[Disclaimer: I know that blogging about blogging is like telling other people about your weird dreams: fascinating to you, but dreadfully dull to everyone else. That said, here’s a post about blogging. Happy 2016, friends!]
Want to hear something really crazy? I read a “motivational quote” meme on Twitter the other day that actually stuck with me. It was a quote from a 2010 article/interview with famed fantasy author Neil Gaiman, in which he said, “Use your blog to connect. Use it as you. Don’t ‘network’ or ‘promote.’ Just talk.”
This goes against all the advice of professional bloggers and online-platform builders and portfolio-lifers out there. And something about that is incredibly refreshing to me.
This past year, I really wrestled with whether or not I wanted to pursue becoming a “real” blogger, and how that could impact a possible future career as a writer and freelance editor. While I re-discovered a bit of my writing mojo during NaNoWriMo, I haven’t yet parlayed that into consistent word production.
As you may have noticed, I haven’t written anything here at the 4DB in the last couple of weeks. Why? We had a few teenagers staying with us for a bit, and I decided that time spent watching and discussing Avatar: The Last Airbender and playing board games with them was important–more important than rushing out my review of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” or discussing the latest whatever-people-were-freaking-out-about.
I did the thing that all the pro bloggers out there say you shouldn’t do. I just hit pause. I didn’t post explanations for my absence. I didn’t repost “best-of” rerun articles or invite guest writers to cover for me (though I would love it if Mike or Web posted on here once in a while!).
Like everyone else at the beginning of a new year, I’ve been thinking about changes I want to make in my life. But when it comes to this blog, I’ve decided on a change I don’t want to make.
So here’s my 2016 4thDaveBlog Anti-Resolution: I’m not going to turn this blog into an SEO machine or a self-promotion platform. I’m not going to slavishly chase pingbacks, retweets, or links from more famous bloggers (though if those things happen, I will dig that, for sure).
I’m not going to subject you to posts that I wouldn’t want to read myself. I actually have a “Top 5 Food Trucks I Enjoy in Austin” post in the can that I wrote but couldn’t bring myself to post. Why? Because it’s nothing more than a gimmick post to boost blog traffic. I wrote it for that very purpose, and I should have known better than that. (That said, if you’re looking for recommendations, hit me up on Twitter, and I’ll point you to some good food in the ATX.)
Rather, I resolve to be honest on this site. I resolve not to let it become something unreadable and soulless.
I may not post on a consistent schedule, though I will try, because regular writing is good for me. But when I post, my hope is that it’s interesting, encouraging, challenging, and fun to read.
(Suggestion: If you scroll to the bottom of the page, you can sign up to follow my posts or get them emailed to you. This way, if you like what you’ve been reading, you won’t miss any random posts that fall outside the Mon-Wed-Fri-morning format I try to stick to. Like, um, this post.)
Thanks for reading, and I hope you’ll stick around to see what happens in 2016!
Your Turn: Do you have any anti-resolutions for 2016–things you resolve not to start doing? Post them in the comments!