Friday, September 23, 2016

Has Graham stopped blogging?

It's weird thinking that this blog has been around for over 13 years now. By my reckoning I must have started it just after starting a new job, and just after meeting my now-wife. I don't remember setting up the blog, but do remember the early days of writing feverishly, plucking ideas out of the street on the walk to work, posting links to new posts around the Internet. Before Twitter, that was. Not much before, though.

I wonder what I'm doing with it now. A lot of people move on from blogging because another social tool is launched and the crowds flock like pollen. I'm guilty of this too. But I've also noticed over the years how my attitude to content and publishing has changed with it. Less fever. More... Something else. Curation, perhaps. Style?

But these changes have gone hand-in-hand with the delivery medium. Between blogging, Twitter, TinyLetter, Flickr, handmade paper zines and just life itself, it's fair to say that I feel fragmented. I like blogging but I hate writing on a phone or tablet. I like experimenting but hate thinking about eventual audiences. I like everything but hate haphazardness. All of it feels random still. Or - like it's some kind of training. Constant etudes, workouts, practice without closure.

I guess I've stopped blogging so much because it's harder to run that kind of "curated experiment" so quickly. There's no real locus of this blog. No raison d'etre. It's what's left over, perhaps.

Publishing is the showcasing of ideas, and the refinement of those ideas is a valuable process, even if nobody is reading. I do, I admit, have the same problem with my photography - I know the basics. But to carry on, I need to face up to the more fundamental question of why I'm doing it. Maybe it's a midlife crisis in the digital era. Life stage 2.0. Learning via machine interaction. Rapid failure.

It's sunny outside and autumn is coming and I kind of just enjoy relaxing these days, into the days, and I don't get enough time to do that as it is. Maybe that's some kind of path in itself. I doubt I'll put down the blog, just as I won't put down a camera. But they might point in a different direction.

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