I haven’t been publishing here (or anywhere) lately. The strange thing is that I’ve been writing plenty. It’s just that all of that writing is offline, usually by hand. I write and write until I lose steam and then second guess my ability to publish what I set out to compose in the first place.
I’ve started and stopped the “why I’m not publishing” piece countless times in the past year (or two). Trouble is: I don’t really have a great reason. My goto answer when friends ask me why the hell I don’t publish more often1 has been some speech on the futility of web publishing.
That’s part feint, part conviction. The web has gotten bigger and dumber since I started publishing regularly in 2006. Back then I was only spitting into the wind; now I’m spitting underwater.
The publishing landscape is just plain awful today. Sites game clicks out of crap and people fall for it. (Every. Damn. Time.) The better outlets still have to play along and add shitboxes, those little “Around the Web” paid click dinguses, below decent content, sending their readers out into the viral2 web to lose their minds over diet pill results or eleven celebrities you never knew were famous (or whatever).
We put up with it because it’s all we know. The battle was lost right at the beginning of the web, when publishers started selling ads against traffic. If only the forebears of the Internet knew back then what social would ultimately wreak. The humble click has been blown wide open by curiosity and outrage.
Of course, I’m culpable of all of the tricks that annoy the hell out of me. I’ve made mistakes on this journey of writing the web, but I’ve also done my part to call out the nonsense. I don’t have an answer to the crap web, but I know this: if I stop publishing then I’m doing nothing. And if I do nothing then the shitboxes win.
I’m not relaunching or redesigning the site. I’m not starting a new project. There is no new plan or editorial schedule. I don’t even know what the next post will be.
I just wanted to light a fire under my ass and confront my fear of publishing this piece.
So here I go again, spitting underwater.