I’ve been spending more time focusing on my personal blog. I’ll use social media to promote my blog posts, but I’ve decided to not post as much directly on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram as I have in the past. My reasons:
- Primarily, it helps me to write more, because the more I write, hopefully, the better at it I will become, the more natural it will be, and that may help encourage me to pursue more formal, longer writing projects. That’s always been a goal.
- Pithy commentary on social media can be fun and informative, but I’d like to spend more time on careful, nuanced thought expressed in long form writing. It’s easy to spit out quick things on social media but a lot more difficult to dive into something in-depth. It’s like conversations that are about the weather or other surface level topics, which often leave me dissatisfied. I usually want something deeper and more substantial.
- I’d like to have more ownership and control over whatever I write. All of the stuff I’ve posted on social media over the years isn’t really mine, in a way, it’s fodder for the companies who provide those platforms to monetize. (Yes, I realize that the blogging platform I’m using does the same thing, but it’s less direct.) For example, I can have more insight into whether anyone reads my posts. They may not comment or “like” but I can still see more data on who has navigated to a blog post than I could ever see on a social media post.
- Believe it or not, a lot of people don’t use social media. A personal blog is more accessible. You can subscribe via email or RSS to be notified whenever something new is published here.
As has always been the case, though, what I post will be a mix of family stuff, personal interests, my Christian faith, and commentary on my chosen profession. I’ve never been a fan of separating different aspects of my life in a blog or in social media to appeal to different audiences; it doesn’t reflect the reality of who I am and how my life and interests actually play out.
I often think, isn’t this all just a vanity project to boost my own self-esteem, impact, and influence (or whatever you want to call it)? In a way, yes. But isn’t that a large part of what any writing is about, whether it’s via a blog or a published article/essay or social media? As ambivalent as that makes me feel, there is the perspective that others can choose to follow along, to read and/or comment, as they wish. Or they can ignore what I have to say altogether. I can’t and won’t please everyone, that’s for sure.
Writing one’s thoughts and making them public is inherently risky, opening oneself up to criticism and maybe rebuke or ridicule. So be it. I can learn from that, so I think it’s worth doing. Feel free to comment here on this blog or via social media, or send me an email. I promise to listen, but not to always agree.