Self-referential Blog Post on Blogging

I’ve just spent a little time reading Cory Doctorow’s The Memex Method. I think it echoes my motivations for starting a blog, probably about the same time that he did. Except I didn’t continue. Doctorow’s post has helped me realize why.

“Memex” stands for memory extension. In part, he writes about using his blog to make notes about the impressions he’s had. Meanwhile, I envisioned my blog as a place to write essays on fully formed thoughts. There are many problems with my approach. Most significantly, I don’t have as many fully formed thoughts as I thought I did. Certainly not enough to write one a day, or even one a week. Fully-formed thoughts take time to fully form. Duh.

Since the rise of social media, a lot of those impressions went into the fire-hose of social media. The problem with that is that those impressions were rapidly carried out to sea and easily forgotten. I suppose I could wade through my downloaded archives of all the things I’ve said, panning for the gems, but I fear there’s a lot of sand and few diamonds in there, possibly not enough to justify the effort.

This paragraph made the biggest impression:

That’s how blogging is complimentary to other forms of more serious work: when you’ve done enough of it, you can get entire essays, speeches, stories, novels, spontaneously appearing in a state of near-completeness, ready to be written.

There it is. If I treat blogging as “less serious work”, as a place to express semi-formed thoughts, yet something beyond a difficult-to-read scribble in a notebook or on the back of an envelope, then perhaps I’ll post more often and have a resource that will help me coalesce the ideas behind my next work. Still, it has to be serious enough to put it out there. As Doctorow says, the act of writing for an audience keeps him honest.

Relaxing, or at the least adjusting, the criteria I impose on myself before publishing anything, even just blogging here, is going to be hard. If I succeed then there will be a stream of thoughts and impressions that follow this post in short order. Wish me luck, and I apologize in advance if every post isn’t a well-reasoned essay on a relevant subject.