My fourth week of blogging

It’s time to retire this thread. When I started the thread it was vaguely interesting but now it’s lived beyond its possible value. So this will be the last weekly, maybe a future quarterly or yearly report.

Hard to believe but I’ve actually stuck with it, 28 consecutive days of posting, 65 posts – certainly putting out the quantity. But now with some perspective from experience what is the point of all this?

I started (for the third time) blogging right after returning from my somewhat disappointing camping trip in Wyoming. I had expected to do some of this kind of writing while sitting at my campsite next to a nice campfire but 29º and snow kinda put an end to that. So upon return I decided to use a different approach to my personal commentary.

I suppose it started 14 years ago when I drove alone to Big Bend National Park. I’d just moved from sunny California to interminable winter in Omaha and just had to get out. I discovered driving over a thousand miles by myself had some navigation challenges so soon after that trip I bought my first laptop and Delorme GPSr and mapping software. Which meant on the following trips I now had a high-tech device to go along with my campfire and tent. I found my laptop to actually be a pleasant companion, at first reading all sorts of stuff I’d accumulated on it in anticipation of the trip, then moving on to writing (in some journal software I created). Being alone in the “woods” is a good opportunity to think and my laptop was a tireless listener. This started a satisfying habit that I had expected to continue on my recent Wyoming trip.

But things had changed for me. While I love having my MiFi  it also meant I was still connected (although not in the mountains of Bighorns) and not really “alone”. Now I was emailing and tweeting as I drove along. I discovered, in addition to the bad weather, feeling “connected: had messed up the tranquility that I usually find in the “woods”. So upon thinking about this I realized these conversations I just had with myself at my campsite I could now record, but more effectively “publish” to an imaginary audience rather than reporting to a real audience. And so a quick trip to sign up for a blog led me to this path.

I always wondered what the attraction blogging held for most people. Certainly I expect most start with the idea that what they have to say will attract an audience of attentive listeners, an expectation that is likely to fall short. But what I found is that writing for an imaginary audience is vastly different than just writing for myself. I can delude myself that someone is listening and therefore work quite a bit harder to say something worth hearing. That discipline then makes the writing more rewarding, to actually try to frame thoughts from random daydreams into something that sorta makes sense.

So I’ll close this thread since 29 days of blogging is sufficient to decide how it really feels. I expect to continue, esp. as provides a convenient way for me to download the entire corpus and perhaps someday to read again and condense into something more meaningful collection. I have found Twitter to be utterly useless, except for the fact that my silly tweets are recorded in the indelible cloud and thus actually provide a way to (approximately) see what was on my mind years ago. Blogging is more effective, since unconstrained by the gnat’s attention span tweets, I can actually say something, if only in a dialogue with myself.

So in July of 2013 I can see where how this experiment has evolved.


About dmill96

old fat (but now getting trim and fit) guy, who used to create software in Silicon Valley (almost before it was called that), who used to go backpacking and bicycling and cross-country skiing and now geodashes, drives AWD in Wyoming, takes pictures, and writes long blog posts and does xizquvjyk.
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