Why Blogging?

August 6, 2017

It would be impertinent of me to start this web log without stating its purpose. As of this writing, technophiles have declared the blog dead. One need only examine a few sobering statistics to confirm this. Contrariwise, many individuals are still creating blogs for fun and profit. For those poor chaps who don’t seek profit, what motivation could there be now, halfway through 2017 C.E., when more media compete for users’ attention than ever before? I cannot speak for everyone, but I shall elucidate my own ambitions here.

Making oneself clear on the Internet ought to be easier to do on one’s own platform, oughtn’t it? For less than $150 USD annually, I’m afforded the ability to design my site however I’d like. This is obvious; I could argue that it is desirable.

But to me it seems that many Internet users prefer free platforms. The decline of blogs coincides with the rise of social media, the pundits say. To each his own.

(I understand that the singular “they” is now acceptable, according to the A&P Stylebook. Another advantage of blogging is that one can create one’s own house style, so to speak.)

As of this writing (8/5/2017), I have accounts on several social media platforms, but I don’t particularly enjoy the lack of control (among other offenses), so I might nuke those accounts and redirect those efforts to this Web site.

Popular bloggers try to write “evergreen” (i.e. timeless) content. It’s a noble pursuit. I think most writers spend their lives trying to write timeless classics. For a full-time, professional blogger, it becomes an imperative. For a writer who wants to publish an evergreen novel? Well, something has to give.

Alas, the freelance economy has seen a steep rise in recent years. Many freelancers are considered creative people; for a creative person the imperative is to create as much as possible as quickly as possible, without compromising on quality. With the proliferation of content, the market matures, and everyone whose imperative it is to create is tasked with tossing more work into the maw. Visibility is key, and one must publish or perish.

When I need a quick break from writing fiction, this blog will serve as a way to refill the well, creatively speaking. I can write one-sentence paragraphs without worrying about how they’ll undermine the long paragraphs in Chapter 39.

Putting myself out there is scary. Anyone can search or stumble upon this site and watch me fail in public. After much introspection, I’ve concluded that there might be no better way to overcome that fear than by letting go of the words and looking forward. Mistakes happen. We’re all flawed. As long as I abstain from politics and religion, it’s difficult to ruin anyone’s day.

I can share personal details when I feel the urge to do so; I can go quiet when it suits my mood.

Sure, the wildlife tour guide can do an Internet search of my name after I make a reservation and know more about me than I him, but, unless I succumb to paranoia, this shouldn’t be a problem at all. The key is to share only what one is comfortable with the world knowing.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a tiny surge of adrenaline every time I hit PUBLISH. It’s not fetishistic, I promise.

If I “put it all out there,” then it’s possible that I’ll attract like-minded souls I’d never have reached otherwise. That could lead me to an early grave, of course; in that case, there’s more pressure to produce.

Divesting myself of private information is one more way of attacking my ego. The age of mystique is not gone yet, but I’ve noticed a growing trend of oversharing. For fiction writers, I don’t think it matters either way. If readers want to know more about their favorite authors, then they’ll do their research. I see no reason to deprive them of anything (within reason).

But there is no way of taking back the information once it’s published.

I’ll close this by saying that I want blogging to be therapeutic. Forcing myself to organize my thoughts for the blog invites clarity. It’s not without cost, in time and in money, but unless this site turns out to be more trouble than its worth, I’ll do more than post about new book releases.

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