirandello's 1921 play Six Characters in Search of an Author. The original play tested notions of what's 'true' and what's 'real' by allowing characters to take on a life of their own outside the structure of a play. This modern reworking places these questions of reality and truth within the more recent story-telling form of docu-drama - developing themes around often sensationalised issues such as euthanasia, paedophilia and incest. I was absorbed by the intensity and unpredictability of the performance, but ultimately thought it would have benefitted by the more rigorous editing I admire. There's just too much stuffed into the play.

I'm sad I'll miss Opera in the Park tonight. I'd love to hear Bernstein's Candide again. Perhaps fortunately for my readers, I'm just too tired.


Ruby Girl said...

Oh Malarky...I haven't heard that for a long time either. I really enjoy reading your blog whether it is about knitting, family or your social life. keep it up. I love the way you have described the Sydney Festival events you have attended.

Unknown said...

We'll miss you tonight!

Oh dear - the word verification for this comment is "lazingly"...

M-H said...

We're not going either. My back isn't great yet, and I don't think that hours of sitting on or near the ground will be the best thing for it. We will be at SSK if you're in the area.

Rose Red said...

My friend went to see Six Characters in Search of an Author on opening night. She left at interval (as apparently did a lot of others) - I think for the reasons you mentioned!

I sometimes wonder why I blog, and there are some obvious ones, like the friendships and connections I've made, as well as sharing my knitting etc, but I think that using it as a diary of sorts of totally acceptable - I suppose it comes down to whether you blog for yourself or you blog for others. I think most people do the former (although are conscious of the latter - hence the self-editing). In any event, I love to read your posts because, amongst other things, you show me a different way of thinking about things, which I don't often do myself.

Anonymous said...

i agree whole heartedly that over thinking blogging leads to all sorts of paralysis. I feel best about my blog when I am being mindful of the audience but only mindful, not worried about.

Your blog is a beautiful take on your world, your vision, your sensibilities and I love that.

DrK said...

i have enjoyed your reviews too. there seems to be some blog-reflexivity in the air at the moment, maybe because its hot and we're all a bit drained, but i think blogging has to be for you first and foremost. i like your blog so much because it is so much like you, so it feels honest and true.

Sel and Poivre said...

The other day, in response to your post titled "Silence" I was furiously writing a response that got a bit long so I tried to shorten it and worried I'd lost the notion I was trying to convey. I read it to my son to see if it was still clear. His response was..."is this a comment on a knit blog?".

In other words, I love the range of your content and find it to be refreshingly stimulating - so much so I have to hold back on my perhaps overly enthusiastic responses.

To that point, after my son's query, I hit "delete" just feeling that I wasn't keeping the point of the whole thing properly in mind!

Cecilia said...

I really love the way you write and always enjoy hearing about all your latest adventures and happenings. And the beautiful photography too. So I think you should write about whatever you want! You certainly lead a much more exciting life than I do!