I’ve read recently (honestly too lazy to look up the link, but I swear I’ve read stuff like this) that blogs are, in their way, passé. I halfway think that’s why I decided I’d start 2014 with a brand new one, clean, squeaky, shiny, dumb. I mean, I have a Tumblr, but at 46 I feel comfortable with being too old–or maybe too vain, perhaps both–for Tumblr, anymore. Not abandoning my Tumblr, of course–I have a few reasons not worth enumerating to keep it–but I doubt I’ll use it to post much beyond links or quotes after today.
So–why this site? I mean, caveat lector: I’ve started a shit-ton of blogs over the last 4 years in particular. They’ve rarely come to anything. This may be some weird and stubborn effort to re-capture some idea I once had that I’d seized a low-level form of lightning in a bottle when I started a blog geared toward crime in 2004 and almost overnight doubled my blog traffic, therefore sealing my fate of eventually going into professional journalism and blogging, writing for the likes of the Crime Library, Radar Magazine and the New York Observer, to name a few.
What I think I’m doing here, though, is starting from scratch. If there’s any intent in this blog, it’s in the name, HuffWire. In this context, “wire” still carries the journalistic flavor of that word. The fact that I’m a news junkie and at this point have been paid to commit acts of journalism is inescapable. I don’t really want to escape it. I’m too curious and too weird and maybe even too easily bored to shut down the part of me that reads this news blurb or that and says, “there has to be more to this.”
However, I also find the definition of “wire” so broad that perhaps HuffWire is the best possible name for the kind of blog I meant to keep all along–one that melded sheer stupidity, personal, diary-like entries and straight-up independent journalism, sometimes all on the same day.
Another reason for this blog, perhaps the most important–the practice of doing it. I was blogging professionally off and on for various outfits from 2005 onward. I quit at the beginning of 2013. I kept tweeting, sometimes tumbling something that just wouldn’t fit in a tweet. But I wasn’t really doing shit, in general. At some point, I concluded that I didn’t have writer’s block (all my tweeting would seem to disprove that alone) as I was making some kind of semi-conscious attempt to, for lack of a better phrase, reboot my shit.
You see, “pro” blogging practices are often (to me) horrible. They can be antithetical to decent writing. You’re having to worry about selling your shit to the casual reader. To the search engine. To the maniac who hates you based on the headline you didn’t even edit yourself alone. I sometimes think one reason I eventually accepted backing so far out of blogging/writing/whatever for a year was that I, at some point, concluded I needed some kind of change. A respite, to be precise.
Okay, I know I did.
The change was time away from that game. I had had enough.
Which is not to say I’m going to abandon everything I learned about blogging or my interest in certain news stories that also interest everyone else. I’m human. If there is a single purpose to this blog post it may be that–to evade predictions or expectations of what I’m going to post here for the rest of the year.
I’m just here to write about shit. This won’t even be the only writing I do on a daily basis.
Past that, I’m going to see if I can do what I want as a blogger without giving in to some of the grosser aspects of the “training” I’ve learned over the last few years, about search engine optimization, what’s viral-worthy, etc. You know, all that bullshit that kind of makes the internet intolerable today.
Mainly… this is part of a larger effort to do the one thing a writer is supposed to do. You know. Um, write.
So. Here goes.