I recently did a long-overdue revamp of my website, and though I'm thrilled with it, I’m also terrified-slash-excited that my homepage shows the latest blog posts. Because…that means I actually have to blog!
It’s a prospect that makes my heart sink a little, since I apparently suck at updating my blog.
But why? Why don’t I blog more? I’m a writer. I like to write and I’m decent enough at it. Blog posts are fun and low-key and I certainly enjoy hitting that “publish” button.
I’m sure some of it is a simple issue of priorities. I know a lot of other creative professionals who neglect their own websites and online portfolios. It’s like digital-age version of the “cobbler’s children who have no shoes.” I can churn out an entire book for a paying client, but I look at my own blog and say, “Ugh, how could I possibly muster up the energy to do THAT?!”
But the other half of my reticence is more…existential. Why blog? Seriously, why? Who cares? Will anyone even see this thing? Every time I post, it feels like I’m shooting a flare into the night sky, and if no one is gazing up at exactly the right moment, my little light will be lost against the backdrop of stars. Are there as many bloggers as stars? Sometimes it feels like it.
Another thing is, I loathe all that bullshit “content marketing” and SEO-grubbing that has invaded the blogosphere. What a soulless hellscape! I know I “should” blog more because it’s good for my “web presence” and my “personal brand” and other buzzwords that make me want to hurl, but I personally can’t write unless I feel an emotional connection to the project. If I’m going to make the effort to write something, I want it to actually mean something to me and my couple-few readers. And that stuff doesn’t come easily or quickly or on a schedule (for me it doesn’t, anyway—I’m pretty sure I was a turtle in a past life).
But despite the challenges and the reluctance, I really want to blog more. I like writing about writing. Sometimes I get so excited about writing, my chest fills with an effervescent joy that could just about lift me off and carry me to the moon. Reading and writing enlarge my understanding of what it means to be human; it brings meaning and purpose to my life. If I didn’t read and write, I simply wouldn’t be me.
So, when I post to my blog, it’s my chance to join an internet-wide conversation about a topic that means the world to me, that endlessly fascinates me. I get to climb out of the hermitage that is my brain and stretch my legs a little bit. I get to noodle around with words, to articulate my thoughts on the writing process and the writing life. I get to maybe even (I hope) connect with other likeminded writers who experience the same epic highs and pitiful lows that I do.
Maybe that’s actually all there is to it: a sincere desire to connect. Maybe if you carve away the ego, the image, and the technology, you get right down to the nubbin of what’s what. “Hey, I’m here! Are you here too?” Whoa. Did I just figure out why to blog? Hmm. Could it really be that simple? Just…that I want to connect with likeminded souls around a mutually fascinating topic, despite the overcrowding and general turd-filled nature of the blogosphere??
Man, isn’t writing awesome? Sometimes you start with a question and you end up with an answer, and writing was the vehicle. BLOWS MY MIND every time.