Friday, June 15, 2007

Too long a silence to write about

If you're wondering why I've been silent in this blog for over a week, it's because I've been very busy at work and I've had some other writing deadlines to pursue at home – amidst the hustle and bustle of the life with two kids.

while I haven't had time to write about them this past week, I've been meaning to blog about a lot of things such as:

1) my attending the Dalai Lama's public talk in Melbourne last Saturday (very insightful talk offering us a lot to learn);

Update: I had hoped to add one of the photos I took of the Dalai Lama at his public lecture in Melbourne, but they didn't turn out very well at all (the perils of sitting a little too far away and not having a telephoto lens!). I didn't think readers would enjoy my shaky pics of him on the big-screen, so I searched flickr for a Creative Commons licensed photo of the Dalai Lama in Melbourne and found this beauty by Jason Argo (CC). By the way, I highly recommend the Creative Commons
search engine – I use the tool-bar add-on for Firefox, but I can't find it on the Firefox site anymore. Pity! [Updated and photo added 5.05 pm, 20 June 2007]

2) the sizzling debate heating up over The Australian trying to heavy Clive Hamilton and the
publishers of his book on the Australian politics of climate change, Scorcher, into fudging Hamilton's strong criticism of that newspaper's role in climate change denialism here in Australia (great piece by Hamilton in;

3) the news that the heavens opened up over and flooded the Newcastle area of New South Wales earlier this week – with tragic consequences;

4) the news from of their success lobbying the G8+5 Summit in Germany to seriously tackle climate change.

5) Sarsaparilla had an interesting discussion on writers and blogging, initiated by Sophie's post on Writers and blogging.

The last one got me really thinking – am I a writer or a blogger? phft! I'm both, of course. Blogging has always been a part and parcel of my 'practice' as a writer, and writing is central to my blogging, of course! But does it mean that when I'm busy blogging, that I'm not giving enough time to my 'writing'? Or, if I'm too busy with my 'creative' writing to blog, that I'm finally being a 'real' writer?

I think that these stem from pretty vague and shaky demarcations between 'writing' and blogging – usually preferred by writers who view their writing as their 'profession' and blogging as something that 'amateurs' do (in the implied sense of being a dabbler or not proficient at something rather than being unpaid).

I think it also stems from the hierarchy imagined by many writers between fiction (and hence 'artistic' or 'creative') writing and non-fiction writing. I am primarily a non-fiction writer who dabbles in short creative fiction in order to home my skills and practice as a creative non-fiction writer (confused? you're not the only one). That does not make me any less a serious writer. I just don't get paid lots to do it. If anything.

It just really, really pisses me off when people's comments suggest that if you're not writing a novel, then you're not being a real writer.

Don't worry. There isn't a 'novel in me waiting to come out'. I don't have that conceited constipation at this time in my life.

by Jason Argo (CC)]

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