Image by Thomas Hawk via Flickr
A friend writes:
You're a good blogger. I can't get past the mental barrier that one is writing in a black hole, and the singularity is ego, a dark force in the world, sometimes I think the darkest. But maybe that's the force behind all writing. I don't know. An opinion? What do you like best about blogging?
And I reply:
Well, thanks. My blogging falls into two chunks – the first couple years when I thought it would somehow turn into something, that it would become a way into other writing opportunities. (I wasn’t exactly sure how. I imagined something I wrote would go viral, and the rest would unfold with iron inevitability.) After I realized that wouldn’t happen, I thought the blogging would wither away. But I found I still liked to do it because it was a creative release – and I don’t have one, or maybe I should say I am too lazy to work at *really* writing something and getting it published.
For real. For money.
Because I keep track of the number of my daily visitors and how they are referred to my blog, I have a keen sense of how my readership has dropped. Five years ago when I was writing long and posting frequently, I was able to drive my daily visits up to 100. But since then, I have seen the daily hit rate steadily drop to about 20, the majority of whom are accidents, not regular visitors. This is oddly liberating. The fact I am throwing my words out into the void seems brave/ironic/self-consciously futile. No one is reading me *but I soldier on anyway*.
If I described my justifications tomorrow, I would probably describe them very differently. My rationale is variable. But the truth is that I get some kind of sensation out of writing to no one – maybe it’s a kind of “lottery ticket” thing: Knowing you won’t win doesn’t mean you can’t win if you know what I mean, though I should probably say if you *feel* what I mean.
It’s odd. My blog is a kind of commonplace book that helps me keep track of the march of time. (Now that I’ve plugged Twitter into the blog, it’s even more so.) It’s also a personal journal that justifies the effort of typing, not writing by hand, by the fact what is so neatly typed is published – sort of. In fact, one of the pleasures of my blog is all the little “self-publishing” flourishes, all the links and pictures and debris I can throw against the wall.
Somehow it shows I haven’t given up. Well, actually I have. But this is my “apron of leaves.” If I were to blog this, I could link to the quote and maybe to a picture.
I think I *will* blog this. (Maybe the multi-purposing is part of the draw.)