A few weeks ago, there was a discussion on one of my friend’s Facebook threads about blogging.
I started blogging back when “normal” people thought it was just a fad… there were jokes about people blogging in their parents’ basement and pretending like it mattered.
Well, lookie here, it mattered.
Blogs have pretty much changed the whole model of publishing. Your favorite magazines and newspapers are all online and those articles are essentially blogs.
But what happened to the old bloggers of yesteryear?
Back In MY Day…
About ten years ago… yeesh, it was maybe a bit longer. I started blogging in 2005. But back then, I was pretty much surrounded by other writers through blogging. It was a great way to build a writing circle, find critique partners, talk about craft, etc.
And the really awesome thing about it was that it gave me a place to talk about the books and industry stuff I was interested in and meet other professionals to hear news. Yay, interwebz.
You’d post a blog, link to other blogs where the same topic was covered, hop to other blog pages to continue the discussion, and respond to all the comments.
The comment section was pretty much a virtual party. It wasn’t uncommon to have blog posts that spanned 100 comments or more. And it was thoughtful discussion. That’s not to say there were never any trolls, but for the most part, people were there to have an intelligent conversation.
The Changing Tide…
I couldn’t tell you exactly when the paradigm shifted. Steadfast bloggers we all followed slowly weaned away from posting. We all got busy with the work of writing or the work of life. The circle I initially built shifted and changed and most of our original blogs were left out in the ether, without fresh posts.
I do still have a blog – obviously, you’re on it. But this one isn’t the same old blog from yesteryear. I haven’t added a blog roll yet because I’m really not following anyone any more. A lot of the people blogging are doing so for monetization.
I wonder a bit of the whole business of blogging is what changed the way it worked. I’ve talked to other bloggers who preferred that medium to Twitter or Facebook. The conversation then just seemed better.
Now it’s not uncommon to post a piece that has no comments and very little traffic. Everything needs SEO. Everything is intended to sell something or market yourself.
Priming the Pump or Scratching the Itch…
There was one thing about blogging back when we were all doing it because we liked it, without any real monetary pay off. Writers found that blogging regularly did one of two things:
It either scratched the itch.
Primed the Pump.
Some writers found that the act of blogging regularly primed the pump, or let them get in the headspace to write professionally with more ease.
Some writers found that it scratched the itch. You wrote something with a bit of zip, pushed publish, and your waiting readers stopped by to comment on what you were saying. It essentially gave you that voice and platform that writers crave but it didn’t further your professional aspirations in a meaningful enough way.
I was probably more in the second camp. I was writing professionally back then but my professional work is far more productive now that I’m not blogging regularly.
I’m kind of wondering what the path would look like if I committed to blogging three days a week. I do want to keep fresh content on this site, though I have no real plans to monetize currently.
I went back and forth over the type of content, too. Most writers blog about writing. Seems like a no brainer… and I love talking about craft. The thing is, I don’t want to write a “how to” about freelancing for writers or business owners… there are a million of those and I don’t really want to sell to writers because, well, there are other sources that are great already.
I’m also kind of wondering if any bloggers want to go back to the old days of blogging. Visiting each other, linking in blog rolls, running blog book releases and otherwise treating it like a big party.
Because that would be hella fun.
If you’ve read this far and you’re interested in rejuvenating your blogging, comment below with your blog location and posting times. Let’s see if we can get a healthy blog roll going.