So far my blog voice has been my impersonation of what I think a blog sounds like. And for me that has meant a voice that is trying to "publicly journal." Mostly, it feels like I'm wearing the genre on my face like a mask made out of another journal's face.
The Ta-Nehisi Coates quote relates to my whole blog performance. I'm not going to lie, I came late to the blog game. It's probably the least effective way to communicate to an audience. But in some ways it's still an attractive idea. I like that I have more room here than anywhere else I write publicly. I like that I know no one is looking. It feels, counter-intuitively, like the more dangerous thing to do. Probably because I’m writing with the same freedom that Coates is lamenting that he’s lost: the ability to write as experimentally honest as he can in full public view.
Nobody will forgive you for being an amateur once you become a professional. The internet is what David Markson called a first-draft world. It’s true once you get to a certain point. I still have the safety net of nigh-obscurity to be able to write whatever in whatever way I want to, coming to the most indefinite watery conclusions without structure. Start getting more attention and that all has stop. And that ossification can really keep ideas from being able to grow.
Damn, that paragraph feels like a time machine to the Naughties.