Tag Archives: George Saunders

Where are the alumni blogs? (Don’t these people want me to follow them?)

1 Mar

If I’ve noticed anything about writers in general, it’s that they’re an awkward bunch.  This is probably the result of too much time spent in front of a computer or spiral notebook—some kind of social blindness (like snow-blindness) that comes from staring at blank pages for hours and conversing with fictional characters in one’s head.  J.D. Salinger comes to mind as the poster boy of the reclusive writer, perhaps because of recent buzz around the release of private letters that reminded us all how very little we knew about the author’s personal life.  You know a man is a hermit when the discovery of his certain penchant for BK Whoppers and Tim Henman is front-page news.  Just saying.

                The strange neuroses that plague famous writers unfortunately also afflict non-famous writers as well—unfortunately because if you’ve ever taken an undergraduate creative writing workshop you know what I mean.  [TANGENT: If you haven’t taken a workshop, or you simply aren’t convinced, imagine twelve sets of eyes pinned on you as you read aloud something you wrote last night in a sleep-deluded panic, then imagine you can’t remember what you wrote and are stumbling over your words, and after you finish reading someone asks you to pass the tin of peanuts which has unfortunately settled on your desk (whose IDEA was it to eat food during workshops anyway?  Grease all over the papers, and that one kid in the corner who talks and munches simultaneously, gross.)  Needless to say you knock the peanuts over, two people bump heads trying to clean them up, and the next one.point five hours is spent talking about someone’s fictional rendering of a sex scene when it is very obvious nobody in the room has ever had sex at all.]

                POINT BEING: Writers are a little strange and a lot terrible at small talk, with the exception of George Saunders and David Sedaris, who I imagine are actually quite funny and engaging.  I would think that the whole blogging experience would suit the other three-gajillion less-funny and far-more-awkward writers nicely.  A sort of crutch for the socially dysfunctional, if you will.  It certainly eliminates the need for face-to-face conversation.  But for some reason I can’t find a single blog maintained by an Oberlin writing alumni (except this awesome one).  Perhaps this is simply an indication of my lack of search-engine skills, but I’d rather point it at some larger failing of writer-kind…where are the blogs faithful Obies?  Don’t you want me to follow you?!

❤ Ariel