Bloggery pettifoggery

>>Bloggery pettifoggery

So I’m watching Julie and Julia (great movie about someone who blogged her way through the entire Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by the way, and this is from someone who’s worshiped Julia Child since her teen years and ACTUALLY RAN INTO HER–literally–in Boston. She said, “Hello, how are you?” and didn’t wait for a response.), and the lead character, (Amy Adams, who has been in three beloved movies and is rapidly becoming a favorite actress, which is weird because I normally don’t care for slightly whiny good-girl blonde types), is discussing the relationship between a blogger and her audience…

Hold it! The length of the parenthetical asides in that sentence greatly exceeds the actual content, so let’s make that readable:

So I’m watching Julie and Julia, and the lead character is discussing the relationship between a blogger and her audience…

I mean, it’s kinda sad when a writer can’t stay on topic for a SINGLE SENTENCE, for heaven’s sake. Uhm.. realizing I’m doing it AGAIN, I’ll get back to the point:

…the relationship between a blogger and her audience. “It’s like there’s this whole group of people who are sort of connected to me. Like, if I didn’t write, they would really be upset.”

I follow several blogs regularly, sometimes because I know and like the blogger, sometimes because I know and like their work. Most times, though, I follow a blog because the author is a skilled and entertaining writer whose skewed perspective puts him/her on my required reading list. I’m getting something I can’t get anywhere else, an almost-live and inside look at someone else’s life. What’s more, I’m getting it for free.

And yeah, like Amy Adams says, if those folks don’t post for awhile, it bugs me. I will even send a nudge to my favorites: “You don’t have to write War and Peace, for heaven’s sake. But….WRITE!!!”

Why do I do that?

I’ve been pondering that question since getting an inordinate amount of primail from readers in the last month: “How come you’re talking SOOOO much about sculpting lately? When are you going to go back to talking about people?” I like it when you write about how you make your art glass. The other stuff, not so much.” “How come you’re not posting as much? It’s been five days since your last post. What’s up?” “I’ve been waiting for you to finish the studio garage article. I’m trying to redo my garage, too, and…” “Is something wrong? You used to have something for me EVERY day!”

Wow. Thank you.

I know why I blog: I’m a writer with an ego. I like it when people read (and comment) on my posts, whether they like them or not. Writing muscles wither if you don’t exercise them regularly; if you do, they get stronger and stronger. Nothing like a blog for regular exercise.

And this particular blog has a second intent: It’s journaling the becoming of an artist, whether that ever really happens. I probably go through more of my old posts than anyone else, looking for clues about how a project came together, researching new technical problems and reinspiring myself.

Is that why others do it? Dunno. I’m just glad they do. I wish they’d do more of it. Dammit. Would you guys just WRITE something?

By the way, while the Julie/Julia Project ended in 2004 and the author moved to a new blog on Blogspot, the blog in the movie is still there, a lonely little stepchild from a remarkably vivid writer. The last post announced the death of Julia Child, at 91.



  1. Brian Berman December 20, 2009 at 9:24 am - Reply

    As a self supporting artist for 20 years, I have found this year the most challenging. With galleries closing down, and sales not at all what they used to be, the drying up of an appreciative audience has forced me to look at how important being appreciated is. Well, I find it’s life enhancing, like oxygen, touch, food, love, warm water, and communication. Finding ways to receive a note of appreciation, the voice of another, the smile when someone looks at my work is essential for me. It’s about connection, I want my work to help connect me with others, with or without words. Sculpture is a non-verbal communication and I want mine to be received and appreciated. In a recent showing of my work, a woman showed up and declared so that the entire venue could hear her, “Your work makes me Happy!” That has stayed with me every day since hearing her say that.

    In galleries, it’s sales that give me the appreciation. When I do an exhibition where I am present, I get to hear the comments, to feel the appreciation directly. I do regional shows so that I can connect with the viewer, as well as sell my work.

    When sales (and appreciations) don’t happen over an extended period of time, it brings up big questions about motivation for making new sculpture. Would I do it without appreciation? Could I provide my own appreciation, as a path to self sufficiency? I pretty much stopped blogging after an exhibition in Paris and returned back to the states to the economic freeze. I found it hard to write about the dark night that didn’t fade away at dawn.

    I submit my comments to you with an appreciation for what you are offering me, the reader, besides content which interests me, your process which educates me, and an opportunity for expressing myself in words.

    I love that this technology enables dialog and connection no matter where one lives, and what time they write. Brian

  2. cynthia December 19, 2009 at 9:48 am - Reply

    Ellen, sweetie, I gotta tell you, you are a writer whether you know it or not. You’ve got a great voice and I follow you regularly.

    Chaniarts, thanks…I’ve deliberately not marketed this blog, just wanting to see what it would do, so what folks say about it (along with Google stats, I have to admit) are pretty much the only way I know if somebody’s reading…

  3. Ellen Abbott December 19, 2009 at 8:52 am - Reply

    Well, I’m not a writer and I don’t know why I blog or even why I started to blog. It just seemed like the thing to do that day the end of January this year. But I have fun with it and I have discovered quite a world out there. So, maybe I’m not a writer but I do have an ego and I’m thrilled that people read me.

  4. chaniarts December 18, 2009 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    i actually did think of you when i saw this movie months ago. i enjoy both the art and the people posts.

Comments welcome! (thanks)

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