Blogging about Blogging

Is this writer's block? Is that the ailment I have?

I have several draft posts half written, and many more dancing around in my head... things sparked by recent conversations, world events, things that I like and hate and silly things I want to share. But, try as I might, I cannot get them expressed into words properly. I write a post and I hate it - it's not funny, or clear or strong enough. The natural flow that I'm used to producing just seems to have gone away. I feel like I'm in middle school again - unable to express myself without using bulky, awkward words and spaghetti-like phrases.

My brain feels fuzzy.

I visit many blogs on a daily basis - the blogs I read and follow, and blogs I check out when newbies want a review on the Blogger forums. I often get a smug sense of "I can do better than that," when looking at new blogs, but it never amounts to anything. Lately I've been posting... what, once a week, maybe? I have more to say to the world than a few hundred words a week. I have well-formed and highly researched opinions. I am an armchair expert on many topics. I can sit down and pump out an essay in an hour, or an essay-like forum post in twenty minutes. Why can I no longer do it for my blog? (I'm trying to boost my blogging confidence here, so don't mind if it sounds cocky. I can assure you, I don't sit at my computer all day going "I'm awesome!")

So, I've been pondering the nature of blogging. What is it for? What do the majority of people use it for? I think blogging started as e-journaling. The things people would put down on paper were now written into websites. Blogs are a very rich platform - you can embed photos, videos and music into a blog, unlike a journal. After a while, people got more creative with the medium - corporate and developer blogs popped up. Niche interest blogs popped up - showcasing the work of hobbiests, for example. Blogs as writing, coding and photography portfolios. Blogs as a means of generating revenue. Blogs seem to be getting less and less personal as time goes on.

I encounter many impersonal blogs. These blogs feel hollow, for some reason - they're missing the flavour of an individual behind the words. Many blogs seem to have no purpose. I see these all the time in the forum - new bloggers whose first five posts consist of "so I started blogging eh? This is it, I guess." I saw a blog that actually made me laugh - it was a blog about the authors first foray into blogging. Their first post was basically, "I'm blogging because I want to. This is my first post!" and their second was "Well, still going strong! I now have two posts!"

It was kind of cute, but painfully... empty. "Why are you blogging?" I wanted to ask, "When you have nothing to say?". The thing is, I believe everyone has something interesting to say. Maybe they are not skilled enough in their language to say it. Maybe it never occurred to them to say it. So when I see all these blogs that are lacking personality, that are little more than Facebook lists or "Is anyone reading this?" posts... I want to take the author and shake them up a little bit.

Get angry. Get informed. Share your interests. Share your creativity, or your hopes and dreams. You're a complex human being, I know you are. Don't sit there and pretend you aren't.

Hopefully I'll be able to take my own advice.

12 things about

Blogging about Blogging
  1. Awww, you will get over your block soon.

    Maybe a post on unicorns? :D

    For real! On the mythology, different cultural views, famous literature...

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  2. seems that you broke it here by blogging about blogging :)

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  3. "I can assure you, I don't sit at my computer all day going "I'm awesome!""

    But you know you want to ;)

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  4. You every thought about doing features? Or just doing reviews of other blogs just because. I'd like to hear your opinion and get some blogs you like and check them out.

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  5. Ugh. I've totally been hit with some blockage lately, too, & it's not the first time. My last two posts were a) a link list, & b) a kind of stupid & disjointed post about shoes/cross-dressing.

    As long as we're being cocky : ), I think my problem is that I intimidate myself when I write posts that I like. Afterwards, I have trouble posting anything decent because I want to top the home-run posts... but it's just not possible to keep improving upon the previous one. And when I try too hard, the results make me cringe.

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  6. Looks like I'm over my writer's block, because apparently I have more to say:

    As for your musings on the purpose of blogging? I think people like connecting with others' similar experiences, we like the (psuedo?) anonymity of the internet, and we like ATTENTION. I really think that that's what's up with all the empty blogs, or blogs with just facebooky survey questions-- they think blogging is a quick & easy way to get attention if you throw some posts up on a webpage. I think your advice is great, and not only perfect for the "empties," but every blogger. Especially me, lately...!

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  7. Bio: I have some geeky stuff in my head [haha, like that's anything new :P] that I need to get into words, and a TON of game reviews and stuffs. I'm considering doing post about tides, because of the recent tsunamis, and I have T [who works on modelling tides] as a resource! It would get back to the roots of my blog more...

    Big A: Haha, yes, I suppose you're right. One of my favourite bloggers [ The Bloggess] has "Blogging about Blogging" as one of her post labels, and it makes me giggle, so I stole itttttttt

    Tom: Oh, if I could get away with doing nothing but that, I totally would.

    Xay: I've considered it, but I feel like... I'm still finding my way around this blogging thing, who am I to review others' writing? I'm comfortable reviewing templates and things now, and the basics like good English, but to comment on other bloggers' style, I feel, is just out of my expertise. Maybe I will try it, see how it makes me feel. :3

    April: I agree you with the intimidation thing. Some days I'm feeling sharp and funny and can get something out that I'm proud of... those days are pretty rare, haha. Trying too hard is definitely the worst thing... it's better to take a little break, I guess! I'm glad you appreciated my advice/motivations. I was hoping to maybe help someone in my position. :D

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  8. I know I go through phases of lax blogging...I'm currently on them right now. I like to think my blog has a piece of me in every post but sometimes it does feel a bit too formal. Lately I haven't been squeezing out any articles because I'm having a challenge with my PC that's stopped me from being able to record video. In the back of my brain I'm thinking "Oh no! I don't want to review games when I can't do a video with the review!!" On the other side of my brain I'm thinking "I shouldn't be limited by videos." So far - nothing has become of my inner conflict. Reading this helps though! Thanks for posting.

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  9. Tratz: I'm glas you haven't given up on blogging; I was wondering what had become of you! Technical difficulties we can all understand.

    I'm also with you on the formal/personal thing. Whenever I do informative posts (tutorials, reviews, results of my research, etc) it always feels like a school paper or something, rather than me talking about something I love. I've been trying to interject more personal stuff into these kinds of posts lately, but I haven't quite found the right balance. Good luck to both of us finding the perfect balance, eh?

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  10. No doubt! You think sporting a pair of cat ears might help me out at all? ;)

    If you haven't found an alternative VoIP service I'll commandeer a buddy and test a couple this weekend. Otherwise, thanks again :D

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  11. We haven't, no... though Steam apparently has a new voice chat service which might be promising.

    Skype continues to get worse and worse.. heh.

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  12. I've found Skype to be a little flaky, especially with International calls. It doesn't tolerate poor/varying reception all that well it seems. Steam has had voice for a long while (I thought), but I can't find a victim to test it with :D. It's worth a shot.

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