Ordinary Human Language

by Brian Crane

What I Forgot I Learned about Blogging

As I was putting this blog back together, I was also starting a shared blog with my brother. In the days since I’ve been back from France, a lot of my blogging time has been devoted to getting that other project up and running. It’s going well, we have the start of some momentum, and that’s exciting.

Working on getting that project going has been a reminder of how much I had to learn over the early years of starting this blog. My brother’s one of the sharpest people I know, and he picks things up near instantaneously, but even the fastest marathoner in the world has to run 26 miles to finish a race. That’s what the other blog is like: fun and going fast, but there are so many miles to cover.

Importantly, those miles aren’t fundamentally about tech. They’re about writing: mostly about sorting out what to speak about and finding a way to do it publicly. I really do think there’s something universal in the challenge: surely everyone with any self-awareness at all faces it, no? But how it manifests for each individual seems extremely personal. We each work out our answers to “What to say?” and “How?” on our own and that demands time and reflection. If there’s a shortcut, I haven’t found it.

I also wonder if it isn’t a bit harder to figure all this out with someone else helping. I mean, surely it’s easier in the sense that someone’s there to help and offer encouragement and advice. But also, is that really helpful? I mean, you’re not them! And worse, you’re there watching them fumbling around and ultimately standing in for the very same public that’s the problem in the first place. Maybe putting a familiar face on that public helps—I surely hope it does—but sometimes I wonder if I’m more help than hinderance…

(Does it go without saying that the entire previous paragraph reads to me like questioning the possibility of teaching composition? And that that in turn is a bit like, What have I done with my life?)

Overthinking about what helps and what doesn’t aside, the other blog is fun. Blogging with my brother is fun. I’m excited by it, I love it, and it’s where a big chunk of my blogging time has gone post-France.

Posted April 25, 2024