I’m starting a blog for three reasons: First, I want to build a front porch on the internet.* Here’s how Austin Kleon described blogging in 2017: “It feels good to have a spot to think out loud in public where people aren’t spitting and s****ing all over the place.” I want a place where I can create and share without the limitations (and, uh, the slop) of the usual social media platforms.
Second, writing online is good for me. I had been doing it consistently since 2005 or earlier, across different platforms and accounts, mostly blogging and a few freelance gigs. Then I stopped around 2017, mainly because a full-time technical writing job left me with little energy for creative writing. Since then I’ve felt the lack of an outlet. Writing publicly helps me: Even if nobody reads it, the awareness that someone could forces me to think a little more clearly and to try and express myself a little more eloquently.
Third, well, I need to. The last few years changed me significantly, and the way forward—forward to a life of purpose, integrating the disparate parts of myself into one whole—is foggy. Howard Thurman says the “sound of the genuine in you” is “the only true guide that you will ever have.” I’m learning to listen to mine, and for a while it’s been telling me to start writing again. Here’s how I put it on my “About” page: “I don’t have a concise self-description yet, but I think this blog will help me find my way to one.”
My strategy is to write a little of everything—what I’m learning, where I’m traveling, what I’m reading and watching—and gradually discover what sticks. If a purpose does emerge, I may go back and remove posts that aren’t relevant to it.
Let’s have fun.
*I’m almost certain I read this phrase online, but I can’t find the source. Let me know if you recognize it.