Really a notebook

As I have been getting my life back—it’s been remarkable discovering how out of it I have been for the past year and more—I’ve been pondering the value of blogging. I’m going back to what the tagline for my blog has always been: Mitch’s Open Notebook. I’ll be taking notes publicly.

Albert Camus wrote in his recently published (in English, for the first time) later notebooks, Notebooks 1951-1959:

“From the moment private life is thrown on display, explained to so many people, it become public life, and it is vain to hope to maintain it.”

Too many bloggers write about themselves and only themselves and their thoughts. The artificiality of “celebrity” permeates public dialogue like the plague eating through a Medieval city, pulling the private and considered from life. I’m tired of the artificial spontaneity of blogging, the “this rocks” and “that sucks” absence of reflection that follows fads, fashions and style. We’re never inspired to think about why things happen, only to judge.

Blogging isn’t a sub-set of life or the practice of writing that excuses bloggers from the responsibilities of other writers.

It’s an insupportable culture. Vapid and dull. Writing should demand more of the keyboardist and the reader than most blogs do.

Some blogs, like my friend Susannah Breslin’s Reverse Cowgirl Blog, come from the very marrow and are worth reading in stark contrast to most blogs about sex and culture. Susannah writes about sex, not about her sex life, and, so, one gets to see her think, wrestle with experience and put it into words. That’s what blogging should aspire to, because we don’t need more fanboy press—the mainstream media has that brainless niche nailed.

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Author: Mitch Ratcliffe

Mitch Ratcliffe is a veteran entrepreneur, journalist and business model hacker. He operates this site, which is a collection of the blogs he's published over the years, as well as an archive of his professional publishing record. As always, this is a work in progress. Such is life.