Writing the (Embodied) Self Into Being: Personal Blogging as Creative Non-Fiction & the Issue of Corporeality Online

To add a paper, Login.

Over the past five years, as use of the Internet – formerly better known as the realm of geeks, elites, and researchers – has become more “everyday”, the phenomenon of blogging has taken the world by storm. Never before has the voice of the people been so prominent, or the means by which to promote this voice, accessible. There are blogs discussing every topic one can imagine, and yet despite (or perhaps because of) this almost saturation of information, more and more people create, update, and read blogs every day. One of the most intriguing forms of online writing is the personal blog, wherein individuals document even the most banal minutiae of their lives for the reading pleasure of the public.

It is my contention that personal blogging forms an integral present-day element of the genre of creative non-fiction. This paper will contemplate the ways in which personal blogs contribute to the exploration and experience of selfhood – both its construction and comprehension – by thinking about the way that blogs do two things. Firstly, a personal blog – often documenting events that happen away from the keyboard – operate as a space wherein the online and offline intersect. In doing so, blogs offer snapshots not only of the author, but also of the author’s physical surroundings, and their embodied experience. A far cry from the non-corporeal sentimentality of early Internet theory, it is my argument that blogging (and being online as a blogger) is indeed very much an embodied undertaking. Place, space, location, and physicality are all important factors in the construction of online selves. Secondly, writing a blog forces the author to ‘step outside the self’ and narrate one’s own life in a creative and engaging manner for an audience, thus evoking notions of storytelling and performance in the exploration and representation of self.

Keywords: Internet, Blogging, Identity, Creative Non-fiction, Embodiment
Stream: Media Arts Practices: Television, Multimedia, Digital, Online and Other New Media
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Erin Lee Stark

PhD Candidate, Internet Studies, Curtin University of Technology
Perth, Western Australia, Australia

I am a postgraduate student in the Internet Studies Department at Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Western Australia. I also teach Communication Skills within the same institution. In 2006 I was awarded First-Class Honours in English from the University of Western Australia for a dissertation on body modification culture on the Internet, and in 2008 a scholarship to study towards a PhD at Curtin University. My current research interests lie in cyber and digital culture theory, with a specific interest in the border zone between online and offline life. I’m also deeply interested by visual culture, issues of corporeality, and the role of writing in the construction of self. When not working on my PhD thesis, I can most often be found behind the lense of a camera, blogging, or trying out new recipes.

Ref: A09P0643