Over the weekend I queried the Internet about how to make the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival1 a success and in doing so it brought to light my own personal issues with participating and blogging in general.
Let’s face it, the Internet is an entirely different beast than it was in 2000 when I first set up my little slice of the great WWW on LiveJournal. Blogs were basically personal journals that just happened to be public. And like the Internet itself, they were considered a fad. For me, and many others, they were exactly the thing we needed. A place to pour out our streams of consciousness and share life with family, friends, and/or any interested party behind a computer screen.
Nowadays blogs are so many things: sources of news and entertainment, resources of information, etc. The average blog with any real presence has some focus to it and the personal journal has all but died out. Social media has a lot to do with this. It’s much easier to natter on about random daily life in short snippets than find the time to write an entire article. What seems to push this shift is that even commenting has moved over to social media. The back-and-forth is more convenient, but with the comment section’s where the interaction occurs and it’s also a large source of generating traffic to and from a blog.
So where do I fit in with all this? I’ve never really had a specific focus to my blog — and I have absolutely zero intention of turning it into one. I never set out to be the best or most popular blogger, especially since I’m forever amazed that anyone finds me interesting enough to read. It’s probably why I’ve never particularly minded that more often than not I feel like I’m blogging in the void. And yet even though I’m admittedly a rather lazy social media user, even I have slowly gravitated towards using it.
The big roadblock for me has been an almost oppressive lack of desire to blog. At first it was just that I lacked anything inspiring to share.2 It didn’t alarm me since I’d gone through it a fair few times before. Eventually, it became clear to me this wasn’t a typical dry spell because when I did have something I felt like sharing I still wasn’t writing. Sometimes I’d try and it just felt stale and ludicrously pointless. This was partly because writing about the frustration and stress in my life was only heightening those issues for me, but I also know now these things were were some of the first clues I was slipping into major depression.
I’ve been out of that black cloud for several months now and so the question remains why the lack of blogging? Honestly, I don’t have the answer to that. I do know that my time on the Internet has largely been spent searching for a new job. It’s time-consuming in a way that you only understand if you’re in the same situation. It also makes me want to spend any moment not engaged in job-searching away from the computer. There’s also the intermittent issues I’ve had with pain and stiffness that make it difficult at times to be at my keyboard.
Mostly, I think it’s just that I simply got out of the habit, which you would might think would be easily rectified. I’m finding, however, that is far from the case and quite honestly I’m not sure why.