What Blogging Is About

In his final post as a guest blogger, Michael Chabon admits he didn't get any writing done on his novel while pinch hitting for TNC, and offers parting reflections on the format:

Novelist time is reptile time; novelists tend to be ruminant and brooding, nursers of ancient grievances, second-guessers, Tuesday afternoon quarterbacks, retrospectators, endlessly, like slumping hitters, studying the film of their old whiffs ...  Blogging, I think, is largely about seizing opportunities, about pouncing, about grabbing hold of hours, events, days and nights as they are happening, sizing them up and putting them into play with language, like a juggler catching and working into his flow whatever the audience has in its pockets.

Then there's that whole business of the Comments.

Hell, it's bad enough when a book's coming out, and you open wide, and dig your nails into the arms of the chair, and wait for the stink of charred enamel to rise from the reviewers' whirring drills. The pleasure of a favorable notice lasts about three hours and twenty-four minutes; the sting of a bad one settles down to a dull ache that can endure for decades (Up yours, John Skow!). Bad enough, like I say, but man, that daily assessment down there in Disquslandeven when it was mostly, even entirely, sweet and thoughtful and respectful, it was weirdly tough. Tough to withstand, tough to resist. And sometimes, today, tough to read. Maybe after a while a blogger hardens to it, I don't know. But there is so much wit, poignance, and good writing in the Comments, you would be kind of a fool not to spend some time there every day, if you were a blogger, seeing what people had to say about what you had to say. You might even learn something.