It started as a comment to a particular blog… but then I realized it was too long for that, and needed to be a post. Yes, it is written to a particular blogger, but some of these sentiments can be applied more generally, to how I feel about the state of blogging these days.
I appreciate that you promoted a post of mine recently, although I wistfully regret the story is an old one, and not even a good report of what I did this year for Valentine’s Day. (My wife was awesome. I didn’t do much except blog about past stories.) I appreciate your open invitation to guest blog, but I am intimidated; I don’t feel I can match the rigor and intensity of your style.
I don’t doubt my skills; I’ve been blogging for nine years, and I’ve been writing by various means for about as long as you could expect from a 38-year old man. But between my health problems, my wife’s health problems, and my children’s special needs… I blog in the manner that people did back in the early Aughties. It’s for me, for family, for close friends. Any one beyond that, well, it’s a bonus.
I don’t have trouble “finding my voice”, as someone back on VOX claimed. Actually, on VOX, I was quite unabashed at declaring my eclectic tastes and eccentric styles. And I freely admit I blog for catharsis, although after the drama on LiveJournal and VOX, I try to play it closer to the vest (but it’s harder with the new “password protect” method blogs follow now). I tried out all sorts of styles, too: long-form (WordPress, VOX, LiveJournal), short-form and goal oriented (43 Things, Joe’s Goals), micro/”social networking” (Facebook, G+, MySpace 1.0), aggregation (Most Recent) and Web 2.0/photography (Flickr). I could blather on and on if I included e-mailing lists and forums.
(EDIT Feb 24, 2013:
yes, crude comic relief here, but Cracked.com has got a lot of sites, including Flickr, pegged here. They need to do a post-Justin Timberlake investment update for Myspace, though.)
I suppose I hold back, because I’m tender and sensitive and I just can’t seem to detach myself and present a more cold, sterile, less vulnerable face to the world. (There’s days I wish it could be a Butchy “Take No Bullshit” McMacho face. *snap snap* That’s a joke, people. But only half of one.) I’ve been sitting on some material for an epic fantasy novel Cimmorene has helped me write. It’s got deep shades of Joseph Campbell‘s Monomyth concept, but the underlying meaning of the symbolism is so intensely personal I dare not share it with the public right now because it feels so naked.
I put most of my effort into Flickr. The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is quite apt, and many times, it’s a lot less effort. I use a personal documentary style, i.e. it shows family and friends what we are doing– and I say we because I’m administrating a Flickr account where my wife and my daughter are the other principal photographers. It’s not been easy and I’m still quite peeved that my father-in-law’s account with 40+ years’ worth of pictures has been terminated, probably retaliation by pedophilic perverts that hassled us as well, it still is the most satisfying.
Still, it is painful. I know many want to keep their online personas and their offline personas private. I can’t help it. I’m a personal sort of guy. On the best of days, I can show you how kind, personable, and gentle I can be. But push my buttons or mess with me and I will tell you how I see it, no punches pulled. And I don’t like doing that. Then there’s all the PTSD, chronic pain, and other crap that makes a balance of trust difficult, and makes offline life limited. So… loneliness. That loneliness I’ve spoke of before. It’s not the same as alone time… I tend to grab that regardless. When I go out into the world, which is still mostly online– I feel lonely.
So I just can’t go for this topical, niche-driven style that seems to drive the long-form blogging world, but I can’t go for the junky, spur-of the moment style that seems to drive the micros like Facebook and Twitter. One side feels like an ivory tower and the other feels like a divey tavern or bar.
I’m not sure what else to say. I am out of ideas. I might be out of spoons, as well.
The usual time-sensitive rules still apply to this post as it is of a personal nature (it will be password-protected after a certain period of time).