Getting Meta

So, as I get into this blogging business, I figure the best way to figure out how to do it is the share my thoughts about it here–on my blog!

When I was in grad school, we were always studying ways of writing and I felt like I became very interested in the idea of how fields of writing vary.  For example, academic writing is so different from popular online writing–which is also so different from writing for literary journals, etc.  Each one has its own audience and set of assumptions and way of communicating.

Martha Beck, in her book Steering by Starlight speaks about how she had been trained in academia for so long as a Harvard PhD that when she began to want to write self-help books, she really felt as if she were going against all that was sacred to her training!  Indeed, when you are in academia, there is this certain way of speaking about “other” types of writing beyond the university that make that other type of writing seem simplistic, facile and lesser.  However, now that I am outside of academia, or at least outside of the university level, I in fact feel the opposite:  I feel that academic writing is really just one way of writing and is in fact a very limited way of writing with a very limited audience.  Not to reduce it or anything–it certainly has its purpose.  But, I embrace the idea now of becoming part of a larger conversation, one that incorporates all different modes of writing and all different audiences.

So, what I think is interesting is how, as a blogger, I have to think about now how to enter into the blogging conversations that are out there.  How can I enter into this field of writing, with all of its multiple approaches and variants.

I guess the first way is to read the blogs and online media that are out there-to even become aware that there are people out there experimenting with lots of ways of writing.  Then I can gradually position myself to think about where I fit in.

Some ideas I think are important as I approach a blog:

Keep entries short (which I am NOT doing in this post!)

Life coaching IS a viable topic to write about–even if non-professionally–just from my own experience

I think I would be interested in applying all of my Literature and Teaching background to more of a pop culture audience.  How to take this literary knowledge, figure out what I like about it, and then bring it to the blogosphere—so that I write not only to academics, not only to my students, not only to my students’ parents but also to general readers, who may not know much about books or literature.

How can I write about books and literature and literary-esque topics in a way that makes it fun and enticing for my audience?

Who is my audience?

Who do I want to target as an audience?

How can I use the professional training I already have in education, literature, writing and academic research to propel my writing forward?


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