At an interesting panel of new voices (titled “Where Are We Going?”) today, Lee Smith asked the panelists (Jake Silverstein, Janna Levin, Gigi Amateau and Silas House) a question: What about blogs? Her opinion is that “blogging is to writing like karaoke is to singing.”
The panelists offered a range of responses. Silas House blogs with a group of Southern writers on a site with a great name: A Good Blog is Hard to Find. He posts about once a month, crafts his pieces carefully and appreciates the deadline that makes him write. Janna Levin doesn’t like the world of commentary that the Internet and blogs have created, where we’re commenting on comments about comments. (Later she told the audience that we should still check out her website.) Jake Silverstein commented about the awareness we all have now of how long it’s been since we’ve checked our email, that there’s an inbox and a blogosphere and posts to be read and commented upon. This awareness, he said, can make it hard for writers to find the calm and focus they need to write.
All of them agreed we’re not going back. Although we are not yet, as far as I know, writing novels on cell phones like they are in Japan, according to a story in today’s New York Times.