In the November issue of the Atlantic, Andrew Sullivan writes a compelling piece titled "Why I Blog."
Besides describing what exactly a blog is and its evolution over the past 10 or so years, he puts the inherently ephemeral idea of the blog itself into a concrete context.
He knowingly compares the task itself to fishermen who are "at sea." An apt metaphor for a form of writing that is often instantaneous and off-the-cuff. He writes: "Logs require a letting-go of narrative because they do not allow for a knowledge of the ending." So true.
The very act of this unrefined genre of writing seems to capture life, like lightning, in a bottle. Its moment is always thisclose from being over, which makes every post so immediate.
In chronicling the growth of my daughter, this is particularly true. Everything is immediate. Everything is almost past. Each moment slips through my fingers before I even have a chance to record it. And that's also the nature of blogging.
Second-guessing is also a part of it, which Sullivan candidly notes. Did I choose the right photo, did I pick the right word? Did I say something I might later regret? "But blogging requires an embrace of such hazards," he argues, "a willingness to fall off the trapeze rather than fail to make the leap."
"To blog is therefore to let go of your writing in a way, to hold it at arm’s length, open it to scrutiny, allow it to float in the ether for a while, and to let others, as Montaigne did, pivot you toward relative truth." ...
"The wise panic that can paralyze a writer—the fear that he will be exposed, undone, humiliated—is not available to a blogger. You can’t have blogger’s block. You have to express yourself now, while your emotions roil, while your temper flares, while your humor lasts. You can try to hide yourself from real scrutiny, and the exposure it demands, but it’s hard. And that’s what makes blogging as a form stand out: it is rich in personality."
So why do I blog? Because these moments are already over, these pictures have already been taken, and although I don't know the end of this particular story, I will want to know -- and I'll want C to know -- how we got there.