10.31.2006

Taking stock

I feel like we are losing the point of this meeting place. I have no idea anymore what people are even working on, who has published where, what people think of various books that are out there, or even why this site still exists. Cristina was on Talk of the Nation a few weeks ago, and no one said a word. I only discovered that by accident. Daniel is in the New Yorker this week. That's huge -- or at least it used to be. I'm not going to review that story because I love that man even if he only wrote shopping lists, but damn ... Daniel is in the f-ing New Yorker this week. And you -- yes, you -- YOU have been writing and maybe even publishing something, but we don't know what it is or how hard or wonderful or frustrating it is. (Unless you have a blog.)

Here's what I think the problem is: this blog has lost its newness, its immediacy, its cachet, its vibrancy. It will soon be 2007 -- four years post-IWW for our class. Many of the people here now have their own blogs that are usually much better attended to, that are updated much more often. I think maybe this place has run its course. There is a limit to how many places on the Internets people can get to in a day, a week, a lifetime. There is a limit to how much effort people want to put into propping up a connection, a community, a feeling that is receding into the past. I have spent a fair amount of time in the past two years on this blog, and if I had spent that time on my own fiction, maybe my novel would be done. Okay, probably not, but I did it because it's exciting to stay in touch with people who populated one of the favorite times in my life. It's exciting to still feel connected to a group of smart people who write. I don't regret a minute of it. But maybe we have all moved on from this need and are looking forward now into our lives. Maybe the workshop buzz has finally worn off.

I feel like this blog is just hanging out there, usually beyond even my range of attention, a pointless anachronism getting dustier in scattered link lists. I believe I would feel cleaner in my daily life were I to just end it and move on, putting what little time energy I still lend it back into my own writing. The Sword of Damocles trembles above!

7 comments:

Lumpy said...

Grendel, I read this blog everyday, though I have never left a comment before because, well, I guess because I didn't go to the workshop and I always felt like a bit of an outsider. But I have truly appreciated all the work you and the other regular posters have put into it. Earthgoat was something of a lifeline when I was so sick and unable to leave the house. I would be sad to see it go, but understand if that's your decision. I just wanted you to know that it has meant a lot to me. Thanks.
Kerry

Grendel said...

Aw, Lumpster. I have been thinking. As much as I see little point in leaving it up, I see less point in deleting it. There is a lot of great writing on here, in the archives, and there is still the occasional post, the most recent of which, by the father of your children, is sufficiently horrifying that just it alone merits eternal existence on the Internets. I don't think I could ever actually bring myself to click that Delete Blog button. I think I just got nostalgic and dejected, something which I predict will continue to happen now and again. Look for a similar post next year, but until then, I remain, Yr. Humble Svt. Also we should get together before the holidays.

Brando said...

You can't delete it. There's too much gold here and still more that comes out. The occasional birthday post or randy Ruskin serial makes it worth keeping up. And now that more of us are scattered to the winds, it's even more valuable. It's a great blog, Grendel, and even if the posts slow down, that won't change.

kclou said...

Don't delete, dude.

When I have a question about a book or award or alumnus, it's a comfort to know this space exists. I come here several times a week, and although I don't read everything, I read a lot of things and feel the better for having read them.

Thanks for your work. We appreciate it.

the plunge said...

I think blogging is kind of a dying fad, anyway. It'll be like, "remember when everyone had those 'blog' things? Yeah -- that was kind of lame."

So we can think of it more as a communal journal where we can write messages when we feel like it, send out pings when there haven't been any in a while, write pedophilic/necrophilic short stories, or even stir up the occasional teapot tempest.

What might make sense though is combining EG and BAF so I can have more space on my bookmark bar...

What do you think?

SER said...

I used to worry about this sort of thing, but I think these blogs just kind of have a life of their own - they'll be less active sometimes, and more active at other times. I check this blog daily, though I don't comment all that much.

I guess the question to Grendel is: can you detach from it enough so that you don't feel an obligation to post if it's in one of the quieter times? But I say: leave it up!

Grendel said...

Combining EG and BAF, though it might make sense were one to create them now, would basically mean getting rid of both and starting a third one fresh. I don't think there's any way to combine the archives...

As for feeling an obligation, good point SER. That's it. And no longer will I feel that.

Thanks for everyone's kind words. Crisis has passed.