The day I stopped blogging online consistently was the day I started journalling on paper. Just realized that now. I can’t believe I never noticed this earlier — or perhaps I did, but subconsciously.
I use to self-express through blogging, and I did so almost daily, from c. 1999 to the mid-2000s. I wrote a lot of book and movie reviews, shared loads of links, recorded my RL experiences, and processed thinking through long essays (like this one, hah, that much hasn’t changed). I’ve long deleted my Livejournal account but I saved the archive. It’s a record of my young adulthood, and I continue to look upon it with wonder at how simultaneously deep and shallow I was.
I’d always attributed the loss of my blogging voice to the Hard Times in the late 2000s, which I spent in a bad dream I couldn’t wake out of. Amongst other things, it drove me off blogging and to physical journalling. My Hard Times are long over now, but my blogging never recovered to the prolificness and intensity from before.
I’m still writing and journalling and cogitating, but it finds its expression elsewhere — journalling personal thoughts (intermittent), and in writing fiction (substantially more prolific). I suppose the channels of thinking and self-expression initially developed in those Hard Times have worn so deep, they’re now full rivers of habit and practice, and I can’t get out of them.
Yet I don’t want to, either. The act of taking my personal writing offline has changed the kinds of things I write about, and in turn, changed how I interrogate and process my own thoughts, and what kinds of things I share with which kind of audience. The Hard Times also coincided with the rise of “Web 2.0”, the advent of smartphones and growing connectivity, and increasingly invasive nature of the Internet. I’m no longer in my late teens/early 20s, and have become more private over the years. All this has made me who I am now.
I may have lost my blogging voice, but it doesn’t mean I’m not speaking. My voice is just directed elsewhere now, speaking in a different medium. And I’m fine with that. Times change, and I have too.
Once, my blog was my main vehicle of self-expression and thinking. But as I’ve developed my own scheme of writing to process my thoughts (through fiction and journalling), I neglected to give it a place. Now, this blog fits in absolutely nowhere. This gnaws at me.
Every 3 months I come back to look at this shambles of a blog, and get frustrated by its very existence. It doesn’t fit anywhere. It serves no more purpose. I should just torch it and be done with this. But I don’t, because the blog surely has some use, it is still a place to externalize my thoughts. So I leave it be, maybe throw down a morsel of a post, only to come back later and get frustrated again.
I don’t know why, but I’m infuriated that the blog doesn’t fit into my scheme of things, and I’m infuriated by my own illogicity and inability to let things go, or let things be. But oh — my blog used to be the place where I displayed the jewels of my thought. Now it collects the detritus of my mind. The leftovers, the off-cuts that fit in nowhere else. How greatness has fallen, and how I have changed.
Maybe this is a kind of grief, a lamentation of what I used to be, how I have grown up into something new and wonderful — and in the process, lost something irrevocable too.