Hi. It’s been a while.
But I’m here. I’ve always been here, but haven’t said anything. I didn’t feel the need; I didn’t have anything to say. Lately, though, I miss just blogging. Typing. Not for readers, not for followers, not for anyone. Just writing for me.
But what is lost by following big B blogging? By chasing audience we lose the ability to be ourselves. By writing for everyone we write for no one. Too often I read things otherwise smart people have written for places like Fast Company and my eyes glaze over. Personal identity is necessarily watered down. Yes those places have large audiences but they’re shallow audiences. They don’t care about you at all. Your writing washes through their feeds like water.
Instead – I think most people would be better served by subscribing to small b blogging. What you want is something with YOUR personality. . . . Writing that can live and breathe in small networks. Scale be damned.
When I read Tom’s post two years ago, I’d stopped blogging here completely. I’d been focused on writing and editing, but instead for a massive audience for work. On a personal level, the writer in me was dormant. I wrote:
Still, Tom’s post reminded me of what I used to enjoy about blogging — there was a period of time, about five or so years ago, when I was really engaged and connected to my network, especially on Twitter, and got my work noticed and featured in the Atlantic, the New York Times, and other big outlets. While I’d always written online with an audience in mind, my favorite part about blogging was ultimately writing for myself, reading and learning and deepening my knowledge of things along the way, and documenting a wider web of ideas in my very own online space. I remember doing all of this because I truly enjoyed it — my site was an extension of me. Publishing on it made me feel more complete. And it still exists, but now mainly as a relic. I just don’t need it as I once did.
But anyway, I like what he says about “forgetting the big B blogging model” and not chasing an audience, or scale, or page views. It’s such a simple thing, but somewhere along the way, I completely forgot how to write for myself, how to face inward, how to be me.
I’m allowing myself to post here, and giving myself permission to think out loud again, but I’m not going to make it A Thing. Because if I make it A Thing, I’ll build it up too much, I’ll expect the words to come and the thoughts to flow, and then I’ll become paralyzed and disappear again, not resurfacing here for another several years.