To blog, or not to blog...
That is the question I perpetually ponder.
I have always been optimistic about blogging. I've imagined moving through life, sharing snippets along the way, interacting with a small but engaged audience that is genuinely interested in what I have to share.
In high school and college, social media scratched this itch. My friends and family were able to see my latest photos and read my latest thoughts. All was well.
But all was not well. Behind the curtain, the mega-corporations powering my whimsy were hellbent on peddling my ideas and experiences to turn an unimaginable profit.
I refused to be a part of it, so I opted out. What seemed simple enough in the moment turned out to be more complicated over time. Family and friends began reaching out to make sure I was okay (in hindsight, I probably should have opted out with a post explaining why I was leaving). Plus, over the following years, my life changed drastically as I went from an eager college undergrad to career professional in a short timespan.
I responded to the requests for life updates by sending out a year-in-review letter to all of the friends and family I could think of. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and for the first time I saw the potential of what a personal blog could look like.
Shortly afterward, when the Coronavirus lockdown began, I took advantage of my newfound boredom to start monthly blogs consisting of two-to-three essays in a format that was loosely modeled off of Craig Mod's Roden newsletter. It was, to say the least, ambitious.
It turned out to be too ambitious for me. Unlike Craig, walking, writing, and photographing were not my sole sources of income. After a few months, I timidly skipped posting due to lack of material. That sealed the fate of that endeavor.
Now, I'm thinking smaller. The best blogs in the world are judicious in their post lengths. They aim to say the most while saying the least. Some of the most notable examples include the blogs of Jason Kottke, Tina Roth Eisenburg, and John Gruber.1 I'm also comforted by the fact that many of the blogs that follow this shorter format are written by folks that are not full-time bloggers.
Ultimately, keeping my friends and family members up-to-date (and maybe even entertained) is my primary goal. If a random stranger on the Internet were to stumble upon my work and enjoy what they read, even better. Secondarily, I want to own my work. I want to make sure that the words I type and images I share are all handled with care; not run through an algorithm, not judged by hollow metrics, and certainly not used to generate a profit for anyone.
For these reasons, I have chosen "to blog."
Gruber's blog is of particular interest because of the way he manages to integrate longer-form writing (which he calls "Articles") alongside his more frequent musings about happenings within the tech industry. Something along these lines encapsulates the balance I hope to strike with this blog.↩