Thursday, September 28, 2006

Confessional Blogs

As a woman blogger, reading about the rising number of confessional blogs by women makes me wonder if I may part of that demographic - I have been guilty of griping about dating misadventures and abended relationships but that is how far confessional I have been. In The Observer article, Rafael Behr says of women who write confessional blogs :

They trawl for men, display their most intimate secrets on the internet and turn their diaries into essential reading for thousands. Stephanie Klein, queen of the confessional blog, explains why more and more women are making their personal lives public.

The confessional blog is a genre that is more likely to get attention that most others and with some luck a book contract or a TV show. It is good marketing for a wannabe writer and does not involve the stack of rejection letters from publishers and agents. Not sure why a confessional blog written by a man would not be of interest to the reading and publishing public.

Eventually, one morning, some bright spark in a publishing house, fretting into a latte over the imminent obsolescence of the print industry, gets an email containing a link. It leads to a site that combines sex, real life and competent wordsmithery.Plus, the whole thing has a whiff of edgy credibility because there are still people who haven't even heard of blogging. Being next to last to know about something is, after all, better than being the very last.

Reading a confessional blog is as thrilling as stumbling on someone's diary except that you have no way of identifying this person. The more intimate and preposterous the confessions, the faster the pace of the blogger's life relative to the reader's, the greater its thrall on the reader because it is proof that fact is stranger than fiction. Unlike a novel, this story is unfolding real time. As Behr says:

But as a society we respond to anonymous sexual disclosure as a provocation. That's because it tickles a sensitive zone on the boundary between fact and fiction, between documentary and titillation. We want to know whether we should be learning from something or getting off on it, so we hunt down the original source. And we want to be sure that we haven't been hoaxed.

1 comment:

SFGary said...

"Not sure why a confessional blog written by a man would not be of interest to the reading and publishing public"

Dang! there goes my chance of exposing all...on the other hand people would be bored to tears. He is spot on though, confessional blogs by women are quite interesting for a while till it becomes repetitive.

I still have to think about why men cannot do the same?