Coming Back to Writing

So the other day I was watching a video of Scott Berkun‘s talk about the future of WordPress:

(Go ahead, watch it first if you like, this blog post will still be here when you get back)

I loved how he delved into the history of writing itself, not just of WordPress – harking back to the days of the printing press, etc. We live in such a world of privilege where anyone with an internet connection can easily publish his thoughts and words unto a worldwide audience, and yet for many people writing is a lost art that they don’t partake in on a regular basis.

For the past few months, I’ve been one of those people, as I’ve neglected to update this blog (aside from a short spurt during the elections). I’m still actively posting bite-sized snippets of my brain on twitter and I even added a new outlet for random internet nonsense on my tumblr account Easily Distracted but I’ve been lazily avoiding the elaborate writing of long prose.

It’s easy to find excuses not to write; for the longest time I was considering switching this blog back to WordPress (I’m currently running a custom Django-based blog engine of my own creation) and changing the theme, et cetera – the sort of busy work one gets into when avoiding something else.

Have I been avoiding writing? Maybe I’d fallen into the trap a lot of people fall into – thinking that I have nothing useful to say, so I better not just say anything. There’s something about staring at a blank text box that you need to fill up that triggers a primitive part of our brains that thinks we should avoid pushing out our thoughts or opinions into the world for fear of being questioned or ridiculed. Maybe it’s a holdover from the days that elementary school English teachers would force us to write reaction papers and essays with a required number of words or pages. (Few teachers ask for an N-page paper, they know students will just cheat by using double-space or large fonts.)

I’ve also been worried about the sort of things that I write; like a lot of bloggers I somehow fell into the mindset that I should limit myself to a specific set of topics such as software development or Philippine politics or whatever. It’s a bit ridiculous, this isn’t a topical blog, it’s a personal website and I can (and should) write about whatever I damn well please.

Sidebar: If you’re wondering “Why write a blog at all?”, try reading “You should write blogs” by Steve Yegge.. Looking over his reasons why not to blog, I don’t even have the luxury of claiming I don’t have enough time, not since I quit my job. (Hmm, I should probably write about that in a future post…)

So anyway, let’s put this ramble to an end. I’ll be writing regularly again for now, probably five times a week. Wish me luck!

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