Won't lie, it was nice to have a week away. Almost considered not coming back. When work is busy (I've been putting together the second set of Africa Good Governance on the Radio Waves programs, and that's never a smooth project), I don't find myself with much time to think about extracurricular writing, and at home it's too tempting to just relax and do something less challenging. Belle and I watched the first season of Heroes this week, for example. Good show.
Still, I'm kind of compulsive about writing. It's habit-forming, and it's therapeutic. But writing on a blog is also a dialog, as I said. It's like talking to yourself, except other people can read it. I think that puts it one step above crazy street person in terms of psychological profile, just because of the literacy requirement, although I've met some pretty literate crazy street people.
Anyway, the point is that blogging is like talking to yourself, but not entirely. There's comments, for one thing. For another, it's not completely isolated. That bothers me a little, as I go through the archives. There are topics I write about here, and I wonder if they would really be so important to me if events hadn't wandered their way.
For example: I turned MileZero.org into a blog in late April 2005, a little over two years ago. In early June, barely a month later, I managed to get myself into an argument with the editor of a gaming print magazine, and got linked by a number of the blogs on the right side of the page there. It felt like a big deal, and there are a lot of game-related posts after that. I don't know if it's because I was really so interested, or if it was the rush of joining a new community.
That's happened several times. For a while, I wrote a lot more music posts, especially after I got linked for coding the Excel drum machine. Some of this is just my changing moods--I have my obsessions, but I don't really consider myself single issue. I think I'm lucky, actually. Although I've had a number of people comment here or link to my posts, Mile Zero has never been a strict gaming or music or politics or culture blog.
On the other hand, I'd be lying if I don't sometimes wonder how long I can go without writing about a topic, because I know that's what some people probably come to read. I know I've written posts sometimes when my heart wasn't in it, just because I thought people might be getting bored. I have a love-hate relationship with my readership statistics.
Like a couple of weeks back, when Lance Mannion wrote a post saying that he'd added me and a few other people to his blogroll. That's an honor, and I was really proud. But at the same time, I also started thinking: "great, now what in the world should I write to keep people like him around?"
I kid, of course. No-one will ever de-link me. I have blackmail material on all of them.
We're social animals. We all react to the opinions and statements of people around us. That doesn't change just because our peers are online, instead of being neighbors and coworkers. Some people are wired to respond to that more than others--I think most writers online fit that profile. It makes me a little nervous to know that about myself, but it's probably best that I channel it into some kind of productive path.
Because if the blog thing doesn't work out, I've got these sandwich boards in the closet, and a spot all picked out in front of the White House. I think it could be a hit.