Here’s a (portion of a) notation from Wil Wheaton’s Still Just a Geek: An Annotated Memoir on blogging and writing.
…my editor has continually reminded me that there’s a difference between writing a speech, a novel, a novella, a blog, and hundreds of notations.
…there was a very distinctive voice we all used in the 2000s when we wrote in our blogs.
Unfortunately, as I read through it now, it isn’t aging well for me. There was a deliberate immediacy, an unpolished, unvarnished, raw, conversational tone that, today, feels amateurish. In the moment I sent these thoughts out into the ether, though, it was important to me that the readers receive only real emotion and real truth from me…
I say all this because I hope you’ll believe me when I say I’m a better writer now than I was then. More experienced and more confident.
…writing is a process. It should be about putting words down on the page, revising those words, throwing out some (or all) of those words, and continually honing and shaping and polishing and crafting.
In the early 2000s, that’s not how really anyone blogged. I certainly didn’t.
So maybe I’m not “great” at writing yet, but I’m literally decades better, and that’s part of being an artist: keep working on the craft.
I read (/heard; it was an audiobook) this notation in Wil Wheaton’s new book last year. (So good! A must-read for Wil fans!)
I agree with him on how blogs were written back then. I still prefer to read more personal blogs than “professional” ones. There are very few blogs I keep up with now though.
I mean, based on my own blog I can kind of understand why. Teens and twenty-somethings have more free time and have more they want to say. Older people just settle into life and don’t remark on anything new because… there is less that is new.
I wonder if how the culture of the internet has changed also has something to do with the decrease in personal blogging. The fear of the older, nerdier internet was creeps finding you offline and your irl friends finding you online. Now we have to fear doxxing and your employer(s) (current and future) discovering too much about you.
But back to the reason behind Wil’s notation, that he’s improved as a writer. I love reading Wil’s blog. His posts are well written. Another longtime blogger I still follow has improved her writing as well, coming off more polished and … I don’t want to say professional? (Because she wouldn’t call herself professional, I don’t think, haha.) She’s given more thought to her writing.
Whereas I am still just throwing stuff on
the wall and seeing what sticks. Or … lands. This ended up weird.
All this to just say, the “state of my blog” is the same as the last time I gave serious thought to the subject. It’s a place for me to stretch my writing muscle (ugh I need to stretch way more often) and write whatever I have on my mind that I want to share here.