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Blogger’s Existential Crisis

Does that make it a Blogxistential Crisis? Er…

  1. This blog has been neglected. That’s something that’s going round, of course.
  2. I’d apologize, except that comments on what I do post are so rare that I don’t know who I’d be apologizing to. I don’t meant to sound like I’m whining—I’m not heartbroken. (This blog certainly isn’t the only one in that situation, and like I say, it’s been neglected.) And yet…
  3. Wish I could say the hiatus here was just due to adjusting to parenthood, but it’s not. I’ve been struggling with my motivation to keep this blog going for a few years now. But lately I’ve kind of hit blogger’s existential crisis: what am I doing this for? Or what is it I’d be doing, that I feel this weird dissatisfaction at not doing?
  4. Mind you, the posts that are here do still get comments, and some of them are great, and I appreciate them deeply. But most of them suck.
  5. Seriously, three quarters of the comments I get are either racist expat sewage, or defensive ranting, mostly by overseas Koreans who don’t have to live in Korea with the social problems I criticize (and, unlike them, live with on a daily basis).
  6. I actually have several hundred draft posts sitting in the hopper. Most—especially those dealing with Korea-related stuff—I will never post, but some are pretty much ready to go and probably are worthwhile, if only I can get a few minutes to polish them. Some of them were me working out things for myself; some were me letting off steam. The world doesn’t need another rant about a piece of shit taxi driver in some Korean city, or some incisive commenary on season 1 of Serial, does it? But some of them are interesting stuff, and should get posted, since I went to the trouble of writing them.
  7. Part of the inertia is also writer’s block generally. I haven’t worked on my book(s) since my son was born. That’s not unusual, from what I hear. Blogging is hard when you get interrupted so often you rarely complete a thought for yourself. (It doesn’t last forever, I know. I’m hanging in there.) But that’s not the main reason, I don’t think.
  8. Another part of the inertia traces to what we often call the “death” of the blogosphere. I full admit that I am part of the problem, since I rarely read blogs anymore and almost never comment on them.
  9. Not that the blogosphere has actually died, mind you. Blogs that are focused on specific subjects (or feature a stream of neato diversions)—and those that are written by people already famous—seem to be thriving, especially when they’re multi-author blogs. But I’m neither of those things.
  10. It’s not that I long for a high-traffic blog. I have a day job, and my writing, and a family. That’s enough for now. But I do think this blog needs some reworking, all the same.
  11. The internet is full of writer blogs. The internet is full of ranting expat in Korea blogs. Those veins of ore (if indeed they are ore—sometimes they resemble sewage) are pretty tapped out. And really, I’ve moved into other areas: I’m interested in Georgian London, and in technical fiddly ideas about writing, and tabletop RPG design, and jazz music, and finishing blogging Ezra Pound’s The Cantos.
  12. Unfortunately for me, people interested in one of those areas usually aren’t interested in the others. It’s not like, say, Do the Math, one of my favorite blogs these days, which is mainly about jazz music, but also discusses race relations in America, and crime novels. (And those things do link: the connections are obvious to people who like all those things.) Georgian London and jazz don’t connect. Homebrewing and science fiction? D&D and modernist poetry? Yeah, no, not really.
  13. So I’m thinking about what to do with this site. Do I pick a thing and zoom in, focus on that? But isn’t this blog for me? Is it really so bad to have ten core interests and post about all of them?
  14. I think part of the answer to my fundamental question (what to do with this site?) is evident from the question above: I need to write about things I’m interested in, not things (like the annoyances of daily life in Korea) that bother me. Nobody wants to read a blog of complaints. That’s the guy at the bar everyone shuns.
  15. We’ll see. I’m thinking I’ll go through the drafts over the next few months, posting what doesn’t suck and isn’t pointless, and then reevaluate.
  16. I don’t want to close comments on everything older than X months old, because some of the best comments I get are on things I wrote a long time ago. However, I am pretty fed up of the trolling. I may close comments on anything related to Korea, because that’s where most of the trolling comes in. (And, not coincidentally, that’s the area I’m pretty sure I won’t be blogging much about in the future.)
  17. Not blogging about Korea is something I’ve been talking about for a while. Living here makes it difficult, of course—one’s life does tend to come into it, and there’s stuff that’s newsworthy in Korea that doesn’t make it into the English-language news, or get global coverage—but, well, I find writing about subject less rewarding than other subjects, and I suppose that’s why, though I’ve written about Korea for a long time, I was never quite regarded as a Korea-blogger. I’ve (almost) always been fine with that, too.
  18. But the internet is full of SF blogs, and writer blogs, and gaming geek blogs. What have I to contribute? I’m not sure. Maybe thinking about it as contributing is the wrong way round. I’m not sure. This is what I’m thinking about now, when I do think about this blog.
  19. I am playing with the idea that maybe I need to rebuild the site, narrowing the topics on offer to what I want to write about; making the site reflect structurally my desire not to write so much about Korea anymore, and prioritizing other subjects in a way that urges me on in writing about them, in other words.
  20. Your thoughts and responses are welcome—not that I expect much response, because, hey, I don’t read blogs much, so why would you?—but I am curious how many people still read this blog, and how many have thoughts about it. Ha… and watch the trolls pour in with their pseudo-opinions.

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