You’ve probably heard of method acting, where an actor goes out and researches a role by interviewing people, learning as much as they can about certain types of people or a certain lifestyle, and spending time in real life acting as the character they’re studying. Sometimes they go incognito in a little town, sometimes not. This is arguable, but I believe that the best actors all follow one “method” or another, and that there could be an application to blogging. The gist of using “method” is to get deeply involved in something so that you can understand it from other viewpoints and be convincing in your interpretation – an approach that’s possibly applicable to blogging. [Updated: There’s more than one type of “method” acting, and they don’t all necesarily use this approach.]
In addition to actors, there are writers/novelists who apply a method writing style to research their books. I’ve done it for a lot of my “speculative” short fiction, but not originally on purpose. I mean, does anyone intentionally use “method” for mad partying and drunken stupors? (Other than, say, Hunter S. Thompson, R.I.P.?) If so, there are probably a lot of Hollywood celebrities doing method research right now, judging from all the DUI arrests for the past 2-3 years. (Although I have my own conspiracy theories about why that’s happening.)
What’s Method Blogging?
Now, the question is, is there anything called method blogging, and is anyone doing it? Is there any point to this? What could you be writing about that you’d have to research so intensely and possibly even live a different lifestyle than you’re used to? If there is something applicable, would you go through with the method process to be able to write about the subject authoritatively?
The short answer is “yes”. I have some longer answers, but they’re still brewing in my head. At this point, I haven’t even Googled for “method blogging” simply because I wanted this post to be off the top of my head, not influenced by other articles.
How Do You Apply Method?
“How do you apply ‘method’ to blogging?” is a tough question to answer, if you don’t really understand “method” (which I’m not elaborating on, beyond what I wrote above), I’m applying some “methods” as of the past few months, both to research for blogging and also for a movie idea I’m working on.
I won’t discuss my research in detail just yet – I always jinx my projects if I chatter before they’re complete. I might Twitter about it in the future, but I will repeat what I’ve said elsewhere… Despite being a writer/ author/ blogger (as well as a former teaching assistant and corporate trainer), I am both an introvert and an extrovert. I have certain inhibitions that have bothered me forever, and they’re mostly the result of my cultural background and upbringing. So in person, I’ve been playing the role of someone who is not bound by those inhibitions, and I’m mentally documenting how people interact with me as a result of my roleplaying. (However, I won’t tell you how I’m achieving this, nor what I’m doing that’s “method”.)
The result so far is that I’m learning an immense amount about human beings and how they interact with you depending on what they think you are. In the past, all I learned was about how people interacted with me based on what they knew I was.
Now, it’s unlikely I’ll ever blog about this research in detail – beyond what I’m writing here – but what I’m doing gives me fodder for scriptwriting as well as directing. If I know how people are going to behave when they see someone acting a certain way, it’s so much easier to direct an actor on how to behave, to achieve a certain effect. I really believe that this approach has its place in certain types of blogging, though I’m still exploring what that role might be.
Is Method Blogging For You?
Applying method style to acting or writing takes a certain personality type – someone who can suppress their inhibitions to possibly behave in a way that they normally wouldn’t. This normally isn’t me, but it needs to be, so I’m breaking my own inhibitions.
Is this something you can do, and how would you apply it to blogging? Can you think of anything you’d apply “method” to so that you could blog about the subject with the expertise of a well-rounded view? If you can, would you do so? Would you act or live in a different way just to learn about some lifestyle, and would you blog about it afterwards? I can’t think of anyone who might be considered a “gonzo” blogger, a Hunter S. Thompson of the blogosphere; but I’m sure there’s someone out there capable of doing it. And I’m sure that there’s room in the blogosphere for such personalities. These people would likely combine text, podcasts, and vodcasts/ vlogging, in order to project their personality as much as possible. If you know any such person you feel is applying “method” to their blogging, drop off a link in the comments.