“One of the important uses of blogs is for narratives. The narrative might be personal – mirrors. But, as Rettberg mentions, bloggers also start blogs, or start stretches of posts on blogs, as a way of recording a project. They can also be topical: There are blogs about senior year, about writing a dissertation, about learning to cook, raising kids, building a house, moving to the country and creating a home.” -Dr. Michael Morgan
Over a series of four posts, I plan on exploring every aspect of a narrative blog and how it relates to Rettburg’s chapter.
As for the blog itself, I chose to focus on the site of Kiersten White, who is an author and mother. She has no desire to be pseudonymous, and in her first post, she states that “rather than continuing to force my journey to publication on my family and friends, I’d start a new site devoted just to my writing.” Perhaps the event that started her online blogging was a desire to find people with similar passions… or maybe she was simply annoying everyone in her life with her own literary fervor.
Whatever the reason, the record of her journey to publication – and then her experiences beyond the release of that first novel – is fairly open-ended and authentic. It’s not just about a single project and thus not very goal-oriented, which is “when a blogger starts a blog with a clear project in mind” (230). During my perusal I read posts about her writing, events, successes and failures both author-related and otherwise. Which is why – though it initially seems to be professional – the blog is a combination of personal and career as she talks about her craft and her family. There are both public announcements and confessional ones.
Her blog was begun in 2008 and continues to be updated. The events that tend to prompt posting are upcoming events and a time for personal reflection. Her self-representation is interesting in that she’s both a distant figure in her success, and yet entirely relatable in certain moments of vulnerability. Rettburg points out that “each post in a blog has a beginning and an end, and can in principle be read on its own. Read together, the posts create a larger story” (227). So even though one post is a story of the loss of one of her children and another is about a new book deal, they still come together to document the life of this woman. Thus, if I had to put a label on what kind of blog this is, I would say it’s an ongoing narration. Someday there will be an end, and when we look back it will form an entire story.
So far, I find it fascinating.