Here I Go Again On My Own

Inspired by Lockhart Steele’s return to personal blogging, I’ve decided to give it a shot myself–with the caveat that if this ends up being Not Fun after 30 days, I will go back to Not Blogging. I haven’t really blogged on a regular basis since I left Gawker in 2003 and having to do 12 posts a day (and seven days a week, originally) burned me out pretty badly.

But now I’m at the opposite end of the continuum; I’m usually working on one or two long-form writing projects, but not very much writing gets done in public otherwise. And there are things about blogging that I miss. I like consistently writing for an audience and getting feedback. It helps me work out my arguments and thoughts about various issues and clarifies muddy thinking.

And I miss being able to engage other people online in discussions that are actually productive. In the days before comments on blogs, you could generally have a thoughtful conversation online without everything degenerating into madness and chaos simply because responding to a post required that you wrote a post on your own blog and linked back. This created a certain level of default accountability because if someone wanted to flame you, they had to do it on their own real estate, and couldn’t just crap all over yours anonymously. So in the spirit of old-school blogging, I’ll approve comments here, but am much more likely to engage if you create a blog post of your own and link back.

So what am I going to blog about? I’m not totally sure. But I’m going to copycat Lock and say I’m committed to one post a day, and if it’s fun, I’ll probably do more here and there. Some of it’ll be stereotypical protoblogger stuff: what I had for lunch, how I feel about the President, what I think about The Media. But I anticipate that this’ll a lot broader than my original blogging was. If I get stuck, I might use prompts–Quora questions, inquiries from readers, etc.–and I’ll duplicate some of my Instagramming here. (I’m sorry if that’s annoying to the four people who follow me on Instagram, but I feel like there’s some overlap between Instagramming and personal blogging.) And I might post some short fiction snippets.

I also take requests. But I can’t tell you what The Restaurant of the Summer is because that’s not my bag. But if you tell me, I will book a reservation.

  • davealevine

    Try Medium.

    • Elizabeth Spiers

      I already write for (and on) Medium. My most recent piece is here. But I don’t think it’s quite the same thing as maintaining a personal blog, where you control all of the visual elements and maintain a custom URL.

      • davealevine

        I remember that post 🙂 Seems like you are quite the writer. Hope you keep it up!

  • Joseph Ratliff

    But Elizabeth, doesn’t this inspiration to return to blogging beg a question…

    Why did you stop in the first place?

    Because I would posit that your original “why” for blogging was strong enough to bring you back to it … even if it has developed over time.

    Something to think about, and I hope you’ll continue.

    • Elizabeth Spiers

      I was just burned out. If you blog at really high volume for a long time, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of publishing crap just to hit post counts and it sucks the fun out of it. There’s some happy medium in terms of volume and it’s somewhere higher than zero and lower than 12 posts a day.

      • Joseph Ratliff

        Amen to everything you just wrote, Elizabeth. The “quality” aspect of writing is paramount (to me). But even then, sometimes I wish I didn’t hit the publish button. But that’s what a blog is for (for me), a laboratory to try things out, to test ideas etc…

        I look forward to seeing your writing again Elizabeth, and thanks.

  • Kari

    Yes to blogs staying personal and weird and creative works in progress — whatever you want it to be. Medium is just another mall.

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  • Lockhart Steele

    Whoa. Trackbacks still work? Learning new things every day.

    • Matt

      Pingbacks. 🙂

      Elizabeth, you made my day!

      • Elizabeth Spiers

        Glad to hear it!

  • Mark Armstrong

    Reblogged this on Mark Armstrong and commented:

    The Back to Blogging Movement.

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  • Chris ODonnell (@chrisod)

    Thanks for sticking Whitesnake in my head for the day 🙂

  • Gretchen Sword

    Reblogged this on Adipose, LLC and commented:
    i’m liking this

  • ryan

    welcome back! sounds like you’re thinking along the same lines as us indieweb folks. that’s great!

    we’ve been working on making personal sites and blogs interact more richly, similar to social networks and major publishing platforms. if you’re interested, definitely check out
    intro articles
    like these
    for details. for example, if you sign up for (both and the social networks), facebook and twitter replies to your blog posts would show up here like normal comments!

  • Allen (allendav)

    I enjoyed reading this and finding your blog – after letting a few blog-every-day challenges pass me by, perhaps this is the one that finally catches 🙂