On blogging and why people quit doing it.

Buzz has an entry up asking other bloggers if they’ve ever considered quitting their daily ritual of expounding to the masses about whatever the hell they tend to expound upon. In it he discusses why people blog as well as why they quit and how he fits into the picture in relation to those reasons. He admits that he doesn’t blog for any of the more common reasons that others do and has no idea if he’ll eventually give it up. As for me, my main reasons for blogging are the creative outlet it provides and because I have something to say.

I definitely have an urge to be creative that I have to satisfy from time to time and writing is one of the few things I’m halfway decent at doing. Occasionally I’ll dabble in art or music, but I lack the discipline to be as good at those pursuits as I’d like to be. Web design for the sites I run helps out when I’m feeling art-ish rather than prose-ish and there’s always the fun of manipulating photos from time to time. There are days when nothing will satisfy my creative urge and I get grumpy and frustrated, but usually blabbing on SEB is enough to tide me over for awhile.

Then there’s the whole ‘I have something to say and I don’t care if anyone actually listens to it as long as I get it out of my system’ reason that I do this. I don’t promise that everything I have to say is worth listening to (or reading as the case may be), but I don’t generally speak up unless I have something I feel is worth contributing even if it’s just a stupid joke. This is true in real life as much as on my blog. My wife will sometimes say to me, “You’re quiet today.” To which I will answer, “That’s because I don’t have anything to say.”

I get a fair amount of email on this second reason usually in the form of asking my opinion on some current topic I’ve not written on, but also often asking why I devote the time I do to responding to some of the nutball comments that show up on my site. I respond to them because I want my point of view to be available for the consideration of others who happen by SEB. If I didn’t then only the nutjobs would be getting their messages out there and claiming victory in my silence. It also helps that I get a certain amount of satisfaction out of crafting a reasonable argument.

So those are my two main reasons why I do this (almost) daily. Buzz’s question, though, was have I ever considered quitting. The answer is: Yes, on more than one occasion. Usually when I feel like I’ve gone too long without anything new to say.

This shouldn’t be surprising as I’ve done this before. Back in the 80’s before access to the Internet was commonplace I used to run a Bulletin Board System (BBS) called Les’s Place: The Mansion. At least one of the commenters who pops in from time to time (Daryl Cantrell) is someone I’ve known from all the way back when I ran that BBS. I ran that BBS for the same reasons I run this blog.  It lasted for a few years and then I took it down. Then I brought it back in the early 90’s on my Amiga for a few years and when the Internet became the “big thing to do” and calls to the BBS were almost non-existent I took it down again.

SEB isn’t even my first website, it’s my fourth. The first was a simple list of places around Metro Detroit you could find anime, manga and related collectables called The Casual Otaku’s Guide to Metro Detroit. This later became The Casual Otaku that grew into a news and reviews website devoted to anime that I ran with the help of Hairboy, Eric and The Minx. My third site was AnimeLinks.com and was a links database for anime related websites that we created because our links page was getting too big. TCO lasted a grand total of five years before we ran out of steam and AnimeLinks.com lasted three years. SEB will probably eventually come to pass as well someday though I have no plans of giving it up anytime soon.

If it does happen it won’t be too big of a deal for me. My creative itch can be pretty strong and would probably result in my getting back into it, or whatever the next big creative thing to come along is, after taking the time to recharge my batteries. I can’t help it. I’ve got a big mouth and enough self-confidence (or lack of concern for my public image) to use it.

4 thoughts on “On blogging and why people quit doing it.

  1. Sounds like the way I started out

    I ran “The Dream Clinic” BBS in San Diego in the 80’s, then (ahem) AAA Stocks and Bondage … a fusion of local BBS with Internet access.  Catered to folks wanting to watch both the stock market and boobies at the same time, and was run on my Amiga

    After that, I marketed a WebCam capture product for a few years, with a BBS to back that up.  Now, the blog.  I’m a software engineer, so the coding of the blog is as much of an outlet as the writing. 

    As for thinking about quitting?  Once in a while, when comments are few and far between, and I feel that I’m talking to myself   Then I look at the logs, see the non-robot visitors, and am satisfied that I have a ton of readers if nothing else.

    I’m new at it, and haven’t burned out yet

    D

  2. Quit blogging? If you seriously think about quitting now, you’re an utter nutter. Right now blogs are becoming one of the most powerful tools in mass communication. If you want to reach specific groups of people, this is it. Especially the educated. If you want to reach the dombos, you gotta buy commercial time during Idols or Joe Millionaire or the new Fox program, Date a Midget.

  3. Heh, exactly.

    The way the trends are heading, soon it’ll be “Cornhole a Midget Millionaire with an Idol”

    Hey, wait.  That’s not a bad idea!

    D

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