Talking about blogging at "The Writing Show" (and maybe proposing a book project on blogs?)

I probably won’t have much chance to blog this week because I need to get ready for an appearance/presentation on something called “The Writing Show.” It’s sponsored by James River Writers in Richmond, VA, and is the creation of Dennis Danvers, who is a novelist and an old friend of mine from my days in the MFA program at Virginia Commonwealth University. Basically, Dennis wanted to do a show about writing and the internet, he asked me if I’d want to be a part of it, and I said absolutely.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what this format is going to be like. Dennis has told me that his idea is that this is basically a talk show: Dennis is the moderator and he asks questions of a panel of experts and then the audience joins in. The web site describes it as “Entertaining, interactive, The Writing Show is …. Inside the Actor’s Studio meets the New York Times bestseller list… The Tonight Show meets the art of writing.” I don’t know all about that, but I’m always interested in participating in forums that try to break out of the conference presentation mode, and Dennis has said that the past writing shows have been a whole lot of fun.

So I’m not preparing a “talk” per se, but I think a lot of what I’m going to end up talking about is going to be a lot like my spiel at the 2005 CCCCs, “Blogs and the Writerly Life.” The main audience for “The Writing Show” are practicing and aspiring writers, folks looking for book deals of their own, and my CCCCs talk was part of the MFA SIG program. There have been plenty of stories about blogs leading to a book deal, but I hope to also talk about the idea of how blogging in and of itself can be a benefit in the writerly life all by itself.

This perhaps goes without saying, but I’m also looking forward to a roadtrip to Richmond, too. My wife and I are going to take a trip (albeit a short one) down memory lane.

Anyway, this writing show stuff has got me think about a different but related topic, a book project of my own. I am going to be applying for a sabbatical this year for the 2006-2007 school year, and while I was originally thinking about a few other things, I’m beginning to think more about proposing a book (or book-like) project on academic blogging. I haven’t formed anything yet, but I guess I am thinking about a book that more or less builds on some of the things I’ve published/spoken about at conferences before and some of the things I’ve written about blogs here (and, of course, read about blogs elsewhere): identity and blogging, teaching, blogging as a scholarly practice, blogging, related technologies and academic publishing, etc.

Like I said, it’s just an idea at this point– not even a decent paragraph, if you ask me– but if you’ve got any ideas on ways I can take this someplace, let me know.

Slight update:
I came across a description of a forthcoming book on blogs called Uses of Blogs that might be interesting. It’s going to be a collection of essays written mostly by “soft science” types of academics. And of course, there was the interesting collection/experiment Into the Blogosphere, too. I do think what I have in mind is a bit different from both of these projects, but that’s hard to say….

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