One of my all-time favorite songs is Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles. Ironically, video also killed the blog, as did every other social media platform.
I began my very first blog before social media as we know it today existed, and this is my fourth personal blog. There was a time when I used to post every day. Now I struggle to post once a month.
It seems like I’ve been forever trying to figure out how to write more. Of course I want to write better. But doesn’t writing more mean writing better? So why haven’t I been writing as much as I’d like to? The truth is I lost the feeling of joy at the thought of publishing a post to my blog a long time ago–circa 2009 to be precise.
Do you remember when blogs were interesting? Before branding and niches? When bloggers weren’t quite so…impersonal? So voiceless and polished? When posts weren’t SEO-driven, marketable (God I hate that word), and utilitarian? In those days, the blog was a humble, eclectic, and sometimes messy (but delightfully authentic) treat to read. And to write.
Today’s blog is often superficial. Commercial. Unoriginal. The internet has been flooded with money-making blogs for the past decade. Blogs that are so full of ads and promotions, pop-ups and marketing (there’s that word again), that you can hardly find the content you were searching for.
The blog’s transformation from its organic, wholesome, democratic roots to a vapid capitalist enterprise was swift and tragic. It’s been quite the revelation to me that my writer’s soul has been one of its casualties. I became plagued with perfectionism, preoccupied with keeping up with trends, and afraid of putting anything in writing that might not measure up to the standards of the marketplace.
It wasn’t that I no longer wanted to blog, it was that I no longer wanted to blog like that.
I don’t care how many words the experts say the ideal blog post should have. Or whether I have found the perfect Google-searched click-bait title. The one rule I am keeping is: the advantage of consistency for the content creator. No one wants to read a blog that posts inconsistently. I know I don’t.
My primary writing goal in 2021 is going to be to show up and write here as often as I can. No one has compelling revelations every day, but there is something in the everyday and the ordinary worth sharing. My inner blog guru will try to make me feel small and unimportant, but the old school blogger in me says, “Write on!”
The old school blog is needed today, and I have a hunch I’m not the only one who misses it.