Contentment Diary 1/6/10, Metablogging

Today my brother asked when I would go back to work instead of just blogging and such. I yammered on about semester preparations and the projects owed hither and yon to professional organizations, generally attempting to justify my existence, but really the whole time I was thinking, “But blogging is my work.” Then I remembered I don’t get paid for it. In fact, the people who do pay me for my work don’t know or care about my blogging, wouldn’t give a toss either way if I quit or kept it up. That’s why I do quit sometimes when I’m extra busy with grading and submitting grades and filling out paperwork and sleeping through committee meetings and other tasks that I am paid for.

Too bad it doesn’t pay. Blogging is my favorite part of my job. It’s such a favorite thing that I wonder if I’d begin to loathe it if anyone paid me to do it.

The blogs are mine. I made them. I write what I want on them when I want. I don’t owe anything to anyone on them, and I don’t answer to anyone for them. That’s the best kind of work in the world.

I think this may in fact be the point of Daniel Pink’s book Drive. I just started listening to it today and haven’t gone far enough into it to comment yet, but I gather he’s going to talk about a sense of autonomy as being one of the most powerful motivating forces.

And so, all snarkiness aside, Contentment Diary, I blog mainly for the personal satisfaction. When it comes down to it, though, I am surprised other people don’t see this as part of my job. For me, it is a professional identity. I write. I teach writing. I blog. I learn a lot about how people write and teach writing in a digital culture along the way. It’s what I do.

Without it, my life would probably be much more manageable, but it wouldn’t be happier, nor would it be more innovative, informed, or professionally engaged. It would just be, and I would hate that. I would so hate it.