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May 8, 2007

Career Opportunities Are the Ones That Never Knock

There is a neutral and generic sense of the term "career" that I've seen in sociology and ethnography -- one that does not necessarily relate to a profession or a particular kind of work. A career is something that goes through phases of deepening involvement, more precise role definition, recognition by peers etc. That broad usage can apply to the "career" of a heroin addict, a Jehovah's Witness, a Communist organizer, or whatever, just it might to a CEO or a famous actor.

So I've sort of been playing around with the questions of what it might mean to speak of a blogging "career." What would be the stages, transitional moments, marks of distinction, occasions for exit, and so on?

And to be blunt, I'm encouraged to pursue thinking about this by the sheer stupidity of some of the comments on literary blogging lately. (Sample.) This topic might be worth revisiting at some point. It's kind of tangential, but I find myself puzzling over it.

I hear a distinct note of anxious dread in the voices of some colleagues at magazines and newspapers whenever they talk about the future. This is understandable. And yet, while just about as prone to anxious dread as anybody can be, I've never felt the need to take a whiz on the bloggers to shore up my status as Serious Writer (dicey as that status may be).

No valid generalization can be made about blogs, any more than you can make one about all magazines or all films. The insistence on "othering" bloggers seems like a strange product of defensiveness and ignorance. It a real puzzle to me why some people who presumably ought to know better (or at least be capable of manifesting a certain noblesse oblige) are indulging in this.

Meanwhile, Adam Kotsko has a blog post up called "My Career as a Blogger." Which makes me wonder if that initial hunch isn't worth pursuing in any case.

Posted by smclemee at May 8, 2007 3:11 PM


You know, I write for a living (not my blog...I write for a magazine). I am kind of looking forward to the day when we drop the whole print format. I'm enjoying the blog much more than working/researching for the articles I write. The dynamic kind of research you can do with blog writing is so much more, well..democratic in ways. You provide links, pointing your readers in directions you want them to go, and they go there and draw their own conclusions. I also like that it opens up a forum for conversation with your readers. There has never before been a place where you can write and your readers can talk back to you!

Posted by: The Junky's Wife at May 8, 2007 6:00 PM