I’ve been blogging for more than 15 years now, and even though there have been gaps in output (most notably the current one which is somewhere in the three years region), I’ve always considered myself a blogger.
The last few years saw the emergence of a new kind of writing. Twitter, Facebook and a myriad of other services made it all too easy to forego the trusty blog and just go and take the easy route of throwing something, anything out there. Not a whole lot of thought, not a whole lot of effort, not a whole lot of anything is needed now to publish (and actually have it read – reading and consuming gets easier too once what you consume is bite-sized). It is what’s been heralded as the democratisation of publishing, and it did bring with it the upsides and the downsides associated with a leveled playing field. I, too, saw most of the upsides and disregarded the downsides. Soon the idea of having to write a blog post complete with title, intro, body and ending seemed like insurmountable obstacles to me.
I had forgotten though, that writing, especially mine, really only comes into its own after its been pondered, rewritten, pondered some more, saved as a draft and maybe even entirely deleted (and then written again) before being published.
While I enjoy writing short, pithy statements on Twitter, or posting pictures without context on whatever other platform, I think it’s time to start using this space (and all the other spaces scattered across the web) again and curb my usage of others. I have a feeling it might not be as difficult as I think, especially if I give myself the freedom to actually write things almost as short as I do on Twitter, once in a while.
I’m not promising world shattering insights (I never did post many of those even in the best of times), but I’m vowing to start putting some more effort into my writing. All the built-in motivators that usually push me to use social platforms (likes, replies, upvotes, favs) won’t be bogging me down, because I doubt even a fraction of those who read my tweets will actually stumble upon this place. So, no pressure there (I might be checking my website stats more, though).
In the vein of a rather old blogging tradition, I’ll also not put a whole lot of effort into making my posts not look like walls of impenetrable text. That said, I will post pictures, simply because I like taking and showing them off. Therefore, have a picture before I conclude this post.
I’ll leave you with this piece by Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan. He was imprisoned six years ago for blogging and when he was pardoned this year, he realized that blogging (and with it the whole ecosystem) was more or less gone. He’s the Rip van Winkle of blogging, which makes it an intriguing read and a convincing argument to go back to blogging and move away from the walled gardens of social networks.