I’ve had a blog of some form or another for around seventeen years, give or take. Seventeen years of wrangling with format, purpose and scheduling. By turns, I tried to be professional, colloquial, impersonal and friendly. Sometimes I succeeded, mostly I just flailed from one extreme to the other, utterly missing the mark.
I wanted to do this, I wanted to do that, the other, that thing, another thing, all the things, none of the things. Trying to find the right fit for me, out of all possible permutations of the concept. I like writing. I like sharing what I write. But I keep tripping myself up, aiming for an efficient means of delivering an inefficient product.
In my striving for professionalism, I often wind up reducing my social media interactions to a chore. I do them because I must, not because I desire to do so. I blog because to do otherwise is to risk becoming inconsequential. Or so I’ve been told.
Received wisdom states that a writer must have a blog, a Twitter, an Instagram, et cetera ad nauseum ad infinitum, all updated on a regular schedule so that not one potential customer, one potential fan, goes wanting for content. And so I have them, because like a sorcerer, I must have my tools, my amulets and wands and grimoires.
Power measured via Klout score, follower count, Likes and page clicks. Only it’s not power but a burden. Not armour, but chains, weighing me down. Drowning me in distraction.
A writer must write, but a writer must also update, must hawk and blather. A writer must polish and shine. Cat pictures and discourse. These were the lessons of my forefathers, and I learned them well. Some writers manage to do these things very well. I have come to the conclusion that I am not one of them. Then, maybe I was never as professional as I pretended.
I will still promote, and hawk and blather, but via means more conducive to myself. As to the rest – I’m done with all of that. Out with the old, in with the new. As of now, in this year of pandemic and panic. Finally, and for true.
No more schedules, no more updates, no more regularity save regular irregularity. Just words on whatever subject occurs to me – be it thoughts, feelings, monsters, all of the above – when I want, to excess or moderation, as the mood takes me.
I want to write. So I will write.
Venetian merchants in the fifteenth century had something called a zibaldone. A miscellany of daily notes, sketches and musings. Not strictly a journal, but rather a confused mixture of many things.
Henceforth, this shall be my zibaldone. My hodgepodge, my patchwork. My digital commonplace book. Old favourites and new enthusiasms.
Just a heap of things, all jumbled together.