Alex Wright

ok, i give up. i'm

July 12, 2000

ok, i give up. i'm starting a blog.

i've been resisting the urge to hop on the blog train these past few months - reminding myself of Dr. Johnson's proscription that "no man but a fool ever wrote except for money." why, i reasoned, would i want to burn my valuable hours churning out self-indulgent musings and distracting myself from doing the Real Work (whatever that is). but then, these past few months i find myself spending more and more time blog-surfing, and gradually i've developed an unmistakeable urge. still feeling slightly conflicted about the whole thing, but i'm going to give it a try.

let's face it, literature this ain't. and i can't shake the worry about slipping into an intellectual free-fall here, dribbling away my best thoughts in a slippery ethereal stream rather than sitting down and doing the hard work of writing something substantial. i've always been less partial to Kerouac than Capote (who roundly dissed Kerouac's work as "typing, rather than writing") - and i find it all but impossible to indulge myself in this kind of free-form word-spill without wanting to sit down, write, edit, rewrite, edit, rewrite and edit some more - to create a crafted piece. in fact, i just realized i've already spent over half an hour obsessing over these two paragraphs alone.

it wasn't that long ago that i was wringing out
magazine articles, spending days and weeks at a time obsessing over a single piece. but somehow the Web has changed all that. these days, i find it harder and harder to think and write in long narrative form - no question, spending the last four years immersed in webdom has drastically shortened my attention span - but then, my mind also seems to have rewired its cognitive patterns to accomodate hyperlinks, multi-tasking and a high volume of white noise. and the more i ruminate on the literary ethics of blogging, the more i think maybe, just maybe, it's the perfect form for this abruptive age.

and, what's more, i've always been slow as hell when it comes to writing. maybe, if nothing else, this blog business will at least start boosting my word count.

File under: Personal

matt newell pointed me to »


Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages

Mastering Information Through the Ages

New Paperback Edition

“A penetrating and highly entertaining meditation on the information age and its historical roots.”
—Los Angeles Times     

Buy from