Go thou across the ground…

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“Bloggers are not writers,” Rebecca states in reaction to Jaron’s assertion, “blogging is not writing.” But his words are taken out of context. He’s talking about journalistic writing – Modes of recording observable, quantifiable facts – retraceable truths.

Bloggers can be writers. Bloggers can imagine (and thus create) something “meant to last” or  “legacies that enthuse, provoke, and delight.” But should they? Should bloggers be writers? Is that what they set out to do? Writers? Create legacy? Write for posterity? Their work might break the binds of time and survive the public’s fickle passions, but is that what writers set out to do?

Kafka sold insurance.

I think their wants are more immediate. I think writers write. I think writers write to exorcise, to purge, to unload subconscious weights or spirits – ghosts.

Maybe I’m a writer because I’m desperately trying to clean up my mess. Other people do other things, going to therapy or becoming psychiatrists just to clean up the mess. Well, I couldn’t afford therapy at the time I needed it the most so I started writing. And now I know that the writing helps me a little because why do I write about these things? Why do I choose those characters? Why am I so desperate to tell that story? Because there’s something inside of me that is bothering me, that gives me a lot of pain and that I need to solve. And by exploring it through writing and other people’s lives I might reach a particle of truth. Maybe. If I’m lucky. That’s the whole meaning of writing. So, the dream about the messy house, I know it’s my dream. It’s me. (Isabel Allende)

Writer’s write. It’s the public – “the hive” – that determines the legacies. It’s the snarky little joke shared with a coworker: “I guess it just sounds better coming from you.” We can tell the same story but the hive determines which sounds “truthier” – a settlement on reality simply based solely on who we like to picture reporting it.

It’s the hive that Lanier warns against. It’s the hive as a collective “truth creating” entity – instead of “truth editing and reporting” -that he questions in Digital Maoism. He also asks indirectly why as a skeptical modern society we are so eager to accept the words of our bloggers as truth.

Bloggers are not writers like poets are not journalists. But they all report. They all suppose a reality and then superimpose a truth – make sense of the tragedy – share the comedy. Everyone seeking that “particle of truth.” Everyone coming together with their piece of the puzzle in hand.

Everyone “on the road” going the same way but taking different cars.

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