In which, Shaun issues a clarion call

It’s Tuesday. Today we write.

Observant readers will note that lately, I’ve not been very consistent with the posts here. Readers will also understand that, even if I promise to change, there’s no money back guarantee.

It’s not that I’m not writing. I’m just not writing here. For years I made every effort to post here on a daily basis. In the grand days of blogging, I was also part of a coalition of bloggers who ruled the Virginia political blogsophere. True story.

So, there was a bit of nostalgia when Shaun drew our attention to this article written on the 20th anniversary of the origin of the word “blog.”

Bring Out Your Blogs
I’m sure if we did way back sleuthing we’d find lots of conference presentations in a range of professions and pursuits on how “blogging” isn’t a good use of time because of page views, or clicks, or SEO, or engagement, etc. Pay no attention to the man behind the podium. Just share what’s of importance to you. And don’t look at page views. Don’t seek claps. Don’t chase reposts. Don’t covet trackbacks. Seek the unique pleasure of having shared something you feel is worth sharing. And the conversations that sort of writing (that sort of blogging) encourages. And yes, it can take time. Good things generally do.

That post inspired Shaun to write:

Frankly, I prefer a time where folks sat in coffee houses either playing chess or working on our little novellas while reading Infinite Jest — as if we could all be the next David Foster Wallace.

Shaun goes on to say:

Nevertheless, I do get the sense that I have lost my touch. I was a better writer 10 years ago in some respects — more confident, self-assured, ready to set the world to rights with thunderbolt in one hand and snake in the other. One supposes my twenty-something self and my thirty-something self would have gotten along famously, whereas my forty-something self (I have just recently been introduced to these ranks) would politely smile and nod.

Shaun’s post, and the promise of a sammich, inspired brother Jason to write:

As I said above, blogging isn’t publishing. It’s a public scratchpad for folks with ideas larger than a tweet or an emoticon. It’s at its best when it’s not pretending to be the New York Times or Gizmodo or FOXNews…I like this renaissance in blogging. And I hope it brings more people back into the fold – and some fresh blood while it’s at it.

I feel much the same. I miss what it meant to blog in the “old days.” While I’ve tried to keep this site going (as well as two others that I finally surrendered), it’s just not the same as it used to be.

Then again, neither are my knees. But that’s another story.

I gave up political blogging a good while back. I have my reasons. Among them are total disgust with the whole process and finally admitting “I can no longer defend these guys.” (insert “guys” of your choice), and the fact that I’m pursuing artistic endeavors elsewhere that may or may not share the same political leanings. It’s about choosing your battles.

For a long time, I sought to fashion a writing career that would fund the early retirement and perhaps a writing desk with a view of the water. But I found that I don’t want to write just for money. I mean, I wouldn’t snark at a $50,000 advance on the next great American novel. But I’m not into writing copy for ten cents a word. Don’t get me started about writing for the “exposure.”

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I write for me. If, as happened with my script Clean Dry Socks: Diary of a Doughboy, I pick up some interest and folks want to read what I write, or better yet, publish or produce what I write, then, by all means, let’s make a deal.

But these days I spend most of my time writing to myself. I crank out a minimum of a thousand words every morning. Some mornings it’s journaling. Some mornings it’s creative writing. Some mornings it’s laundry lists. But it’s always writing.

I’ve also taken to carrying a notebook and pens. I try to find time each day to handwrite a story or an essay. Some days this is easier than others. The larger challenge will be going back to decipher my handwriting.

Maybe this nudge to return to blogging is a good thing. For a while, Twitter and Facebook filled those roles. But Twitter is a cesspool, and some days I can’t hit the “hide” button fast enough on Facebook. Don’t get me wrong, I still get many things from both sites. I just don’t go there for original thought.

What does all this mean? I can’t, no I won’t, promise you that I’ll be here sharing brilliant thought on a daily basis. I can, and will, promise you that I will continue to write.

It’s what I do.

Well, among other things. But that’s a different story.


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