Thinking about the Motivation to Write

Blogs are abandoned all the time. Somewhere between 50% and 99% of blogs are started and then quickly left for dead, after that initial honeymoon period of content and inspiration fades and the hard work of producing something interesting and lasting persists over the months and years. Maybe because it’s so easy to start (and quit), churn seems natural and the internets are littered with corpses of writing ambitions frozen in time.

Almost a decade since the “blogging revolution”, the need for a simple means of self-expression has been largely supplemented with status updates and Tumblr sharing. It’s a natural evolution in removing work and friction – it’s easier to simply share interesting content than to produce it, and quick thoughts and short sentences are easier to cobble together and broadcast to receptive group of acquaintances than strangers, some of whom will presumably be polite and like or retweet or reblog your thought.

The long form of writing is time consuming, and particularly professionally, expensive and a lost art.

For amateurs, the motivations to spend hours and hours producing unpaid content are even murkier. Most who do get attention do so more on their internet – or real-life – fame than the quality of their content; aggregators like Reddit or Hacker News are communities that are open in name but fall prey to the same power users (who have enough clout to push their own stuff to the front) and link bait titles (OMG Why Apple will fail!).

So what’s in it for me? I suppose it’s a combination of an outlet for frustrations, a chance to invoke discussion and conversation, and an opportunity to write and to practice the art of clear communication. The hard part was keeping this thing going for longer than a few months; now that I’ve renewed my hosting and domain registrations, I’m stuck with doing this for a while.

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