Ninth Blogiversary

Today’s my ninth blogiversary… and judging by statistics, my blog is basically dead, probably because of a combination of (1) I don’t post regularly anymore, (2) I post about religion more often than I used to and people get offended, (3) most of my posts are too dang long, and (4) I very rarely comment on others’ blogs. Also, if I really wanted to get pageviews and subscribers, I would have to make this blog a lot more specific, which would get boring. So there’s four directions I could go if I wanted to make it more “niche”: (1) writing, (2) book reviews, (3) “mommy” blog, or (4) Catholicism.

Honestly, I don’t write enough fiction these days to warrant making this strictly a writing blog. Book reviews and Catholicism are nice to write about every once in a while when I have something to say, but I don’t think I could dedicate the entire blog to either of them. And I’ve always found “mommy” blogs repugnant, especially if they end up being “TMI.” The only reason I’d even consider it is because it’s an easy topic. From what I’ve observed, people love talking about their kids, but not too many people like listening.

Blogging in general seems to have lost popularity over the years. People seem to be more interested in sites like Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat, which are based on images and not text. I could add images to the blog, but copyright becomes a problem unless I create my own graphics or take my own pictures. And I don’t do either of those because I’m not a graphic designer or a photographer.

Or, if I really wanted the blog to be easier on the eyes, I could do the sensible thing and break long posts up into bullet lists, several shorter posts, or divide the content under headings. But not all of my posts lend themselves to that, and it requires planning and multiple drafts. I don’t think I’ve ever really planned or done multiple drafts. I just type something and schedule it to be posted.

So in short, I doubt I change anything. This blog will continue to be a mashup of whatever the heck I want to write. It is a lot of work to run a blog and get a consistent following and number of comments and views, and to be honest, blogging goes way, way down on the priority list when you have a kid.

Nevertheless, I will carry on. 🙂 I have too much fun writing. Thank you to those who do continue to read!

Thursday Three #39

  1. This is a good article on the importance of writing things by hand rather than writing using a computer. It boils down to this: writing by computer distances a writer from his work, leaving him to feel as though he has little authority over it.
  2. It is hard to bridge the distance between myself and writing, and I don’t think it has anything to do with handwriting versus typing. I no longer feel as though I have time to form a coherent thought, but that’s silly because I need to make time. Priorities have gotten in the way, I suppose.
  3. On the brighter side, I have gotten more of a chance to read. (It is easier to immerse oneself in another person’s created world than to build one’s own.) I am reading Mischling by first-time author Affinity Konar. It’s about twin sisters who wind up as victims of Josef Mengele’s deranged “scientific experiments” during the Holocaust. The writing style is gorgeous; all of the metaphors are spot on. Highly recommended, even if you’re sick to death of stories about World War II.

Sharing a Computer

This article on Slate brought me back to the mid/late 1990s and early 2000s when my brother and I shared the family computer (which was really my dad’s computer; my mom never had any interest in it). I don’t remember what the computer itself looked like, but I remember that the monitor was one of those huge, ungainly CRT things that my dad pulled out of the garbage at IBM, where he worked. Beside the computer was a stack of floppy disks, another stack of computer game CDs, and an Artemide Tizio desk lamp, on which my brother and I used to hang action figures and small stuffed animals. I remember that my dad hated when we did that because the lamp was expensive. We had Windows 95 back then, and to this day, I still believe it is the best operating system that ever was.

My brother and I spent so much time playing games on the computer, and those are some of the best memories I have. We’d play all day during the summer, and we would attempt to take turns on the computer, which sometimes became a fight that my dad would have to break up. Then I’d go to my room and read when it was my brother’s turn, which, to a great degree, was better than all the silly games we played on the computer.

The article talks about how playing (or working) on the computer was once a shared family past-time but is now a solo endeavor because where there used to be just a family computer, there are now computing devices for every family member. Laptops, cell phones, and tablets all make the Internet portable and personal, so one can easily retreat to his bedroom or another enclosed space with his device, with no need to share it.

Back in the day of the family computer, you had to interact with people to share the use of the computer. You were the audience when your siblings were playing games. Nothing you did was really private because a parent or a sibling could walk up to you at any time because you had no claim over the computer. It belonged to everyone. I think it should still be this way. Computers and the Internet can too easily be used for evil or for aimlessly wasting time. Sharing a computer can prevent “ownership” of the device and remind us that we are still in a world with other people. Maybe those people would like to “play” with us, so we’d be better off turning away from the screen.