I guess the big deal about starting a blog is what you put out there first. I feel daunted about what stuff should first be committed for all to see. Ideally, I would like to write about 100 blog entries all at the same time so that there is at least some attempt at a balanced view about who I am and what my thoughts are about; but that is not going to happen so, as usual, one just has to ‘get on with it’ – and risk misinterpretation.
A blog feels something like a diary, only it is not quite that. Why not? Well, there is something about the internet which washes out the more confessional aspects of a diary, makes what one can commit to more bland, less personal, more universally ‘positive’. And this risks taking out the colour of life, some of the real life irritations and gripes that makes us more real, more personal, more human.
Great writers I admire with a strongly confessional bent – Wittgenstein, Augustine, Pascal, Merton: I need to believe they would have been able to what they did with a blog rather than a pen or pencil. For that is when I feel I write at my best: when I say exactly what is on my mind at that moment, when I adopt a confessional style.
Writing in such a way is, I suppose, closer to the way of the artist than the way of the academic or pamphleteer. But my role here, my blogging personality, if you like, is best served – at least in terms of how I may advise the students I wish to advise and the colleagues I wish to reach – by being closer to the more neutral tones of the academic.
So this will certainly be part of the challenge: to keep the tone and the sort of thoughts appropriate according to what ‘category’ one is blogging under. One must further hope that all the categories taken together and all the words spread out over all these pages will give some sort of reasonable and complete picture worth others’ attention.