I came across this passage in this article about “The Rising Stars of Gossip Blogs” on NYTimes.com:
The lines between “reporter” and “blogger,” “gossip” and “news” have blurred almost beyond distinction. No longer is blogging something that marginalized editorial wannabes do from home, in a bathrobe, because they haven’t found a “real” job. Blogging now is a career path in its own right, offering visibility, influence and an actual paycheck. As more gossip action in a variety of fields moves online, young writers who might have hungrily chased an editorial assistant job at Condé Nast a few years ago now move to New York with the dream of making it as a blogger — either launching their own blog into the big time, à la Perez Hilton, or getting snapped up by a prominent blog network like Gawker Media or MediaBistro.
I don’t care about the gossip blogging thing per se (though I have never had a problem with gossip rags or gossip TV like Entertainment Tonight or TMZ), but this quote for me reminds me once again of my long-dormant but maybe still viable project, Blogs as Writerly Spaces. First off, what I see this quote more or less dismisses or gets beyond the “blogging is a genre” definitions that carried the day in the earliest days of blogging– I’m thinking of Rebecca Blood’s book among other things, not to mention the early criticisms of MSM who derided bloggers as “diarists.” Blogging is most easily and usefully defined as a form with certain technical and editorial characteristics.
Second, this points quite directly to part of the idea of “writerly” that I want to explore, that blogging as a practice is “writerly” in the theoretical sense that Barthes and others have talked about, but also “writerly” in the more market-driven/capitalistic sense that it might actually pay off and help develop, nurture, or otherwise support a career as a writer.
Now, if I could just get off my butt and do a little writing….