Veteran journalist and editor Andrew Sullivan pens a love letter to the his favorite literary format, the blog:
No columnist or reporter or novelist will have his minute shifts or constant small contradictions exposed as mercilessly as a blogger’s are. A columnist can ignore or duck a subject less noticeably than a blogger committing thoughts to pixels several times a day. A reporter can wait—must wait—until every source has confirmed. A novelist can spend months or years before committing words to the world. For bloggers, the deadline is always now. Blogging is therefore to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud.
Sullivan acknowledges many of the pitfalls of writing without the kind of prior editorial review that accompanies more traditional outlets, but emphasizes that, for him, the advantages of spontaneity outweigh such hazards. As he puts it, his first experience with unrestricted self-publishing was “intoxicatingly free…like taking a narcotic.” I can’t say I’ve ever felt quite the same while blogging, but perhaps that just reflects my lack of narcotic-taking experiences to compare it to.
Thanks to Megan for the link.