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.