On blogging as a literary form, Esme Wang says, "I see the importance of writing “what is helpful,” but I also want to write about what is not obviously “helpful. Because writing encourages complexity and nuance, but the common wisdom about blogging does not. In the world of blogging, every story must be, if not straight-up advice, an Aesop’s fable with a clear moral. We’re even encouraged to put the moral in bold, if possible, because blogging is a genre, and genres have certain borders and shapes to them–if they didn’t, they wouldn’t be genres.
Noir has its femme fatale. Locked-room mysteries have a seemingly impossible escape.
The blog genre suggests that we be helpful, be amusing, be brief. Be easy to read. Be simple."
When I read long form essays in print magazines, I love the detail and investigative work. Reading these pieces requires a high investment from me - time, attention - and also from the writer - months of research, time. I recognize a personal voice in these works and I usually keep coming back to those publications for more. I regularly read The Economist, The New England Journal of Medicine, Vanity Fair, the uber progressive This! Magazine and Foreign Policy.
When I read blogs, I am looking for a deeply personal point of view. Corporate blogs full of listicles make me crazy because I know that some poor intern is sitting there trying to find overlap between what customers want to hear and what bosses want to read. And they rarely hit it. There is no point of view.
In the last three years, I've become a regular blog reader. They are the perfect morsel to consume in between blocks of patients, while waiting in line or between lectures. Some blogs I read daily and others when their newsletters pique my interest. I don't agree with everything they write and I don't find everything accessible or realistic. That's ok. They don't need to be brief or "helpful."
I am in it for the point of view.
I wanted to offer this list of my regularly visited blogs. I read a million more than these. But these ones get me back over time. I absolutely see that the reflect a largely middle class perspective even though I will never spend the prices some of these blogs think I should on miscellany like tea towels. I know they're pretty popular in my demographic so I am wary of hive mind. I would love some alternate suggestions, so please comment below and my world will be expanded.
I just learned about Esme Wang. She has a Masters in Fine Arts and is an extraordinary writer. I hope to read her books and I have devoured every Legacy Note she sends. She also has schizoaffective disorder which is a chronic severe mood disorder alongside a psychotic disorder. Her writing is a precious, singular window into the experience of living with psychosis. But, she writes about any number of other things so this isn't just for people who are on the mental health currents.
I used to think serious women weren't into beautiful things. I was wrong.
This woman's podcast is addicting. She is warm and bright and seriously invested in the experience of life. She has great conversations with cool people. The demographic could be expanded. But, a critique I would level at myself any day. This is my favourite episode/blog post with Kate Richardson of Puj on Stopping the Glorification of Busy.
This is Simon Sinek's blog, author of Leaders Eat Last and Start With Why. So, sometimes I hate it when people self-appoint as lifestyle and leadership gurus unless those people are Bill Gates, Malala Yousafzai (that child is unbelievable) and the like. But I like what Simon has to say. He recommends decent work.
I read these internet siblings all the time. The point of view quota on these is pretty high and they're starting to become jourlogs or blogalism or whatever the hybrid word is for blogs that investigate things. My favourite Jez writer left a while ago - Lindy West - but I still read regularly.
This lady is a health coach based out of San Francisco. She ascribes to a philosophy of self care that is luxurious and I like it. She uses the word "feminine" in weird ways sometimes, and this could be alienating, but aside from that she has some real gems in her work and writing. And she isn't afraid to get pretty real.
I haven't met an anthropologist I don't like and Brown is no exception. "Maybe stories are just data with soul," is her - and the field of anthropology's - way of getting at the heart of the beautiful human experience. You may know her from her TED talks on shame and vulnerability. When you listen to her, you get the feeling that she does as she says. No mirage.
This is one of the most delicious places on the internet. The Shop is pretty gosh darn aspirational (a $164 travel backgammon set) but a girl can look.
So this is a Canadian magazine with awesome online content. I feel at home in those digital pages. This piece looks at the tools of torture found in Montreal's Royal Vic as it was cleaned out and moved to the new site:
She is a communications specialist and copywriter who makes words dance and me write. So there's that.
Interspersed with super tempting sponsored posts enticing me to buy clothes that would make me look like a 30-something Brooklyn Brownstone mom are really poignant articles on all sorts of really human stuff. Joanna Goddard is accessible but deep. I love the Thursday/Friday "Have a Wonderful Weekend" posts which include 10 or so links to fun stuff to read around the internet. This one is great and recent.
Jessi is a dancer and weight lifting coach in NYC. She is curious and bright. She inspires me. I am also part of an online group that she facilitates around empowerment and fitness. She is really special and I am so lucky that I found her.
Abigail King left a career in medicine to travel. So, she has lived the opposite of my life. I have up travelling for medicine. She writes a "thoughtful blog on luxury travel" and I couldn't say it any better than that.
I've been following Danielle's work for years. Based out of Vancouver, and she is pretty fearless. I love reading her weekly posts and I have even taken a Desire Map Workshop with Roxanne Garside. The Workshop helped me with some clutch clarity issues. Sometimes she says things that are, frankly, blustery new age vanilla but rarely. She runs her business like life is a huge celebration and I find that this attitude floats my boat.
This is more of a news and culture magazine and it is so good. Nate Silver believes that journalism could use more technical roots and I agree. Here is their analysis of the Women's World Cup of Soccer to be hosted by Canada this month.
This is one of the most creative and rich places on the internet. Maria Popova is Brain Pickings and she writes,
I've heard some interviews with SwissMiss founder Tina Roth Eisenberg and she's awesome. She is unconventional yet sensible. I love reading what she finds and seeing what she creates.
Interesting contributors and visuals. An easy one.
Ok, so these guys recently posted an article featuring leather culottes which was way over my head. However, they do write mostly realistically about interesting things.