To blog or not to blog

I was asked or I offered; either way, I am honoured by the invitation to write blog posts for the OIW website. So far, I have produced a total of one blog post - but have resolved to produce with greater reliability.

Not sure if this is a case of too many projects on the go, or a Covid concentration problem, or a fear of blogging.

I have this thing about what modern communications are called. “Twitter” sounds to me like it is meant to convey small things, and “tweets” like something little kids compete for in the sandbox. Yet tweets have facilitated world-changing social movements; so they must be more powerful than their name would suggest. Similarly, I can’t quite shake the auditory connotations that arise for me over “blogging.” Kind of a cross between the Voyageurs’ log jams and accidentally betraying something told in confidence.

Web logging?

Not like an editorial, exactly, or an opinion piece, but sort of. These things are familiar to me. As a journalist and broadcaster, I was stringently trained in journalistic ethics and bias. We knew the very distinct difference between reporting and editorializing -- in essence, “opinionating.”

Things are different now. Anyone can report, opinionate, and proselytize; anywhere, on any platform. “Truth” is an increasingly non-absolute entity.

I don’t share my opinions much anymore. My interest in caring that people know what I think has diminished exponentially over the years, and the group of beloved people I am lucky to have as my family and friends already know how I think and tolerate me anyway. I don’t have anything to prove or persuade anyone of.

So perhaps I am not a great candidate for blogging and should have offered to do the banking instead.

What might be in the way is the thing that has plagued my writing career since I was about ten. I start with a great idea and fizzle out at paragraph seven, which is always subtitled Are you kidding? Nobody cares what you think! I have stockpiled, over decades, hundreds of unfinished pieces. Lost blogs.

I bet you have too. Material for a subsequent blog: a challenge for all of us to do something about this.

However, I can reflect. So, a little belatedly, I can report that the last two OIW meetings were successful and, in my bloggish opinion, highly valuable.

In November, we were treated - -thanks to our OIW executive and contributing members’ ideas – to a presentation by local author Michael Stewart, a “comprehensive presentation of some of his best 'aha' moments learned in over a decade of writing novels, screenplays, and video games.” It was an excellent presentation and I hope you all had a chance to all watch it.

December’s OIW meeting, by Zoom, was a group reading and collective chat in celebration of “the holiday season.” While I do not have to tell you how weird and different everything is ‘In the Time of Covid’, there were nostalgic reminiscences of OIW meetings past, including lovely readings by OIW regulars of their works and others’, and a celebration in more people being available virtually than in person, which increased the party aspect.

A sweet and funny evening. Participants were in good humour and did hilarious riffs on whatever beverages they had chosen to accompany the meeting, which has given me material for yet another blog. With your indulgence, I will present a few more ideas for your consideration and challenge.

--Lisa Zanyk, January 16/21

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