On Writing – Why I Blog

The other day, I was going down one of those nostalgic rabbit holes on the Internet. You know, where you think of something, do some web searches about it, which lead to other web searches, and the next thing you know, you’ve blown an hour or so.

In this case, I was thinking back to the Forgotten Realms book series that I used to read religiously back in high school. I was, am and will always be a big nerd when it comes to science fiction and fantasy.

The most prominent Forgotten Realms author was (and still is) R.A. Salvatore.

I watched a recent interview with him on Sword & Laser. It was all around pretty interesting but something he said at the end of it (at the 18-minute mark) stuck with me.

I think I transcribed what he said reasonably accurately:

“If you can quit (writing), quit. If you can’t quit, then you’re a writer…if you’re a writer, it means one of the ways that you make your way through life is by asking yourself questions and answering them in your stories…it’s almost like your way of making sense of the world. If you’re a writer, then there’s no way you can not do that and be happy.”

Now, he’s in particular talking about creative writing, and I could write a whole blog post about how I’ve fancied myself a creative writer yet have dozens and dozens of unfinished story fragments that just sit there decade after decade.

But it got me thinking about challenges in blogging, as well as sometimes feeling you have to post for the wrong reasons. I’ve had my ups and downs committing to writing here.

At its height, I’ve had some good runs of quality posts. On the other side of the coin, there have been times I just couldn’t muster up anything compelling and felt like I mailed in a post just to say I wrote one.

In some ways, it’s not the end of world to post just for the sake of it. It keeps me in the practice. On the other, in the past I used to let strange motivations pressure me — like traffic. I felt the need to write just to keep the site fresh and friendly to search engines. What ‘x’ amount of traffic got me in life, I’m not sure, but I felt that it was a necessary sign of success in blogging.

Maybe that’s the old e-commerce background in my career, where things like search engine optimization naturally are important.

In the end, I’ve come to realize this blog is about one thing — an outlet for my passion about accessibility.

Who cares if I write two posts a week, one a month, or whatever else. Who cares if I get fifty visitors today or five. The bottom line is sharing interesting or insightful things with you (whoever you are!) about all things accessibility — web, video games, or completely unrelated to technology.

That being said, I’m still trying my best to stick to one post a week, to avoid letting this blog and my research wane. But the minute it stops becoming fun and feels like a hassle, then it’s not worth continuing.

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