Saturday, August 22, 2009

autobiographers (and bloggers) lead perilous lives

I am disappointed in myself for not booking into many events at the Melbourne Writers Festival. Yet I fear at the moment I am suffering from stimulus overload. Too much information.
In recent months I find I have become something of a blogaholic. This bothers me. It’s all too easy. Some chance remark on someone’s blog, some brief reference to someone’s thoughts on some other blogger’s ideas, leads me to click the mouse and enter a new blog, one I never knew existed and then depending on the nature of that blog I find I am keen to include said blog onto my ‘follow’ list.
I now have seventeen people whose blogs I follow. I understand I am not alone in this. But at the rate I am going, with an increase of two new blogs every week or so for the last month I will soon be like the old woman in the shoe - she had so many children she knew not what to do. Not that bloggers are children, but I find myself busily identifying with so many of them if I can.
For me it is a brave new world.
I am wary of the ease with which words online can be seen to be far more hostile (or sometimes loving) than they would sound were they spoken. I also resist those (to me) awful conventions, which I see my daughters using regularly on face book, the lol, the hahahah, the letters that signify sounds that presumably are intended to soften the blow of any comments made on line.

My husband, the lawyer, tells me often enough that it is important to be wary of what I write in official capacities, for instance in the notes I might make about my work with others. It’s better he tells me to write less than more. The more you write the more likely it is to be misconstrued, or distorted by those who wish to put a different spin on it than you had intended.
We live in litigious times.
All of this gives me cause to sigh, a tremor of paranoia, but I persevere regardless, because I love to write.
I try to write as honestly as I can and if it gets me into trouble (as it certainly has done recently) then so be it. As the wonderful literary critic, Paul John Eakin writes
‘Autobiographers lead perilous lives.’
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