Saturday, March 03, 2018

Is this thing still on?

Speak here
London, ON
June 2017
I haven't written here in a while. Come to think of it, I haven't written anywhere in a while. Sure, I still write. Largely at work. Mostly stuff that gets emailed to large groups of people. Or spoken on-air. Then forgotten.

That kind of writing is all well and good, but it isn't writing. This blog was always supposed to be that space where I could take a timeout from the work world and write whatever came to mind, whatever I was feeling at that moment. Until, sometime last year for reasons I still can't understand, it wasn't.

Sometimes the voice in your head goes silent, and I'm guessing that's what happened to me. I was still shooting pictures, still sharing them on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, largely). But it wasn't the same. I've always been a writer, yet for much of the past year, after checking all the creative boxes at work, then maybe dashing a pic or two into my Insta feed, I couldn't motivate myself to sit in front of a keyboard and write. Life gets in the way, I suppose.

The stark reality of blog-as-writing-space is that things have changed. Virtual spaces that were hugely active in 2004 when Written Inc. first went live have largely fallen silent as bloggers shifted their attention, energy, and time toward burgeoning social media platforms. As audiences drifted, then stampeded, into Facebookistan and Instagramville, blog posts, and the communities that sprouted up around them, became the digital era equivalent of ghost towns, complete with virtual tumbleweed rolling erratically down the main drag.

If the audience moved to another platform, I figured, I'd follow them there. And let's be honest, it's a heck of a lot easier to throw together a photo post on your smartphone with a snarkily-written graf or two, plus some well-chosen hashtags, than it is to sit down at a real keyboard and compose something thoughtful here. I guess I got caught in the world of low-friction creativity and chasing likes.

Yet here's the thing: I still kinda like the idea of a blog. As retro as it now may seem, it still feels like the only tool that lets me do what I've always loved to do, namely write, share, and just be.

I won't abandon my social channels - everyone is now there, after all - but it's time to reclaim my writer's voice. And the best place to do it is here. I hope you agree.

Your turn: Do you still blog? Why? Why not?


James Shelley said...

I still maintain that a personal blog is by far the best way to share, maintain, own, and control one’s online writing. And I’m glad there are still awesome people like you who agree! Looking forward to seeing more of your thoughts in this space. I follow your RSS feed here, but rarely login into social media.

kenju said...

Of course, I agree with you!

I do blog, but not often. It is driven by life events, rather than by ideas, I'm afraid. Glad to have you back, Carmi!

Thumper said...

I still blog, but the readers have pretty much vanished. It seems like everyone is on FB or Instagram now. 99% of the blogs I used to look forward to every day are long gone :(

Glad you're still here!

Bob Scotney said...

We have all missed your posts especially thematic photography.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Welcome back. I've missed the written stuff, as much fun as it's been to see the cool pix on Insta.