I’ve noted before that blogging can be the modern equivalent of the classical diarist or “journal-ist”. That’s not to say that everyone is a Montaigne or Gracian, but it is a rich tradition. I note today that it is the birthday of William Wordsworth. The blurb I was reading about him indicated that he had been an enthusiastic writer in favor of the French Revolution, even though that was an unpopular position in his time. Becoming disillusioned with politics, he turned his writing toward other, more prosaic, topics. As the Writer’s Almanac notes, between 1797 and 1807:
At the time, most poets were writing poetry about broad topics of history and religion and philosophy. Wordsworth wrote about ordinary things and private thoughts, the view from a bridge, daffodils. Critics thought he was wasting his time on uninteresting subjects. But by the time he had reached middle age, he became a cult sensation and his collections of poetry became best-sellers.
I read a lot of blogs for awhile before I started my own and saw that there was a good representation of those writing on philosophy and religion and “modern history”, i.e., politics. There was also a good smattering of those who wrote about ordinary things and private thoughts.
I liked all kinds, and have dabbled in each form here. I think I’d be bored if I tried to confine myself to one niche or another. The thing is, when I’m writing out my philosophical commentaries on politics or the news I frequently think I should be doing more observational posts. But when I’m writing the more personal stuff I feel as if I should be writing about the news of the day. Why is that?
Anyway, I’m just throwing that out as a random observation. I suppose the main thing for me, no matter what I write about, is just that I write.