Neil Gaiman’s blog has just celebrated its seventh birthday, which is a darn long time to be blogging. In a post from a couple of days ago, Neil responded to someone who asked if he was contracted to write his blog. He emphatically stated that he isn’t – that no one could pay him enough to keep at it for as long as he has. He also says the following about continuing to blog: “I really don’t know how much longer it’ll go on for, though. Mostly because I keep feeling that I’m starting to repeat myself.”
Well, I’ve only been at this blogging gig, between The Woo Woo Teacup Journal and Filter & Splice, for about a year-and-a-half and let me tell you, I’m sure I’ve repeated myself already. I think that’s okay, though, and I’ll tell you why. When I was in college, I had a professor who insisted that we all create a series of drawings that went together. She said that we couldn’t be considered serious artists until we produced a series.
While I disagreed with the idea that we could create a decent series on demand, I now understand the wisdom of her advice. By creating over time, an artist’s or writer’s work will take on themes and a style or voice that is generated directly by the soul. What seem to be individual works when examined one at a time will, when taken together, appear very obviously to have been created by the same person. There is a cohesive effect that makes it look as though the artist or writer has created a series over time. The cohesion is what gives us clues as to the person behind the work. It lets us get to know an artist or writer in a way that is deeper than how they may portray themselves in person.
Seven years worth of blogging produces a lot of material. I’d be incredibly surprised if it didn’t repeat. In fact, without the repetition, I’d think the blog was the work of someone with multiple personality disorder.
My advice to Neil? Keep blogging as long as you think it’s fun. I’m fine with the repetition, fine with the repetition, fine with the repetition.