I have been blogging since 2004. I had just moved into the dorms with my best friend Makana, and she convinced me to join her on Blogdrive.
My early blog posts were raw and unfiltered; deep dives into my psyche or incoherent rambling. The titles of the posts were song titles, usually whatever I was listening to at the time. I was part of a community on Blogdrive — a small group of bloggers who read and commented on each other’s blogs regularly.
I don’t know when all that changed. At some point blogging was no longer about laying your feelings bare — journalling, for an audience — but became yet another way to make money. Content farms. Content marketing. Content content content.
Post regularly! Make sure your readers can rely on your schedule. Show that you’re an expert in your field. Here’s how to monetize your blog — here’s how to turn it into a book.
And of course I went with this flow, even though I really, truly hate it. Of course I did, because I’m an author, and authors have blogs, and author blogs are how they leverage book sales. Of course I have a SEO plugin that’s telling me how to market this post for maximum discoverability.
Because in the vast landscape of the internet, visibility is all.
I miss the Wild West days where you could carve out a small spot, a rocky outcropping, and just say whatever shit came to mind and post it. I’m sure my old Canadian Pagan blog was full of stuff that would make current me cringe, but it was honest.
It was honest, and it didn’t cause me more anxiety to write. It was cathartic.
Blogging has become so full of anxiety for me.
Is this post good enough?
Should I even keep a blog? What if someone hatereads my entire archive to find something to weaponize against me -- and succeeds?
Shit, I missed my post day.
Ugh I can't think of anything good to write!
Fuck, I forgot to do Myth Mondays today.
If I don't find the perfect featured image for this post I can never let it see the light of day.
Shitfuckgoddamn, I haven't blogged in three months I can never show my face online again.
What used to be a joy in my life, a place where I could let out what I was feeling and find some commiseration, or support, from my small blogging community, has now become another source of stress.
Even this post, where I am trying to let go of all of that — I am tweaking and editing, fixing and shaping, trying to make it acceptable.
I am shoving my writing into a corset and wondering why its bones are misshapen.
I want to release that stress. And no, the answer is not to stop blogging, but to continue. To continue freely, like I did before. To engage in Radical Blogging.
of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radical difference.dictionary.com
To be radical is to go to the root of something. To go back to basics, to the fundamentals.
I want to go back to the root of blogging. To write a post and not give a shit about SEO or the readability score (which is red frowny face right now, by the way); not give two figs about whether or not I’m leveraging proper content to monetize my life; to stop squeezing my writing into too-small shoes and instruments of torture masquerading as clothes.
I have been blogging for 16 years, and I want to detoxify the relationship I have with it.
I need to go back to basics. And basics say…I don’t need to end this post on something punchy. I don’t need have subheadings that lead to a logical conclusion where I neatly sum up my entire point. I don’t need links to things I want you to buy, or other bits of my content.
I can just say bye.