I find a lot of information about Jamaica Kincaid through internet sources, though some of it is just book sales. I have an idea about using the blog posts and commentary ‘of the people’ in my writing, but I worry about how to incorporate it in a way that it is considered appropriate. Not that I won’t try anyway, but I want it to work as research. I see it as field writing research. When I look at blogs and other informal writing, I think now these are the people who actually read Jamaica Kincaid and practice in varying degrees autobiographical writing- these are the people who are involved in the dynamics I’m writing about.
Some of these blog writings are formal as they are written by scholars, or literary type people, while others are written by students, mothers and interested readers. I’m trying to think about how to include and reference these people. I have their blog name. I have their addresses (urls). I’m just concerned that people who don’t understand what I’m doing will think the work lacks rigor, namely the dissertation reading committee and my adviser. People are not writing about blogs here in academia in Puerto Rico. It’s not a form of publishing that has caught on and/or is respected.
Many people look away when I say I write a blog, I think they think it’s equivalent to Facebook in its substance. (I think Facebook is a great way to write mini-blogs, and I know that people use it to their own purpose so I am not criticizing the forum at all. I am able to reach more people through Facebook. I love sharing my Oasis blog with them.) I have five blogs I participate in, including this one- one I author for the general public about life, art and living in PR; another I write for myself that has all of the research about Jamaica Kincaid and autobiography, and the next two blogs are in public forums where I publish so that I can connect with other writers. I started this one to learn wordpress and to have a place that was semiprivate to freely write about my writing project. As is my habit, I am thinking about how my own writing behavior is shared by others-or not. I’m thinking about the autobiographical quality of blog writing, and instant publishing. What does it do to the author? What impact does it have in any direction. Recently, I saw a movie where the main character, a newspaper writer, made disparaging comments about his younger colleague because she wrote and published in a blog. I gleaned from his comments that he thought blogs were not serious writing because they talked about non-serious topics and didn’t use the same rules for publishing or research. Blogs were kind of a tabloid newspaper in his mind. I understand his opinion but I think there are many kinds of blogs that are written by various people.
The blog writer has more control if she creates and writes in the blog, but if it’s sponsored by a newspaper or connected to an organization, it follows the rules set up by their arrangement. Blogs can be seen on a continuum in level of seriousness and quality but that is not the point. Some people just want to connect with others by sharing ideas and hearing from their readers. Others write without much exchange. Some are informal while others are informal. However, they are part of the social interplay that we all are engaged in life, only this part is done on computer instead of paper or in person. It’s an entire world of literary exchange that has merit just because it exists and is growing, Lately, I have read about some academic conferences that address the blog as a writing medium. one was a woman’s writing conference in San Diego. I also saw a requests for submissions for a publication in another woman’s book. I think the blog literary landscape is changing.