Apparently this is the year that personal blogging died, if you haven’t read/heard. Dooce allegedly quit blogging…although she’s actually still blogging. Andrew Sullivan quit blogging, revealing that he had no choice but to quit because it was literally killing him. Young House Love quit last year…but recently crept back after a year of silence, mostly, it seems, to announce their new book. And these are just a few of the hundreds? Thousands? Millions? of personal bloggers who had either gotten into it for the money and realized it wasn’t worth the effort or was becoming too intrusive into their family lives, or who had been blogging since it was a medium for sharing and connecting and since the rise of “content” and pageviews and shares have just become burnt out and discouraged and decided it wasn’t worth the time.
I have wavered on the brink of quitting many times over the past decade, as I struggled to find time and energy to blog just for the love of writing while working full time in jobs where I spend all day online, either blogging or managing social media or crafting and executing content strategy…a lot of the time, blogging has just seemed like more work. Unpaid work. Unpaid work that sometimes gets you in all kinds of drama and becomes a huge emotional strain and time-suck. But at the end of the day, I’m still here, driven to carve out time before work or in the evenings or on weekends to blog for whatever reason. It certainly isn’t because of money–I think, collectively, over the past decade of personal blogging, I’ve made maybe a total of $5. There have been other non-monetary benefits, of course, but if I guess the fact that I’m not doing it for the money and hardly anyone reads what I write are pretty much what’s let me keep at it even as personal blogging is deemed to be dead or dying.
Maybe I’m still doing it because I’m too cheap to quit, having invested the time and money into buying this domains and blog themes and sweating every customization and tweak, working late into the night even after spending all day long getting paid to do stuff that’s not even as taxing as this crazy hobby. But probably it’s more along the lines of this reason the Bloggess gives when asked “is blogging dead?” and what blogging is really about:
It’s about writing whatever crazy shit you want to write and having some people say “YES! I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE” and some say “What the shit is wrong with you?” and 99.99% of the world say nothing because they don’t know I exist. And that is blogging.
Exactly. And ultimately, isn’t the way back to “old school” blogging–people just writing to write, sharing on the off chance that what they write will resonate with one person out there who needs to read this particular thing on this particular day–having blogging for money die off, one poorly-written sponsored post at a time and writing just because you feel like it, bad grammar or nonsensical reasoning be damned? Or, better yet, getting to read–and write–stuff like “what the shit is wrong with you?” just because you can.