I was reading one of Paul Graham’s essays yesterday. He was distinguishing between writing essays where you polish the ideas for several weeks and the various types of ad-hoc writing like journals, diaries and blogs. Diaries are impromptu personal impressions. Journals are a little more subjective records of daily occurences.
Blogs, on the other hand cover a bit more territory. There is the clip blog that consists of short paragraphs that contain links to cool sites that the blogger has encountered while surfing.
Then there is the episodic blog that is more like a journal or diary. The entries are usually several paragraphs long. Beyond that, there is a lot of variation in content. Some are very personal and others or more like journals.
The third type of blogs are what I’ll call essay blogs. Essay bloggers often post much less frequently than the other types of bloggers but they typically have more to say. And what they say is much better thought out and expressed. Some essay bloggers probably rip an entry off like a long email but I suspect that most work on it for several days or more.
So, what’s the point of this ramble, you ask? I have been trying to decide what kind of blog this is going to be. I have pretty much totally rejected the idea of making it a clip blog. If you want to see what I’m reading go to my del.icio.us page. I’m pretty good about posting the cool things I read there. I’ll even try to beef up my descriptions a little bit.
I think the posts here will vary between being episodic and essay like, probably with the emphasis on the former. I rarely take the time to work on a piece enough to call it an essay. When I spend that much time writing something, it’s usually fiction. More on that later.