SUMMARY: Dave decides that he needs to return to a more conversational model of blogging, rather than focus on a niche that fits the needs of his apparent global microbrand within the productivity genre. Which is to say that Dave would prefer his microbrand to be a certain kind of conversational approach to living.
It’s been pretty quiet here on the blog, and I have identified the blockage. It’s not so much “writer’s block” as it is “filer’s block”; the website in its current form is such a mess that I don’t really feel like creating more content until I clean things out and create a “proper place” for it. For example, I’m keenly aware that all the productivity stuff really should be cleaned up and given its own subsite, but before I can do that I need to do a lot of thinking about how to organize it. And once I have that figured out, I get to design a whole new subsite. It’s a lot easier to [twitter][twitter] little chunks every day; thoughts that might have become entire blog posts have now been compressed into 140-character musings on a variety of experiences ranging from the irksome to the inspiring.
I’ve also noticed my recent tendency to write only articles that are related to productivity. I think this is because over the years, I’ve fallen into this niche, and I have been subconsciously writing toward the expectation of that audience. It makes sense too, from a “personal brand” perspective, because specialized content tends to attract larger audiences that are “solution focused”. It really doesn’t take much: write about the same general topic every day, provide useful links, be concise, and be an original thought leader. I’ve resisted this for years, because I don’t happen to be very concise or consistent in my interests. And yet, there’s been this pressure to conform to it because, like it or not, I’m an independent freelancer that wants to make it work. And when you’re floating around by yourself, there is a strong instinct to grab hold to the largest and most stable bit of flotsam within arm’s reach and hang on. It’s time to let that go and expand my interests once again. While I like making useful observations, I think I miss the conversation with the Internet. When I got started, there was something kind of carthartic about writing something and letting it float across the ether on currents born of ping-o-matic and other notification methods. It was like releasing a message in a bottle. Now, I get caught up in trying to write posts that are useful and don’t waste people’s time. On the surface, that’s a laudable goal, but in practice it takes the fun out of blogging. And without fun, there’s a certain blahness that follows.
My original plan was to create a second personal blog on the site, and start moving all the posts into new content areas. However, I’ve been sitting on this for months and have come to the conclusion today that it’s more important to just start the conversation flowing again. And so, this post marks the first of that; I’ll sort out everything else out as the external need arises.
I’m coining a personal principle: if given the freedom to choose between organizing and making stuff, don’t let the allure of organization get in the way of making. I really should organize a lot of things here, but I am going to have to call down external pressures from heavens to make things happen. Being a person who is activated by the immediate needs and circumstances of other people, it’s important then that I create the means for which those other people can make their needs known. And maybe that will be easier if I resume the conversational blogging model I had years ago. We shall see.