Tuesday, January 17, 2006

On Blogging...

I think I like it. Blogging has got me reading more, writing more and thinking more. The feedback so far has been encouraging. I have run across some excellent writing, which gives me inspiration and some hope. Hope that the new illiteracy that is all the rage today is, at least for now, perhaps not the norm. Although I have been journaling for some time, and I am working towards a BA in journalism (government-journalism actually, I’m a glutton for punishment!), blogging is different and quite frankly, refreshing.

When I journal, it is hand-written and primarily documents the events of my day and how I felt about them. It was never meant to be read by anyone else. In fact, I don’t even read it myself. I may publish parts of it if I ever complete my memoir, but in light of recent events regarding the authenticity of memoir, this is not likely to happen anytime soon. Essentially, journaling in this format was a useful tool at a time in my life when I was trying to get my thoughts straight. It is not part of my normal day today.

Most of the other writing I do is for school. As one might expect, I am learning the art of news writing. I am surprised that I find this sort of writing exciting and much more challenging than I thought. Objectivity is not so easy for me and I have found that it requires some skill not only to be truly objective, but also to appear objective. I have also written a number of research papers, essays and the like. Al have been written in the same style - mine - and have received excellent marks.

My favorite format is opinion; I am essentially an essayist. I do not write fiction and only read it occasionally. I enjoy any well thought out opinion, whether or not I agree with it. I can’t stand hyperbole, propaganda, disinformation or the honestly uninformed. Indeed, if argued convincingly, I am not too proud or stubborn to modify my position. A true seeker of knowledge knows that s/he doesn’t know it all. But, I also know BS when I see it; I don’t like having smoke blown up my ass. Do your homework, get your facts straight and most importantly THINK – then we can talk.

All of this brings me to what I had set out to write about this morning. A very flattering comment was made on my last post (Thank you!) and at the end I was asked how I had come across her blog. It took me a few minutes to piece together the chain of links that took me to it. On one of my early posts, someone who was just surfing through blogs randomly found mine and commented on it. I in turn checked hers out and consequently read the comments attached to her posts. I then went to those blogs checked out their posts/comments and so on and continued on my merry way. She found mine the same way I found hers – by following the link from the comments, although I followed hers from someone else’s blog (I think it was Zombieslayer).

Therefore, if I have commented on your blog, I probably found it interesting, informed and well written – and it is bookmarked. If you logged a comment on mine, chances are very good that I have visited your blog and considered what you had to say. If I haven’t commented it doesn’t mean that I think you are dumb or illiterate. I may not have had the time or been sufficiently compelled to respond. However, chances are very good that if I have heard from you, you have heard from me.

The new semester at Sac State starts on Monday. I can’t wait. I don’t know how much time I’ll be able to commit to my newest distraction, put hopefully enough to keep up with my new compadres. At the very least, I am sure I’ll have time to write about the trials and tribulations of a 43 year-old college junior. Truth is always stranger than fiction!


Saur♥Kraut said...

I adore your writing style. Zombieslayer has a great blog, and I love going in there, so that's probably where we met.

I'm a professional writer. The hardest thing for me is writing for an audience of more casual readers...

Michael K. Althouse said...

Thank you. I just love positive feedback, especially from those whose writing I respect an admire. As you no doubt know, I am on the road to completing my BA (finally) and will be entering the world of professional journalism.

Of my many and sundry careers, this one is proving to be the most rewarding, challenging and, in some respects, risky. Although I am not sure what direction my life will ultimately take, on thing is for sure: It'll be well documented!

Thanks again for the kind words and I may in the future (if you don't mind) pick your brain about the ins and outs of professional writing. I have a lot to learn.


PS: It surprises me not that you are a pro!

The Zombieslayer said...

My favorite format is opinion; I am essentially an essayist.

I sometimes think of myself an essayist too. Love the format of a good essay.

Yeah, I too don't read that much fiction. I go through phases and of the last few years, it's been all non-fiction except for the Harry Potter books and the books I read to my son.

Good luck at Sac State. I went to Chico State, so not too far from there. Got mine in History. Journalism's fascinating. I think the journalism field will change greatly. Expect papers to be less and less and the internet to almost completely take over the journalism industry.

So it's probably a good idea to think of that means of communication. You have to think in terms of writing for an online audience in journalism. Hopefully your professors aren't dinosaurs and realize this.

Michael K. Althouse said...

As a matter of fact, on-line journalism is not just adequately represented by the professors, but emphasized for the very reasons you cited. I don't believe that print media will go away anytime soon. There's something about holding the paper in your hands, getting newsprint on your fingers that somehow leaves one with a sense of credibility, of permanence. Or, maybe I am the dinosaur!

Keith said...

Mike - keep on writing, man!

I enjoy the style and content of what you write on your blog. And appreciate the cogent comments you make on my humble blog.


The Zombieslayer said...

No, there will always be print media. But it will be in fewer and fewer hands. Not buyers necessarily, but sellers.