I have been writing these blog entries for a week now--seven straight days of daily blogging--and I am beginning to feel like Henrietta Stackpole, the lady journalist in Henry James's Portrait of a Lady. Henrietta is a monster (though a rather likable monster, by the end of the novel) because she converts every experience into grist for her journalistic mill; in fact, she seems to accumulate experiences mainly, or even solely, so that she can write about them for her paper. In the same way, I am finding my daily blogging task starting to intrude heavily on the rest of my life, and especially my art-consuming life. I will be sitting in the midst of a concert, or perhaps walking home from another kind of event, already composing blog-appropriate sentences in my mind. The gap between experience and report has narrowed to almost nothing: I barely have time to have the experience, much less think about it, before it turns itself into a blog. I imagine this is what daily reviewers go through all the time, but I have never been a daily reviewer, so I find it unnerving. Still, I plan to persist for the full promised month, and perhaps the task will get easier, or more natural, or else I will so wholly become Henrietta Stackpole that I don't even notice any more.
My other concern is you. Are you out there? Is anyone reading this? I know that eventually the bots will be all over these entries, offering comments about how you can acquire cheap real estate in the Bahamas or wipe out your wrinkles with Botox. But I am talking about real human readers who actually care about the arts. Is anyone of that description still reading this NAJP blog? Or am I just broadcasting to thin air? Let me know, if you care to, and you will earn my eternal gratitude. (P.S. A friend has just pointed out to me that the Comments function was turned off. But it is now turned back on, for those of you who wish to make comments--positive, negative, or neutral, all are welcome.)