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Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Blogout?

Gary Turner is toying with the idea of quitting blogging. Hopefully, AKMA, in his upcoming visit, will talk him out of it.

Among other reasons, Gary cites running out of ideas. I know how he feels. It’s becoming more and more difficult to think of things to write about that I feel are worth the effort.

I used to blog about anything—just to get a post up, just to make sure the blog was active and current. That’s lost its allure. I’ve grown tired of evaluating everything I’m doing in the context of its potential fodder for a blog post.

Last night, I was watching a fabulous baseball game—The A’s vs. the Red Sox in a crucial series now taking place in Oakland. Tim Hudson vs. Pedro Martinez. A real duel. Two of the very best. They lived up to their reputations. It was baseball as it was meant to be.

I was going to blog about it, and would have a year ago. But then I thought to myself, “who gives a rat’s pituitary about my reaction to a baseball game?” If someone wants to read a good account of an athletic contest there are plenty of professional sports writers who will give them a far better read than I could. The same holds true for other kinds of events, entertainment and/or political (in California, of course, there’s no distinction).

The well–regarded internet marketing authority and visionary, Sean Carton recently did a column on some of his predictions, “Eleven Things That Will Happen,” with regard to the direction of the Internet. (This is a guy, by the way, of whom Chris Locke has said, “Carton's indefatigable web journalism and analysis keep his radar tuned to an uncommon sensitivity. If anybody knows what to expect next, I'd bet on this guy to call it").

Here’s what Carton has to say about blogging:

“As bloggers know, maintaining a blog is a lot of work. Paying people to keep on blogging can cost lots of money. Eventually, many private bloggers will move on to other things. Corporate bloggers will become too busy (or bored) to blog. As someone who ran a proto-blog for six years, 364 days a year, I know first-hand that at some point, you just run out of steam. Blogs are wonderful innovations. They emphasize the powers of the Net, personality, and instant publishing. Just don't count on them remaining the phenomenon they've been over the past year or so.”

However, as I was leaving a comment to Turner’s post about his possible departure, expressing my desire that he not do so, I had a realization--which I shared in the comment:

“when you write straight from the heart, as you have in this post, you don't need any ideas. With a writer of your talent, the stuff from the heart is always more powerful than the cleverness of one's ideas.

Of course, the heart may not have something to post every day. No matter. If you can only manage occasional posts, we'll happily take what we can get.”

I need to apply that observation to myself, i.e. stop stressing myself out over “what the hell can I write about today?” and wait instead until the heart has something to say. Oh, and the occasional reminiscence. When you’ve reached my age, you’re entitled. Sometimes people even seem to enjoy them. This will mean fewer posts. If that means a drop in hits, so be it. This is the only frame of reference that’s going to keep me from quitting.

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