When I was getting my MFA, I dreamt of having a few dozen people over for an “intelligent” dinner party. Discussions would be literary in nature–as in, people have Read things and want to Talk about them. Local musicians might stop by, randomly serenading us with their newest creations. Hell, there might even be some polite, non-controversial political or religious conversation. What? A girl can dream!
Quickly, I realized the impossibility of this happening in any world since the Roaring 20s, but I held on to the fantasy for some time…
A master’s degree, a marriage, a kid, and three jobs later, this dream collided with my obsession in finding “intelligent” blogs to follow. When I say Intelligent, I really mean Literary–meaning the person can spell words and make sentences with them–but also Interesting in a non- niche sort of way.
Blogs are all about finding the one thing you’re good at and blabbing about it. Though this formula seems to work for 99% of the world’s population, a day blurfing (surfing for blogs) left me dissatisfied. Actually, it left me supremely, royally pissed off. There is a major disconnect between wanting to write and being able to write, something the blog world either hasn’t yet picked up on or could give two fucks about. Besides, who wants to read a blog about an out-of-work writer lying on the couch all day watching HGTV, which was my particular talent in those days.
Since I’d just had a baby, I knew I couldn’t trust my brain in the least, but something in me kept believing that there were people out there that had knowledge, experience, talent, and maybe a grammar handbook for good measure. In short, I was looking for the Internet version of my dinner party–a place I could learn things, meet people, make friends, drink beer… Sort of like Highschool 2.0 (without the beer), only for real this time. But this “place” was as much a fantasy as my intelligent group of friends casually stopping by for petit fours.
Enter a collaborative blog. Not a magazine, not a forum, and not a wasteland for unintelligent blather. Real people who know how to write and, yeah, it would be nice if they had something to say. Viewpoints. Lots of them, in variety. People who get along with other people. Believe it or not, I think I was the first person to come up with this idea. (I may be the last one standing when it’s all said and done, too.) Yes–I admit it–30POV was conceived as a place where conversations can be held. A virtual dinner table.
Now in our third year of publication, (read: we ROCK), the “blog” is so much more than what I’d hoped for in a dinner party, in a wow-this-is-nothing-like-I-thought-it-would-be sort of way. I mean, our most popular posts are about Scottish men and a grown man’s toy collection. The most brilliant of writing tends to go unnoticed. And, as it turns out, 30-something writers are extremely unpredictable, often volatile, and crazy-sensitive. Let’s just say, I’ve debated changing my phone number a couple of times. But what else would you expect at a dinner party of ultra-cool people who have brains, talent, and at least a decade of drinking behind them?
If I’d ever gotten that “intelligent dinner part” thing/idea off the ground, I imagine I would’ve been bored out of my mind. Along with everyone else. Unless a group of friends had come along like the writers who’ve stopped by, lingered, and–in some cases–moved in here at 30POV, that is. I don’t love all of their viewpoints; hell, I don’t even like some of their posts. But the community here has improved my life in a tangible way–by satiating my incessant hunger for Real Writing.
Oh, and did I mention I get to serve up some opinion, too?
p.s. If you’ve got a Viewpoint that’s fueled by talent, backed up by experience, or brimming with knowledge (or a combination of the three), there’s a place here for you, too!