Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Creative Nonfiction and the Coterie

Starting a blog has been in the back of my mind for a while, mostly because I enjoy the act and process of writing. Synthesizing ideas and images with feelings and opinions, revising and reviewing them. A blog also gives me an outlet for my writing. Then again, to me, that seems like a cop-out, the easy answer, a sort of weird self-indulgence: Just in case my writing isn't good enough to make it into a magazine or between the bound covers of my own book, at least my friends and family will get a chance to read it when they want.

I'm learning, however, that writers from the 16th and 17th Centuries created a similar community. Not a cop-out at all. Granted, publishing opportunities were much more scarce in those days, but that's why they created writers' groups to pass around manuscripts. To get reactions, advice, suggestions, etc. The word is "coterie." In effect, I'll probably use this as primarily that: a pre-staging of things I'm writing to get feedback from an audience.

There's also this idea of blogging as creative nonfiction that's been bouncing around inside my head for the last month. I'm taking a course on writing personal essays, and I can't escape the obvious connection to blogging. Now, I'm no expert on blogging--in fact this entire format is less intuitive to me than I had hoped, but I will definitely spend some extra time making this space less template-y and more Dave. Regardless, I think blogs are an interesting form--if not simply the embryonic stage--of the personal narrative essay. It combines multiple threads, images, all the things present in your typical memoir, only this form includes community.

I'm excited and intrigued by the idea of writing in a new form, genre, medium, whatever you want to call it.


Seth said...

Dave, this is great. I like poem a lot and I like your ideas of "creative non-fiction" in blog form. Glad you're in the blog world!

Megan said...

i enjoyed your poem...good work...i'm real happy you have joined the blogging community...it's a fun place to be :)

Lisa said...

i don't know much about poetry.
[i'm okay with that, though, because i think the majority of people out there reading poetry don't know much about it...except if they like it or not]
but i think this downer is beautiful.
and i think i'm looking forward to more from you...david.

Zach B. said...

Very interesting reflection on blogging, Dave. Blogging is definitely a strange beast, but all forms of writing are sort of curious. They are all a little self-indulgent. I think that is sometimes a good thing.

Bryan and I were just talking about the pantoum earlier today. It is such a cool form. I love repetiion, so it makes me happy. It always reminds me of T. S. Eliot, too.

Keep blogging, mister. I look forward to what comes next.