Friday, January 02, 2004

New Year Blogs

Lately, I've gotten in the habit of reading a few of the fresh blogs to the left of the home page after I log out of Blogger. Of course, it's the interesting names that catch my eye (and yes, I'm aware that mine doesn't qualify... It's placeholder for my portfolio when I start writing seriously). I've heard some statistics on this, but I'm still surprised by the number of blogs with less than a dozen entries. Today, many are New Year blogs.

I'm sure to read something about this is the coming weeks, just like I read about (and deal with) the spike in gym membership every New Year. And I'm sure the coming months will see a similar trickle of abandonment as motivation dwindles. But blogs are different than gyms: they're only a few keystrokes away for most of the Internet community. No getting up early nor putting off supper for an hour nor spending the best parts of your evening going to and from (depending on your gym routine). So why do people stop blogging?

One answer is: they run out of things to talk about; and that's a good one. I, for one, don't want to read filler. But I would guess that people are always thinking about something. See, I got around this by starting another blog of limited scope: what I'm watching. I wasn't always thinking about things worth blogging about here, but I was watching lots of movies and a bit of TV. And as the credits were rolling on these shows, thoughts were always bouncing around in my head. Now I've just forced myself to sit down and type those thoughts out, in much the same way that many successful writers live, as I understand it. I guess I'm hoping that this limited exercise won't be so limited one day.

So, if everyone has thoughts bouncing around in their heads, the obstacle may be the process of typing them out. Without these aspirations, would I bother sitting down and typing as often as I do? History has shown the answer to be no, despite the fact that I enjoy it once I've started. And then there's another possibility, one that equally applies to me: the fear of looking stupid. Yes, John, I have a thought every few seconds, but none of 'em are particularly intelligent. I have religiously followed that Better to be thought a fool advice my whole life, and I suspect I'm not alone.

And yet, with all these obstacles, one in seven (or so) of the fresh blogs I stumble upon has been going strong for at least a year, sometimes two. I want to be able to say the same of at least one of mine.

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