After a week of looking at Kiersten White’s blog and rereading chapter five in Blogging so many times that I can practically recite it, it’s easy to connect what I’ve found in addition to drawing on this when I look at blogs as narratives.
It’s obvious right off the bat that this is not a pseudonymous blog. However, there is still a version of White being presented to us. As Rettburg states so aptly, “Just as we study ourselves in a mirror, shaping our features so our reflections please us, so we create a reflection of ourselves in a weblog. At the same time, we use our blogs to veil ourselves, not telling all but presenting only certain carefully selected aspects of our selves to our readers” (243). We see the obvious sides of this person: writer and mother. But it is clear – especially in her latest posts – that she is only revealing certain parts of her life. A sorrowful event that has affected her so greatly she revisits it every year and the highlights of her literary successes.
In the beginning, we experienced both the highs and lows. From the first time she was published to how awful she found the querying process. She told us that her blog would be a place where she’d “talk about… efforts, failures, and hopefully successes at becoming a published author” (Source).
Because that is no longer true, I was on the verge of concluding that this was not a narrative blog after all. Which would be extremely troublesome in regards to fulfilling the assignment. However, I went back to our professor’s summary of the assignment and read, “The narrative is a feature of how the blog progresses, not what it’s about” (Source). With this in mind, White’s blog still holds up when I look at it. Over time, it certainly has changed. In a way, it’s gone from being a site of self-exploration to one of ongoing narration. Or maybe it’s become a bit of both. After all, “Blogs as narrative cross blog genre lines” and at the core they are “a form of life-writing or autobiography” (Rettburg 227).
I was curious if my classmates had reached the same sort of conclusion. In perusing her own narrative blog, Emmalyn Dahl aptly states that “the reader gains an understanding of the topic, and little by little, fragment by fragment (as Rettberg would say), you piece together the author’s personal story, her motives behind why she does what she does, and her project. As the life of her blog develops and as her life continues in different directions, the blog shifts as well… Even the author of the blog doesn’t really know what that overall picture looks like, until they reflect one day, maybe years away, and see the overall picture of their blog, and in a deeper sense, an overall picture of who they are too (the mirrors that Rettberg refers to). We learn that blogging is a complicated thing to explain. But that’s easy to understand, because it’s hard to fit all blogs into one simple mold. You will find that even in categories (such as a Narrative blog), you will never find one Narrative blog the exact same.”
Honestly, I couldn’t have said it better myself.