Friday, July 10, 2009
Taking a break from blogging
Sometimes the best thing to do is to take a break, and to re-examine whether what you are doing is in fact well aligned with your goals in life. So I'm asking myself, why do I blog?
I do not blog to maximize the number of visitors, as I don't run any scheme which would turn visitor numbers into revenue. I do not blog because I think my writing will influence game developers to make better games, there is little hope of that. I do not blog because I want to influence players, what could that possibly bring me? I blog because I like to voice my ideas and opinions, and would like to have some polite and intelligent discussion about them. I don't ask for people to agree with me, or thank me, or anything, I just want a place to hang out and chat in a mature fashion, among friends, or at least sympathetic strangers.
Right now I don't feel I'm succeeding all that well. I might simply have a too thin skin for the rough place that is the internet, and can't simply grow a thicker one. But I have the impression that even at the moderate success level of this blog, the audience is becoming too wide to communicate with effectively. Some people misunderstand my motivations, others feel entitled to something I never promised and couldn't possibly deliver, and some simply can't or won't stick to discussing opinions in polite terms. At best these people end up disappointed, at worst they voice their disappointment or disagreement with me in various forms of personal attacks against me or my blog. Intellectually I am fully aware that the attacks come from a vocal minority of my readers, I should just ignore them, "illegitimi non carborundum" and all that. But emotionally I find that the attacks and having to deal with them to avoid threads being derailed simply drains all the fun out of blogging. What I'm doing doesn't get me closer to my goals, so I'd better stop.
Thus I will use my summer holidays to take a break of at least three weeks from blogging. Hopefully that will shrink the audience, and make some of the disaffected go away. I will use the time to think whether I want to restart after the break, or stop completely, or voice my thoughts in other ways. Commenting will remain enabled, but will automatically switch to moderated mode after two weeks. Suggestions in this thread on how to become a happier blogger are welcome. I can also be reached by e-mail, but won't necessarily read it every day. Have a nice summer!