Are we still blogging?
Or what was once online journaling? Has it passed on to a new generation, a group of up-and-coming writers who are still writing about their lives on top of the Tweets, Instagrams, Snapchats, podcastings that also serve as to give them voices above the din?
Or is the din the point?
I have a friend, Tolly. We do a podcast together that’s really become my main creative outlet for the last two years, the place where I get to be myself and talk in a very similar way that I once would have blogged here. We both have let our blogs lie asleep for six months or more (for me, my 40th birthday back in April appeared to be the excuse to just stop), and we both recently said to each other, “Hey, wouldn’t it be great to blog again?”
We do. We blog a lot. Just not in our home spaces.
And it frankly shocked me that in 2015, I wrote two blog posts here. Two. That’s it. And one of them was short, and just marking time, and searching for a reason to keep at it that, obviously, never came.
Is anyone out there anymore? Listening? Reading?
It sure doesn’t feel like it. It’s felt beside the point and a drag and that’s why I stopped. It didn’t feel joyful, or spontaneous, or like an outlet anymore, it felt like an obligation, a thing to do that had to be done, a void to throw the most personal stuff that was never going to get seen anyway. (Or, if seen, to be misinterpreted and twisted, as has happened before. At least on social media, you can come right back with a response and turn it into a conversation. An ugly comment on a blog post feels like a drive-by water-ballooning. You’ll probably never see that hateful balloon thrower ever again.)
This is a test, I think. A preview, maybe, or just a call out to say, this still exists. It’s still a thing, at least for tonight.
To the right of this, there’s a blogroll, what we used to pull together to link to the sites that we liked to read, the ones we’d exchange links with, to shout-out friends and people we admired. So many of them are either gone, dumped in digital graves, or simply suspended in time, stopped a year ago or two years ago or more.
Is it the end? I don’t really know. The 15th anniversary of this site’s birth came and went in October and I didn’t even notice. Once upon a time I would have celebrated it like an actual birthday, making a big hoopla for the anniversary. Now, I wonder if it matters, even to me as more than just a repository of old stuff, a filing cabinet of old ideas and passions and words that every year seem a little more like a foreign language or musings out of a different brain.
I think I tried, in 2015, to stick to my word of the year “Cohesion,” my goal of aligning my home, work and online selves more closely to each other, by just cutting out the things that weren’t working, or adding value, or bringing me satisfaction anymore. The things that I figured I could get back to someday, but that for the time being were just dragging and pulling and weighing on me. This year, my word is “Joyful,” to enjoy more moments as they’re happening, to seek out the stuff that makes me happy and fulfilled rather than just the stuff I feel I ought be doing out of habit or obligation. And I think I’m very careful judging whether this thing that I worked very hard to build into something a very long time ago, still fits into the equation.
I think a lot of bloggers who’ve stopped are doing the same if they’re considering keeping at it at all.
Flip a coin, maybe? Send out a distress signal? Nuke it and start anew?
I don’t know, honestly. But I hope it’s not another seven or eight months before an answer presents itself.