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.

May 8, 2007 3:11 PM | | Comments (1)



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!

Leave a comment

Recent Work

Fidel Castro: My Life 
A review from Newsday
40 Years of "The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual" 
Marking the anniversary of Harold Cruse's great book
Style and Grace 
A review of a book by the late, great Grace Paley from ... sheesh, almost ten years ago.
Oh, Canada 
National identity -- going south?
The LaRouche Tabernacle Choir 
An interview with me about the LaRouche movement, on Pacifica radio in Los Angeles
Open Library 
An interview with Aaron Swartz, one of the developers....
Sailing From Ithaka 
The new report calling for a digital platform for scholarly publishing deserves a wide audience


Battle of the Titans 
Dinesh D'Souza and Alan Wolfe debating? Imagine a slime mold in conflict with a patch of mildew. It's just that inspiring.
To the Tehran Station 
Not about Edmund Wilson
more picks


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Quick Study published on May 8, 2007 3:11 PM.

Reader's Digest for the Hyper-Literate was the previous entry in this blog.

Cover/Age is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

AJ Ads

AJ Blogs

AJBlogCentral | rss

About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.