what is a blog, anyway?

a word?

a phrase?

an insight?

a message?

an essay?

a journal?

a noise?

a picture?

a video?

or none of these?

When I started blogging, I wanted to discipline myself to write.

In time, I saw it as a way of writing longer pieces and, perhaps, one day, publishing a book.

In the early days, I learnt a lot about domain names, hosting, the different blogging platforms and the idea of Themes.

It was a frustrating process.

I have written on various subjects – some focused exclusively on the legal market, and others in pursuit of the Neitzsche phrase

“to become what we truly are.”

The word count has varied from 200 to 2,000 words and, save for a few posts, where I have used Soundcloud, I have stuck rigidly to the same format.

I have challenged myself to write as lucidly as possible, but, at times, I have lapsed into a style alien to me – it has been way too rigid. The truth of the matter is that I started out with a reader in mind, and that reader has changed.

Having spoken to a number of bloggers, I feel the strongest writers are those people who don’t write for the sake of self-promotion but genuinely believe they have something to share, even if that means only a few hardcore fans bother to turn up each day.

Some of these bloggers use video and others write long essays but they make their own rules to suit their style of writing/communication.

Right now I feel like I am on the cusp of something different to what I have done in the past.

What comes next?

As I indicated this week, I want to write longer pieces, probably called Essays, but I don’t want to use a label which might lead me down a blind alley. Perhaps they should be called short stories. The point is, I want to have a legacy beyond a few thousand blog posts.

But, then again, why shouldn’t I write as few words as possible?

I’m not talking about developing a series of quotes that live on after my death (heaven forbid) but I do feel that some of the most powerful ideas don’t need a verbose exposition.

And, let’s face it, I should be prepared to take a leaf of my own book and take a risk or two.

This doesn’t mean dropping off the radar only to reappear in a flurry of posts, Tweets and mentions. I just mean that if I don’t post for 2 weeks perhaps it’s because I have nothing to say, or, more likely, I am working on a piece that cannot be generated in a couple of hours.

My apologies if this all seems a bit rambling but when the blog was created I don’t recall any rules being written and even if there are some customs that have grown up along the way, that doens’t mean we should blithely follow them.

NB. I would love to explore the issue of blogging in some sort of forum. I have, previously, tried to get a local event off the ground without success but this time I wonder how people would feel about a webinar or Google Hangout to discuss the whole blogging thing and how we can all help each other and enjoy the process. If you are interested them either pop a comment below or perhaps send me a tweet (@Ju_Summerhayes).