By my admittedly amateurish reckoning, this blog has from three to five regular readers. Which ranks it in the upper echelons of the overstuffed blogosphere – right there beside The Daily Dish and Wonkette.
Every day I see dozens of things that would be worth writing about and linking to for the benefit of my readers. And, because I take those admittedly few readers seriously, every so often I actually write a post so this blog doesn’t go totally comatose. But I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that almost every time I write a new post I didn’t think to myself, “You’re wasting your time. Get a life.”
Today I picked up Scott Rosenberg’s erstwhile history of blogging, Say Everything, which actually makes this decidedly banal venture seem not only worthwhile, but interesting. Or, as Jonathan Safran Foer put it in Everything Is Illuminated: We’re writing we’re writing we’re writing…and so on all the way down the page. It’s like that meme about anyone who ever bought the first Velvet Underground album in 1967, all one thousand of them: they all went on to start their own bands.
I remember clearly thinking not very long ago that I’d never be so desperate or vain as to start my own blog. Justin Hall, whom Rosenberg and any book you’ll ever read on blogging cites as the VU of personal blogging (that’s Velvet Underground, by the way), basically posted his entire life – intimate details and all – on the web for a decade. Then he had a nervous breakdown; but so did Lou Reed. You can get a sense of Hall’s style here, in this painfully melodramatic video from 2005.
Hall and I are the same age. So is Tom Bissell, who is still debating whether or not to devote himself to the pastime. When I begin to think to myself that this blog is a waste of my time and energies as a writer, I remember why I started it in the first place: as an informal way of writing more regularly. So, in that sense, it’s a success whether I have six readers or six million.