Nora Ephron got the point of personal blogs — the freedom, the autonomy, the lightness, the speed, the whole democratic shebang. It’s a long trail back to her piece in the Huffington Post in 2006, and here’s a taste:
[…] one of the most delicious things about the profoundly parasitical world of blogs is that you don’t have to have anything much to say. Or you just have to have a little tiny thing to say. You just might want to say hello. I’m here. And by the way. On the other hand. Nevertheless. Did you see this? Whatever. A blog is sort of like an exhale. What you hope is that whatever you’re saying is true for about as long as you’re saying it. Even if it’s not much.
I second that. Then 13 years later Daniel Gray quoted from Norah Ephron’s post and added his own two bob’s worth:
It’s startling how quickly we’ve taken for granted this incredible new freedom to publish something, anything, nothing. I’ve fallen in love with blogging again; my own little corner of internet that I can spill my thoughts into without fear of them being washed away by the social media tide. I’ve been exhaling here for fifteen years, and although most of it is inconsequential whatever, it’s my inconsequential whatever.
I second that too. Then today (11 February 2019) Sameeer Vasta referred to Daniel Gray’s piece in his own blog, Flashing palely in the margins. He added his personal response, which may elicit a sigh of recognition.
I have been holding my breath for too long. I don’t write as much, share as much as I used to, and part of that is because I have been waiting to have something to say before sharing. After twenty years of always having something to say, I have recently forgotten the concept of blogging as exhale, the notion of using this space as a place to breathe ideas and thoughts into existence.
I have been holding my breath for so long that I have forgotten how to exhale. The next few months will be an exercise in breathing, for me.
Do read Nora Ephron’s original piece — she makes other crucial points about blogs that are all-too-easily forgotten, for example:
I thought the whole point of the blogosphere was that it was a big wide open place like the world itself where everyone was welcome.
So did I. So for today, I will just leave it at that. And exhale.