50 Shades of Introverted Writers

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I really liked the story that Clive Thompson used in Chapter 3: Public Thinking of Smarter Than You Think when he talked about the successful blogger Kenyan-born Ory Okolloh and how she refused to write a book because she described herself as having "a very introverted real personality" (46).

HAHA. What?
Blogging is introverted? I guess I've never really thought of it that way, but I guess in a sense she is right--wanting to be published does involve having a little bit of an extroverted personality. You are basically putting your work out there for others to see. And blogging on the other hand is a little more private.

Well, it can still be seen by large audiences--but blogging is more personal. No one is editing your work, and there are no limitations.

What's funny is that Okolloh herself didn't realize she had even written all that much because it seemed liked it was all for her...not anyone else. Not until people actually printed out her blog to show her that she had actually written the equivalent to like two large telephone books.

This sounds like something that I would do so I definitely get what Okolloh is saying, but this is a great example of what Thompson is getting at with new media--it's more personal. More fun. More interesting.

We don't feel like we are writing two telephone books, but are instead just typing away on our laptops about those stupid thoughts we have about everything. And we don't really feel censored anymore. I know for me in particular--sometimes it's easier to just blog than it is to sit down and write a formal paper. The ideas come faster for me.


Photo Credit: Flickr User Will Lion

But how far should this freedom go?
Thompson mentions fan-fiction as well, and this reminds me unfortunately of 50 Shades of Grey ., which started as fan-fiction online based off of the Twilight saga.


"Ninety percent of everything is crap" Sci-fi writer Theodore Sturgeon says, and Thompson uses Sturgeon's law as an example to suggest that the "global eruption of unedited, every-day self expression" (48) has been transforming our own exceptions of what is "real" media.

Is fan-fiction even literature? Or just internet trash? 50 Shades of Grey certainly feels like internet trash. But hey, a lot of blogs are! And who cares? That's the point of blogging right? No censorship?

I certainly agree with Sturgeon to a certain extent, but at the same time there is a lot of good stuff out there that comes from this no censorship and this "introverted" communication form, and this is starting a new media revolution that I am definitely a fan of.

What do you guys think?


kglasso's picture

awesome blog!

Hey girl, loved the title! I really liked this blog post. As someone who has read fifty shades of grey (guilty) I could relate to everything you wrote!

ald_3's picture

Marissa -- the title of this

Marissa -- the title of this post initially caught my eye and I think you've hit on an important distinction when it comes to the "freedom" that accompanies online writing - although it seems like we have so many opportunities to write in a multitude of formats through the web, it also opens up a lot of possibilities for sub-par (trying to be nice...) writing. It's hard to know who should be the judge of what's good and what's bad writing...seems like each person has their own idea, and since these days it's pretty easy for anyone to be an author, it's probably not worth the headache of trying to regulate the bad stuff. Thanks for sharing!

clscott's picture

I love the quote about

I love the quote about blogging being introverted. In a way, it is, but in another way, it isn't. I guess it all depends on your purpose for blogging, whether you write for the intention of having people read it or for the intention of getting your thoughts out, like a diary.

I also love the "99% of everything is crap" quote. That's really prominent when it comes to trying to get your name out there, whether it's publishing a book or trying to become a Hollywood star. So many people put themselves out there, but only a few will actually stand out, and it's not always based on skill.