I used to write a lot. Especially here on this blog. I've even written about not writing here before... but this is different. I go back through the archives and read some of what I've written over the past half decade and sometimes can't recognize the author. I said that? I was sure fired up about stuff. Part of it is related to my memory loss/chemobrain, and perhaps I'm getting a little older, but mostly I think that there's a diminishing value of the written word and an over-abundance of outlets for written expression. There's nothing wrong with the latter, but it is the primary contributing factor for the former.
When I used to get fired up-- angry, frustrated, excited, or otherwise-- I would hammer out a post. It could be about my work at Yahoo, product management, 12seconds, new sites or ideas, or my cancer. Twitter was mostly around during this time, but I used it as a way to promote my long form ramblings. But the script has flipped. I get fired up, tweet about it, and it gets out of my system. Then I forget about it. I write 140 characters and then lose steam. The thought is out there, but only a few dozen people may see it while it floats in my followers twitter feeds, then it sinks to the bottom and drowns. An ephemeral wisp of an idea that could have been something more fades into the ether... where does it go? Twitter does not archive anything...
Okay... I wrote the two paragraphs above sometime in August. I haven't written much in any form since that time. A lot has happened in my life between then and now. I will hopefully muster up the energy and the fire to write about it all. Here. I want to write more. I need to write more. I have a lot to say. I've even said that before. It seems that long form personal text in a blog or elsewhere has fallen out of fashion. What has Twitter or the general "status update" done? It's shortened our attention spans that much more. Mobile is another contributing factor. We "snack" on our phones for quick hits of information, validation, or communication. I don't want to sound like a dead Andy Rooney or some other curmugeon longing for days of yore; I'm just stating my thoughts at this time.
The diminishing value of the written word can also be attributed to ebooks and the evil Kindle. Those that know me, know about my feelings for the Kindle. I want to punch it in the nuts. That doesn't mean I won't buy one some day, it just means that I won't be happy about it and I may try to find a way to punch it in the nuts. I don't need to get into it here and now, but ebooks aren't books. A book is a book. And because you can store a million of them on a thing that weighs less than a pound that can also play Angry Birds sort of proves my point. All hail Lord Bezos!
So where to write? I guess everywhere. But I intend to do most of it here.
I'm done with the writing for the day. I'm going to go drive home while listening to the Buzzcocks, then I may read aloud to my children "That Is All" by John Hodgman before they go to bed. It's a nice book with a glossy black cover. And it's filled with lots of words. I bought it at Powell's in Portland on my last visit.