Friday, February 13, 2009

Reboot Angle #4 > The Confessional

This is part of my blog reboot process. For the origin of the thought of the motivation of the why and the why now, please click back here.

Back in May of 2008, I read a fascinating article in the New York Times Magazine about a twentysomething blogger named Emily Blount. In a nutshell, Emily fell victim to (or used to her advantage, or both) "oversharing," whereby personal details of her life and of the lives around her were fodder for readers of her personal blog and her work at Gawker.

This vivid and provocative interplay between voyeurism and exhibitionism is at the heart of my fourth possible blog angle, The Confessional.

Forgive me Father, for I have blogged my sins.

To be honest, I've flirted with this angle in posts here several times over the past couple years. I've attempted to transcribe some of my rawer and/or uglier feelings and experiences with the vague hope that a) there would be some sort of catharsis and b) others who had gone through or felt something similar would experience a twinge of knowing camaraderie.

a) often resulted
b) based on the very, very few comments made here, I can only assume that this was rarely if ever experienced.

Sad panda.

There are some obvious drawbacks to this angle, the biggest one that I am a monogamous, happily married man in his latish 30s who stays in far more often than he goes out. What good is a confessional if there's not that much to confess to?

Of course, I could always dig into the dirt I played in during my teens and my 20s, but that's more of a memoir angle. To really engage with an audience, methinks this style requires current events that have not yet played all the way out (and therefore some cliffhangers and surprises).

This angle does tie rather neatly into the inherent narcissism of blogging, but I question whether the kind of confessions that I have to offer would be of interest to anyone outside a small circle of intimates. I could confess my thought processes (impure thought processes?), what I really think on this or that topic or this or that person, but that doesn't have much viscera to it does it?

Of course, I could always turn over an old leaf and get into some trouble for art's sake.


While the Confessional style has appeal to me as a reader, I'm not quite sure how I would approach it in a meaningful/entertaining way as a writer at this particular juncture.

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