This is an experiment.
Before starting this blog I’ve had to settle some questions about my purposes. There is something to be said for the writer in her solitude attempting to connect with the public in a variety of modes. Different kinds of writing have a place in my life. Some are workaday—letters, emails, syllabi, prompts, comments on student work, minutes, and so on. Some are private—I keep a personal journal where I gather ideas, sketches, starts of this and that, and reflections. Some of the materials may find their way into my public writing, into essays and stories. To my thinking, this blog is neither workaday nor personal.
The blog is closely related to a personal essay, but differs in how it is produced. An essay may take a long time to write. I tend to become obsessed with my subject, carrying it with me everywhere, waking up at night thinking about it. I may produce five drafts, rewriting obsessively, building and tearing down, and building again. I hope that a blog post will be produced more spontaneously. I don’t want to give up the form that meditates more seriously on a subject in favor of the short take. I want both. I believe there is a place for both. Because there can be something grand in the more raw spirit of feeling; the improvisation that may feed forms that require a long time to simmer. So this blog is a test for me.
Most blogs have an announced subject: a sport, yoga, one’s dog. I don’t intend to follow that pattern, at least not at first, despite the title’s reference to tennis. I envision my blog in the shape of a spider with its jointed legs and the hair on those eight legs picking up scents, sounds, vibrations, and air currents. In other words I want a blog with an abdomen that moves in all directions and an exoskeleton that is periodically shed.