We humans are entertained by the simplest things. The year 2012 quickly approaches being ‘a decade away’, and that seems significant to me, as if there were something more striking to 3,652 days that 3,287 days just doesn’t have. But what can I say, I am as much a victim to this romanticism as is everyone else. As I head to that mile stone, I have started to think about what reflections I have on blogging as long as I have. I could collect my thoughts and post them right on Jan 2, 2022. However, having being raised on the belief that iconoclasm is an all important virtue (something that I no longer hold), I will post this not exactly at the mark.
This blog has become important to me. And yet, I can’t help but feel that I have failed it somehow. Let’s review.
- I started this blog during the last semester of my Master’s degree, largely as a silly way of keeping track of my thesis word count. I think I only made it about 100 days.
- After that I largely ignored this blog.
- It popped back into my life now and again, but largely it had an existential crises.
- I picked it back up and started contributing to it regularly just before leaving for China, where it kind of functioned as a travel blog.
- An unreliable VPN made me take the blog off blogger and move it here. I posted regularly.
- Over the past few years the blog has largely morphed into my moaning about my job and life.
In my defense, I have been busy. The truth of the matter is that I have always made time to reflect over the years, I spent most of that time ruminating on all the wrong things, and never actually doing the reflecting that actually needed to be done. Thankfully, this changed not to long ago when I was asked to submit some writing samples for a job I had applied to. That should be simple enough, I thought, I have tons of writing samples on my blogs. At least, that is what I thought until I came here and I looked. I have a ton of posts, but I am actually proud of preciously few of them.
I don’t want to gate keep myself here. There are any number of reasons why one might elect to blog. It’s odd for me to say I have been doing it wrong, but that is how I feel sitting here closer to the decade mark than the other end. What was I expecting to have come from this blog? I have no idea, and that might be part of where I went wrong. I started blogging with a ‘let’s see where this goes’ attitude, and it went no where. That’s not entirely true. For the past few years I blogged with regularity hoping that the exercise of doing so would help me develop a ‘muscle memory’ of sorts regarding this blog. That never happened. However, with 10 years at this enterprise, I have developed a massive ‘sunk-cost fallacy’ regarding it. I don’t want to stop blogging. That would feel like a betray to the blog.
In my defense, I did think there would be feedback on this blog. If there is one thing I have learned about writing, it is that no one will ever help you with it. You need to figure it out on your own.
I don’t want this post to be just more pointless kvetching. I have done enough of that on this blog. I just don’t want to get to a point where this is actually working towards something. With the request for writing samples, I realized there is little that I am actually proud of on here. There are a lot of things I should do to rectify this, but first and foremost I need to start with a plan of action. Alas, I have no idea what to do, and so ‘plan of action’ turns into ‘things to consider.’
- The first point is outreach. I recently read somewhere something akin to “You can screech on the violin for a decade, but without feedback you will never improve.” The sad reality is that friends will never help me improve. That route has failed for a decade, and thus it is time to move on. How to get more eyes on this blog is key. This will require outreach, and as someone who doesn’t want to mess around too much with social media, this is going to be hard. Additional research will be needed.
- The other point is niche. If you research advice on what people expect from blogs, ‘niche’ seems to be a central point. As a kid, I resented to what extent we seemed to be a society of ants. This is a point i still seem to agree with. As I have already moaned about, if you title any post on WordPress with any variation of ‘self-employment’, and you will get more views than you could deal with, even if none of those people actually read the post. I just published a few posts about my adventures on a ketogenic diet and that has gotten me at least one follower whom I will shortly disappoint. People only want to be focused on one damn thing, and this sucks. All my heroes were polymaths, and it seems like I will never join that club.