Ignoring the Genre in Favor of the Art

by Mr. Sheehy

Though I use blogs heavily in my classroom and would like to blog more than I do, I have a bit of a hesitant relationship with it. I hesitate when I hear folks talk about how blogging is supposed to be – when they try to define the genre and call writers to write in a particular way or take part in particular conversations. It seems too off-base for me, because my guess is that people did not jump onto blogs in order to write in that particular way. Maybe a few people jumped onto blogs in order to join certain conversations, but it seems to me that at least a few people were like me – writers who had no contracts or financial gain from the art and who were interested in the idea of publishing and organizing their own writing.

And so I wasn’t surprised to read this article from Timothy Burke, who cites the general life span of a blogger and notes how short and predictable it is. Mine will certainly be that short if I fall into the genre as it exists in general understanding.

But I’d like to motivate myself not to fall into that pattern. I want to use my blog in whatever way pleases me, regardless about whether I have a single reader to whom I’m not related (and my numbers, percentage-wise, are not that good from that demographic either). I want to use this space (or any other to which I migrate) to celebrate words and imagination and education, even if that means not posting for two weeks, not including links in my posts, not talking about anything that seems relevant to anyone else, and even podcasting inconsistently. I started a blog because I like to write, and here I will do that, no matter what it is I am writing.

I will keep as my vision words like these from Ravi Zacharias, who was discussing the difference between visual communication and written communication during an interview on The Kindling’s Muse:

Words have beauty because they bridge you to the reality being reflected and give you the sovereignty of your imagination. . . . Words give us the privilege of our imagination.

And so here I continue to chase this pursuit of the imagination. I’ll tell my stories, jot my thoughts, include some random creative writing, and share whatever words I decide are important. I am the author, after all.