I have been blogging for almost ten years and (even if I do say so myself) I have become pretty good at talking about nothing at all several times a week in such a way that people tune in to read.
This last couple of months, I've been feeling like I need to blog when I don't want to blog and that's not a good thing. The internet has become a very different place since I started. Back then I was running a Nokia 8210, Rhiannon was six, I had a semi-regular job and owning the best dog in the world was a distant dream...
Since then, everybody (and I mean everybody) has been convinced that posting something (anything) - online is 'producing content' and therefore, everybody is now blogging whether they like it or not. Their breakfast, their cat - you get the picture - you post it, people like it, sometimes they like it a lot and that's called a 'readership'. Fuck - people who post pictures of their cats regularly have a bigger 'readership' than me. Nice work cat people.
A few weeks ago, I saw an instagram poet with a following in the high tens of thousands... like 323,000 and counting. My soul gave a small shudder. As a self marketing guru with the ability to convince all of instagram he was a great poet, this guy rocked the house down to its foundations.
As a poet, he sucks diesel through a straw but 323,000+ people bought into it all the same!
My blogging hero, Neil Gaiman, has all but stopped blogging over at his site. The gaps between posts are so long now, it would perhaps be better if he called it a day and left it there for all to see as an archive of 'the past'. At least I wouldn't go there very often only to be disappointed that he hadn't written anything.
Talking of heroes, Michael Chabon has abandoned everything bar instagram and left the heavy lifting to his publisher - who cannot be bothered to lift anything by the looks of things. Nikki Sixx (and many other rock people) has even abandoned his domain name, choosing to fire most of his life out via instagram and Facebook - the latter probably via an auto-posting mechanism. The reasoning behind that is most likely that their entire fanbases are on those platforms and care only about seeing tour dates, new albums or a bit of nostalgia... otherwise they are too busy posting their own pictures of cats, breakfast etc...
Anyway. I need to change. I have to change because I'm not getting left behind. I love blogging but I don't love it so much that I want to carry on when everybody else is too busy to come here and read. It's like hearing that you missed the Berlin wall coming down because you were baking a cake.
So, over the next few weeks and heading to the end of the year, I'll be shoving some things around here, getting into shape for 2018 and whatever comes after. My books will be coming out through a different publisher in the new year and with that taken care of, I'm going to reconfigure my own house and perhaps turn it into a different kind of machine.
The important thing is I've figured out I need to be better at this. I'm not saying blogging is dead - far from it, but take a look around. The world ain't what it used to be and neither am I.
If all else fails, I could always increase the number of pictures of Hector I post everyday and churn out the kind of poetry I used to when I was fifteen.