Saturday, September 14, 2013

Am I a blogger anymore?

I was thinking the other day, as mentions of the Problogger conference started filling my Twitter timeline, that I'm not sure whether I am really a blogger anymore.

Before you mention it, the inherent idiocy of writing a BLOG POST speculating on whether I am a blogger is not lost on me. Of course I am a person who writes a blog, so on a purely reductive level, I can be described with the noun.

What I'm getting at here, though, isn't an activity-based assessment, but an identity-based one. I'm not sure that "being a blogger" describes something important about me now; certainly not in the same way that words like "writer", "mother", "poet", "reader" and even "wife" do.

Sure, I write a blog, but I see the blog primarily as a tool / vehicle for expressing my writing self, especially the intersection between my reader-persona and my writer-persona, rather than an object in its own right. To put it another way - if the meta object that I'm gesturing at is "light", the blog is a convenient lantern, which could just as readily be replaced with a candle or a lightbulb if circumstances changed.

I think this shift in thinking has been coming for a while. It probably began with my decision to keep the blog unmonetised, and to move away from accepting complimentary products for review (other than the annual MSO Classic Kids concert and the occasional book, I decline just about everything now). This decision took me out of the swim of the mainstream for the Australian blogosphere, especially the parenting part thereof.

My lack of enthusiam for things like blog awards, competitions, blog conferences and seminars, and most memes has further removed me from the flow of blog activity. It's inevitable; bloggers form communities and those who engage more, get more engagement back. (Quite right and proper too). Moreover, posting erratically and based on interest rather than what I suspect will get eyeballs has changed the way I think about the blog and probably the way my readers read it, too. I've also greatly reduced the amount I'm willing to write about the kids, as they get older and I become more protective of their privacy. This, also, has reduced the interest in weighing in that people seem to have.

The bottom line is that I don't see my blog as either a microbusiness or a high art; it's neither complete hobby nor passion. It's a mechanism by which I write and it isn't more than that, to me - and to be perfectly honest, as my comments dwindle away to almost nothing (while, curiously, my PVs remain stable or show slight growth), it's almost becoming less than that. If writing out loud and having conversations is the name of the game, I'm not sure this blog is the right tool anymore to do what I want to.

I've become increasingly dissatisfied with the limitations and inevitable restrictions of blogging as an expressive form. These limitations used to be compensated by the feedback I got via comments - I crave interaction, of course - but as commenting has died, so has that spring of inspiration and resolve.

So there it is. I have a blog - and the force of inertia and urgent need to mouth off about books and poetry will probably mean, realistically, that I will continue to have one, for the foreseeable future. But I don't see myself, really, as a blogger anymore.

1 comment:

  1. See to me, I see you as a true blogger. An online diary, thought process, rather than a business seeking readers. I love reading your thoughts and I hope you keep writing in this forum.