Why No Blog?
Nothing is sadder than running across a blog some writer began with much gusto on January 2, 2004, only to abruptly end on April 15, 2006. OK, a lot of things are sadder than that. But it gives me a little stab every time I see it. Just like it stabs me to see my own attempts to pen a steady stream of prose and poems over weeks, months, and years. These attempts have started (for me) with a great rush of energy only to devolve into a forced march – a Saturday morning ruined by the necessity of coming up with something clever to say.
But the real reason I don’t like to blog is that it makes me unhappy, fills me with anxiety, makes me question my motivations: Isn’t this really about angling for likes? Aren’t I just trying to get attention by trickling words out into the World Wide Web? Do I really have anything interesting to say? Who am I anyway? Wouldn’t I rather spend my time working on a novel, or reading, or taking a walk? Why am I doing this?
Usually the answer to these questions is this: Someone out there says it’s the thing to do. I need to build up a “platform.” I need to create “content,” get people hooked, and monetized it. In short, I have to do to you what I hate people doing to me: pinning me to my phone, making me tap and scroll, contributing to my nearsightedness and painful texting neck. And what do you or I get out of it? Nothing much. A few minutes frittered instead of lived.
No, I would rather you go about your business, spend time with your family and friends, volunteer, go on a hike, read a book (how about Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson?), listen to a record (how about Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder?), see a movie (how about Moonlight by Barry Jenkins?), and when I’m ready, when I really think I’ve made something worth reading, I will put it in front of you. I will give it all I've got, and when you read it, I hope you won’t feel like I’ve wasted even one minute. I hope you will feel like I’ve given you a gift, not tried to monetize your attention.