This blog is a work in progress, an experiment, and I hope it’s getting better as time goes on and I write more. It’s only been three and a half months now, but I’m starting to feel both like I want to write things that don’t fit here and like I’m not writing enough. So I’m thinking of expanding the focus of this blog because I’d like to start writing about more than just books here. I feel like if I really want to do a good job on this blog I should be updating at least 4 times a week, and I just don’t finish books that quickly. So I need to open it up to other topics. I’m not sure about this move because I want the blog to have an overarching theme or topic, and the more I move away from books and book reviews, the more I fear it might become a piecemeal, random collection of writings, united only by the fact that I’m the one who wrote it.
However, conversations with a good friend about this issue revealed a potential unifying factor: my outlook on life itself is literary. I analyze my life like a literary critic analyzes a text. I’ve been doing this ever since I can remember having thoughts that went deeper than the surface of things; this impulse is probably what led me to begin keeping a journal when I was about 12. This point of view has predictable pitfalls, especially for a 12-year-old interpreting the behavior of a crush like a close reader interprets the behavior of a romantic lead character in a novel. Indifferent 13-year-old boys act more like Mr. Darcy than they know. I look for patterns where there are none, and overanalyze the particular words that people say and write in everyday communication. This perspective is a challenging, self-confounding one because life doesn’t work like literature–there are no pat endings or neat subplots–but something in me says that it should. I have this impulse to analyze and re-analyze all past experience in the light of my newest experience, to shift meanings until it all makes sense in a coherent story of “my life” and “who I am.” My tendency to narrative-ize my life also sometimes keeps me from enjoying the present because of a relentless focus on a distant future happily-ever-after. Obviously, this is not necessarily an unambiguously good thing, but I firmly believe that this way of seeing the world is one of the things that make me who I am.
So hopefully if I use that mode of analysis, and stick to issues that have some significance, rather than writing about minutiae like my recipe for banana nut oatmeal or my addiction to an ipad game called Tiny Tower, the blog will be fun to read even for people who are not readers or who don’t share my taste in books. I have things to say about the world beyond books, and I’m hoping this becomes a good forum for saying them.
This might mean I should change the name of the blog, but as I said before, I’m open to that. I haven’t yet come up with any better ideas, though.
So, blogging beyond book reviews: yay or nay? Suggestions for topics or new blog titles?