Six months as a blogger

Today marks six months since I started this web log.  If I’d known how easy it was, and how much web hosts such as WordPress provide free, I might have begun years ago.

Unlike my 40 years working on newspapers, I don’t have to meet deadlines, I don’t have to write to a specific length and I’m not subject to anybody with the power to alter or disapprove what I’ve written.  On the other hand, I don’t do any real reporting.  There are bloggers who are excellent reporters, and excellent reporters who have blogs; I don’t fall within either category.

What I write comes from my reminiscences, my daily life, my reading and other Internet web logs.  Having a web log is like being able to write an unlimited number of letters to the editor.  I depend a great deal on material from regular newspapers and magazines which is available free on the Internet.  I would like to think I am symbiotic rather than parasitic; I help disseminate the material, and add my own insight for what it’s worth.  At the same time I do little to alleviate the financial plight of the magazine and journalism industries.

My original expectation was that my web log would be read mainly by some of my friends and acquaintances.  WordPress facilitates the circulation of my posts on the Internet, and I am surprised and pleased that my writing is of interest to strangers.

One of my vices as a newspaper reporter was that I was overly prolific.  I wrote some things that I am proud of, a great many more mediocre and forgettable things, and some things I wish I hadn’t written.  My desire to write and get feedback from what I’ve written is addictive.  I would have served myself and my readers better if I had written less and better.

There were a couple of times in my career when I had weekly newspaper columns.  When I began them, I had a great backlog of opinions to express. Gradually I depleted my inventory of ideas, and reached a point where I ceased to wonder, What am I going to write about this week?, and started to wonder, What can I write about this week?  I promise myself, and you, that I will not fall into this trap as a blogger.  When I have nothing I want to write, I won’t write it.

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