Earlier today, I read a post by one of my favorite bloggers, Jen McCreight, titled Blogging makes a difference. It opens with these sentences:
Blogging can be frustrating. A lot of the time it feels like we’re beating our heads against the wall, replying to the same misconceptions over, and over, and over again.
This is how I feel most of the time I sit down to try and write about something I care about. Most of the time when I blog at length about something that's important to me, it's because I'm finally getting out in text arguments I've had, partially or in full, several times before. And for me, there are the added insecurities that whenever I blog about something I care about, it's reaching a much smaller audience, and has been covered better by people all over the internet. I mean, how can I possibly blog about copyright reform when there are such great Cory Doctorow videos out there?
And, running counter to this, in an absurd mental double-standard, whenever I have that sort of argument in meatspace, I wish I could just have that same argument on my blog, so I could put it up in a public forum where everyone could see my views, where the person who disagrees with me would have to say so in public if they wanted to get my input, and where I wouldn't have to feel like I'm wasting energy arguing with someone who isn't listening to me, and there isn't even anyone else paying attention to the argument.
Plus, I do sometimes wish that when people started fights with me I could just give them a list of required-reading blog posts that they had to get through before I'd discuss politics, religion or feminism with them.
Beyond that, there are plenty of other apprehensions. I mean, what if I'm wrong? That feels like a trivial thing to say, but I grew up under a presumption of maleness in a fairly misogynistic culture. There were definitely times I thought and felt things that make me deeply uncomfortable to think about, and the idea that I might hold views now that will make me feel that way in five years freaks me out.
It's scary to stand up for your convictions, which is why most of the time I bring up the things I hold dear in meatspace, I disguise it in a joke. I find it a lot more difficult to be funny online, mainly because it's not like there's anything for me to respond to in the format of a blog.
I have to go out of my way to say anything I want to say on this platform, which is fine because I like writing and I like sharing my opinions about most things, but that fact pretty much annihilates the possibility of creating an illusion of glibness and wit. (I'm positing this as one of those rules that super-amazing expert authors are allowed to break because they're brilliant: You can't be glib on a blog.)
So anything I write here has to be either (a.) something I take seriously enough to think is important to write about, or (b.) something I think my audience will like seeing.
(on that topic, I saw this picture on Reddit the other day, posted by user energydrinkgood:
And it's pretty hard to justify the implicit argument that I think my audience will be excited to learn about my views on the gender binary, so if I'm going to try, it's going to come across like I think it's serious business. Which I do, but I don't want to make my readers feel like I'm giving them a paternalistic lecture just because I think society has seriously screwed up views on the requirements of personality re: gender, and I'm not very good at making it funny.
That said, I want to try to make more of an effort. So, in the spirit of making every day of my week arbitrarily demanding, I'm going to make Wednesdays my serious business day. That makes my current online content creation schedule:
- Sunday: whatever & NEW VLOG
- Monday: whatever
- Tuesday: whatever
- Wednesday: serious business blogging
- Thursday: whatever & NEW VLOG
- Friday: Philosophy through Film
- Saturday: whatever
If you have any ideas about what I should blog about that I think is serious business, or any ideas on how I should fill up the other three totally empty days of my online content generation, feel free to leave them in comments, tweet them to me at @txwatson, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.