The Future of Blogging (For Me)
So I’ve been thinking about this whole blog thing. I’ve been blogging steadily, more or less, for just about exactly four years now, and irregularly for a year or so before that. Tossing aside the first blog, which was a tool for expressing political irritations out loud in the absence of easy conversation (and which no longer exists), I’ve had three personal blogs.
The WAL, short for the World According to Lance. Yes, you could say the name was a bit self-centered, but it amused me, and still does because I can read it a couple of different ways. The WAL was an eclectic collection of thoughts and tiny essays. Bits and pieces of my life including writing, kids’ activities, politics, opinions, things I like and events in the world around me.
The Adventures of WritingDad. Narrowing the focus to just writing and being a father. Mostly writing, really, with a bit of parent stuff thrown in for variety. When I started this one, I claimed that The WAL was hard to focus on at times (even though I mostly seemed to manage to post 2-3 times per week) and that its title, at least, said a lot more about who I am. So why did I need to change things again a year later?
Small Realities. The blog you’re reading now. Billed as my new online creative home, it quickly became just weekly Year of Creation Updates and later to serializing “Thorvald’s Wyrd” and not much else. Sure, I’ve been posting a lot more often, but it’s easy to post when you’ve got 129 pieces of a serial written and just have to do a couple of minutes of editing to get one ready to go up. Much as I love the story, this was not what I planned for the blog.
Three blogs over the course of four years, each with a progressively narrower focus. The problem is, I’m not a narrow guy (and that’s not a weight joke even if I am carrying a few extra pounds). My interests are pretty broad. Scattered even.
Yes, I am a writer, but that’s not all I am.
I’m certainly a father – my children are far and away the most important thing in my life – but I’m more than just Dad, too.
I have a full time job that may not define me but is part of who I am. There’s the editor’s hat sitting crookedly on my head. I’m a karate student, sometimes with and sometimes without some of my kids or my wife. I used to be a runner, and I’d like to be again.
Then there’s life and politics, family and friends, and books, and movies, and hobbies and all of the things I’m interested in, even if I don’t get a lot of time to spend on any of them.
If you read any of a gazillion articles (probably on a blog), you’ll almost certainly learn that one of the most important things for a blog to be is focused. You should focus on a single area that you’re passionate about and blog the hell out of it. It might be good advice, but not for me. I’m not that focused and, given my life to date, I doubt I’ll ever be.
The Adventures of Writing Dad was an interesting experiment, if not quite what I wanted it to be. Small Realities might have been, too, but I don’t think I can quite call it a successful one since it hasn’t really become what I wanted. And neither blog is completely me, anyway. I think The WAL came closest. It was certainly the most fun and interesting. Still is, if I go back to read it. Blogging works better for me when I can open up a new document, say to myself “what interests me/excites me/pisses me off at the moment?”, and start typing. I need to get back to the World According to Lance, even if it winds up being called something different.
As I close in on my 40th birthday, the domain name registration that I’ve promised myself as a present needs some careful thought.
Oh, and WritingDad also happens to be my Twitter handle. Please feel free to come find me there if you haven’t already. Or on Facebook. Or wherever else I might be hanging around.