Blogging Lulls Begin Insidiously

You fail to blog by blogging to fail. Or failing to plan. Or deciding that you’ve got a bunch of projects occupying your mind and you can’t even begin to reckon on a subject for a post. Or, you don’t actually decide that, it just becomes the default and then you’re seven days into the month and you haven’t written anything and how could this happen and what is wrong with your COMMITMENT, BRO.

And sometimes you get one of these meta-posts started and suddenly you’ve come up with a real subject for it and you can transition into it and your meta-post just looks like a prologue, and then you can change the title and it actually becomes that. This is not one of those times. I am producing a post bereft of content, and I am fine with that. It is a truthful depiction of reality. Thus it is not actually bereft of content. I should write all my blog posts like this, so it can resemble a LiveJournal from 2008. That would be Throwback, but not so Throwback as to be obviously Trendy Nostalgia.

This means that we have reversed the polarity on Nostalgia. It used to be that Cool Nostalgia was aimed at stuff from 20 years ago, and stuff from 10 years ago was so lame we were pretending we had forgotten it. But that would mean being Nostalgic for 2001 now, and we’re still sniffing around the pre-Internet era. Who can even describe 2011 culturally? It was forever ago, and also yesterday. The whole century is going to be like this.

Even complaining about it has become lame. There’s no solution for it, except making something new, that excites people. No one wants to risk the capital for that. Or rather, they haven’t figured out how to do it, yet. Tenet was an attempt at that, but it didn’t take. So maybe the Stuck Culture that others have lamented is like the Trench Warfare of WWI. Nobody likes it, everyone’s trying to solve for it, but they haven’t figured out how yet. We’ve not had our cultural stormtroopers yet. And we probably won’t like that when we do.

Now I have started blogging about something else. Should I change the title?

Nah.

The Grind of Blogging

Most bloggers burn out. There isn’t much reward for it. One talks about it in terms of grind and struggle, but it’s entirely voluntary, as everything on the internet is. So a grind that can end with no real cost… just by stopping? I get it.

I think the trick is to match expectations with reality. Blogging regularly is the first step. “Smash the damn keys,” as Christian Mihai put it. A couple hundred words a day is a good and doable goal. It’s a grind, it’s unlovely, but it doesn’t have to be genius every day. It’s your window on the internet, and you have to maintain it.

The problem can often be “I don’t know what to write about”. I can get bored pretty easy just commenting on what others have written, which is what I did for a long time. So you really need to write about you: what you’re seeing, what you’re doing, what you’re reading. That’s a perspective, rather than a member of the Internet peanut gallery. As an artist, as a philosopher, as a human, you have something to say. It doesn’t matter if it gets hits or not. It doesn’t matter if it becomes a virus. What matters is that it gets said.

Keep the churn going. “Essay” means “try.”

Blogging is Thankless Work

Scott Biddle finds the head of the nail and smacks it down like the Driver does to Cook’s hand (finally saw Drive last night).

We start out excited about something and plunge into it without an appreciation for how much effort it will take to do it right.  I think I had a fairly good understanding of what was involved with this, but I overestimated my available time.  I am thrilled to say that the other things I have been working on instead of my blog are going very well (Soccer Association stuff, the next book, church stuff, stuff around the house), but I don’t know if I will ever get back to the blogging pace I was at previously.

Yup. Blogging is a lot of fun, and it’s a lot of anxiety. Sometimes you can’t imagine a day without it and sometimes it feels like unpaid work.

BTW, Scott Biddle has a book out on Kindle. Looks interesting.