“Four score and seven…” (Ahem.) Excuse me, I meant… “Four years and seven (or more — it’s gotten hard to keep track) lifetimes ago, I brought forth upon this WordPress (dot com) a new blog, conceived in lunacy, and dedicated to the proposition that all blog readers would subscribe eventually.”
“Now I am engaged in a great deal of introspection, questioning whether that blog, or any blog so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. The truth is, the world will little note, nor long remember what I write here. It is for us the bloggers, rather, to be dedicated here to adding a few more drops to the ocean. Tiny cries of small critters in a very large wilderness.”
And at this point, I’m way off script…
Four years. Just over the 500-post mark — this one makes it 503. (There are a bunch of “pages” found in the menu across the top, so technically it’s more like 530-some odd things you can read here. And some of them are fairly odd, or so I’m told. But 503 posts.)
Twice Freshly Pressed. That was… interesting. The first time, as I constantly complain, wasn’t original material, so it was a disappointing way to represent. (What are the odds? I rarely re-publish other work!) The second time, this spring, it was an original post, and it was one I liked, so while I may always remember my first, the second one was way better. (Actually, come to think of it… Actually, never mind.)
The attention being Freshly Pressed garnered those two times (late 2012 and early 2015) almost seems to reflect a change in blogging and WordPress. The scope is far more global now, and the percentage of spam and commercial bloggers seems much higher. The idea of “long-form” blogging — of longish, thoughtful, original content blogging — seems in decline. Our collective attention spans seem no longer up to the task.
What alternately depresses me, pisses me off, and makes me laugh hearty (yet bitter) tears, is that according to WP, I have 2000 (and one) Followers. Given that any post I publish gathers about, frankly, zero to a dozen or two reads in the first month or so seems to indicate that at least 1900 of you aren’t keeping up your end of the bargain.
The number of regulars — people who respond and participate — is even smaller. I can count them using just many of my fingers. (Participation is ideal, but even feedback sometimes would be nice. It’s weird seeing page hits jump when someone obviously somewhere posts a link to an old post of mine, but never seeing anyone show up to say, “Nice post!” Or even, “WTF?”)
Four years. 500 posts. A handful — literally (and I do mean “literally” literally) — of real Followers (my mini-legion). A blogsphere that may be in decline, and the repeated realization that every time I take a blog break, I find some part of me likes not blogging a lot more than blogging.
I’ve been kind of on break lately, and it’s felt very nice.
In fact, I missed posting on some significant dates in June. There is the Summer Solstice, of course. I’ve expressed my melancholy regarding that several times here before (and so, in some sense, seems a fully covered topic). There is also Tau Day, which in many ways is superior to Pi Day (but has less pie).
Mom’s birthday was, or would have been, in June, and while I’ve never been an actual Father, I got Samantha The Puppy on Father’s Day in 1994. I have notes and a rough draft of one more post about our life together that I’d targeted for Father’s Day this year.
There was also that, after an exciting May, in June the Minnesota Twins really cooled off. They managed to end June still five games above the .500 mark, but they came into it eleven games above! They went 11-17 in June. Really let the air out of the balloon!
But (or maybe, due to the Twins, “so”) I’ve been feeling a serious malaise of late and just haven’t been into posting.
It does seem important to commemorate Blog Anniversary Day, though. I did in 2014 and in 2013 (oddly, not in 2012). And WordPress sent me a whole notification — It’s sort of almost kinda like an Anniversary Card. (Apparently they think I’m doing good blogging and want me to keep it up.)
It’s been four years since I said, “Hello, World!” here. Lotta posts down the river.
And I’m really tempted to just call it quits. (And, no, this isn’t a plea for readers to weigh in and beg me to keep on blogging. (Assuming you would in the first place.) This is my decision and I’m just explaining the way it is. Call it a State of the Blog Address.)
I recently encountered the idea of “No Obligation Blogging.” In other words, post when you really feel the desire and have something to say, not according to some schedule or perceived need to “publish or perish.” My blog isn’t a banana; I can leave it out untouched for as long as I want.
I’ve been enjoying “taking the summer off” from blogging. Yet I find myself sometimes writing notes for a future blog post. I think the truth is, bloggers gotta blog. Way back when, I defined art as “what artists do” which pushes the definition of art onto the artist. A key characteristic of an artist is the need to create.
In a sense, I’d be writing blog posts in my head all the time anyway, so I might as well record them. (Don’t you hate having a really interesting idea, but not being able to write it down, and then forgetting it?)
Four years. 503 posts. Somewhere between 2 and 2000 (actual) Followers.
And you ain’t seen the last of me, yet.
 I do know Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address in November and that it actually has nothing to do with July 4th. I won’t be held responsible for that weird (yet very creative!) stuff that comes out of my head. (I suppose I do have to take responsibility for actually sharing it with you.)
 Note the classy dropping of the second “o” — a habit you should adopt immediately. The silly “blogosphere” sounds like something out of the comics. Or a corrupt politician from Illinois.
 503. As previously mentioned.