Against being a “blogger”
I. The problem
I want to write the kind of stuff that I like to read.
For instance, overarching theories are great – Kegan, The Gervais Principle, etc. I would also be happy to write about “things aren’t what you naively think they are!” – some of my favorite posts belong to that genre:
- The Control Group Is Out of Control – science is not quite as trustworthy as we’d like
- In Praise of Fake Frameworks – believing in false things can be useful
- A Big Little Idea Called Legibility – confusing traditions are good, naive rationality is bad
There are other preferences, too. I want to write “canonical” things, i.e. if somebody wants to learn why exactly X is wrong, my blog should be the place to start. Oh, and also entertaining and funny, somewhere between “laced with micro-humor” and “sarcastic drunken pirate” kind of funny.
So, what’s the problem with this? The problem is that I don’t care about anything. There is no goal. No benchmark. Nothing to optimize for. No “failure” or “success”.
I don’t have specific ideas that I want to convey to specific people. There are no lies that I am fighting against. No causes to promote, no changes to bring about. When I’m in the “gotta be cool” mode, I don’t have fun while writing, and I don’t learn anything.
II. The solution?
When writing this post, I had a specific goal: I wanted to internalize the problem by writing about it. And so, writing this post turned out to be quite a bit less tedious. (Unfortunately, I didn’t have a specific audience in mind – and so, it was still kinda tedious.)
I guess caring about more things would help, as well as writing for specific audiences / people. Or, to generalize a bit: I should excise “I’m a blogger” from my identity, and treat writing as just another tool in the toolbox.