Today I read a piece pining for the return of personal blogging. You remember blogs, right? They were kind of like this: A smattering of uninformed opinions, desultory philippics (get out your dictionaries!) and occasional attempts at humor. People would also post recipes.
In the early aughts, everybody had a blog. Most tried to adhere to some sort of theme – cooking, books, the restoration of Vespa scooters – but all had one thing in common: Nobody read them.
Thus it has always been with the Warehouse. I started it just when Twitter and Facebook had extinguished any reason to do so. It was still kind of fun. Although it was supposed to be about crime fiction, I quickly found that topic too constricting for my towering intellect. I’d weigh in on all kinds of crap. Despite readership that never grew beyond the low two figures, I made a few friends. I would secretly thrill to the occasional comments I’d garner, precisely because they were so rare. I rarely got unkind remarks, and if they were too unkind I’d just kill them. Hey, go stink up your own void.
Then the Trump years came along, thanks mostly to Twitter and Facebook and their legions of Russian bots. Venom and snark – distilled in viral memes and slogans – became the coin of the realm. I played along from the cheap seats. We all did. It’s antisocial media now, isn’t it? The pissed-off enjoy having a limitless supply of people to piss on from a great height, and here we are. It’s no longer fun. I deleted my Twitter account a couple of months ago, and I don’t miss it.
So I understand the nostalgia for the personal blog: that pleasant time when obscure voices were addressing the far horizon in a conversational tone, sharing thoughts that didn’t matter on things that didn’t matter. It was also nice that the voices, while obscure, were not anonymous. If you commented on something, you were likely to get a personal answer. No character limit, either.
Anyway, the article got me thinking again about this moribund site. Maybe the act of writing is more personally important than what gets written or who reads it. Especially if you abandon the pursuit of clicks and shares and just write some small story to the best of your ability.
I guess that’s what diaries are for. But a blog is better than a diary because there’s always a chance some stranger will read it. I’ve started and stopped many diaries through the years, and reading them now I’m always struck by the inanity of my day-to-day ruminations: Aches and pains, wishing and worrying. No one wants to read that shit. A blog post, no matter how mundane the topic, requires a bit more discipline. For me at least, a bit more discipline can’t hurt.
My hosting account for this site expires in March. I’ll decide then whether to renew it. Until then, here’s a post about nothing much. Maybe I’ll think of something else tomorrow. No, I don’t expect a resurgence in blogging. And this is not a New Year’s resolution or anything – it just happens to coincide with the beginning of the year. Speaking of that, Happy New Year to all out there in the kinder, gentler areas of the void. If you stop by between now and St. Patrick’s Day, don’t forget to say hi.