I used to love blogging.
For me it was always a creative outlet. I love sitting down – often in “one take*” like a classic film – and capturing what was on my mind at the moment. What I loved about it was that my thoughts were instantly in the ether, I would get quick feedback from readers and I would know where my ideas stood in the world of ideas. If what I said was shit I knew it instantly. If what I said was clever but I said it with less empathy than I should have – I knew that, too.
Blogging proved to be a great way to hone my ideas, have public conversations with people and as it turns out – build meaningful relationships through public dialog that spilled over into the real world.
Somewhere along the way blogging changed. From the very first time I listened to Airplanes by B.o.B. it resonated.
“Somebody take me back to the days
Before this was a job, before I got paid
Before it ever mattered what I had in my bank
Yeah, back when I was tryin’ to get a tip at Subway
And back when I was rappin’ for the hell of it
But nowadays we rappin’ to stay relevant
I’m guessin’ that if we can make some wishes outta’ airplanes
Then maybe yo maybe I’ll go back to the days
Before the politics that we call the rap game
And back when ain’t nobody listen to my mixtape
And back before I tried to cover up my slang
But this is for Decatur, what’s up Bobby Ray?
So can I get a wish
To end the politics
And get back to the music
That started this shit?”
That’s how I feel.
There were days where I could write about what I was thinking about Apple or Twitter or Facebook. Or I could just write about life. But over time I realized too many people were paying attention. I often would be concerned about not offending people because no blog post is worth losing friends over.
I can only point to three examples in the last 10 years of writing where I know that what I specifically said made somebody resent me. I regret all three and even though what I wrote I believe to this day was accurate – it still wasn’t worth it.
If I write about big companies and what I think about their strategy, tactics or ethics – I will have feedback from somebody in that org within 12 hours. If I write about startups where I’m concerned about bullying or inappropriate use of customer data I am all too aware that each have investors, each have founders and each have friends. When I write about companies I like and invariably don’t mention other companies I get emails from people supporting the companies I don’t mention.
I guess it’s just a reality of blogging and I accept that. But I decided to take a 30-day break nonetheless.
In December we announced our newest fund – Upfront V – had closed. I took that as a moment to have a break and come back refreshed. It feels good to be back.
I don’t know what blogging will bring in 2015 but I hope to go back to the day when I was just blogging for the hell of it. I hope to just write what’s on my mind in stead of thinking that every post needs to offer advice or insight or wit. I’m still going to try and at least be sensitive to others when I write but I hope not to completely pull punches. And when I feel motivated and impassioned about political topics that affect and interest me: gay rights, immigration reform, income inequality, gun control, ageism, gender bias or anti-semitism – I will still speak up.
I’m always open to input on topics people want to hear more about or less about. I read every comment on this blog that’s timely (I don’t go back and read comments made on posts from 6 months ago) and I read nearly every @mention on Twitter – even if I don’t respond to all.
It feels good to be back.
*post-script – only if you’re interested.
It surprises many people that I often don’t edit my posts at all when I write. That’s how I end up with typos and occasional split infinitives. I prefer to write stream-of-consciousness so that blogging is just an extension of what’s on my brain.
I have ADD, which means I lack “impulse control” which is why when I’m done with a post I immediately hit publish. This is why I can’t really work with editors and don’t work as well publishing on third-party sites. When I’m done I must publish.
I often come back to my posts after the fact for a quick edit of errors. This happens because people mention mistakes in my comments section or on Twitter and all things equal I’d rather fix typos. Occasionally I will add or delete paragraphs but not often. I like “single take” blogging.