For good or bad, I’ve been hacking away at this blog for nearly four years now. During that time, I’ve learned a lot, entertained a few and infuriated a couple. Hopefully, you’re one of them. But as I look back on the experience, I see that there’s one key relationship I didn’t understand when I first started – happiness is the blogger’s enemy.
Having been hooked on a number of blogs (some of which are still listed in the Blogroll to the right), I thought I could take a shot at it. After all, I thought I was everything most of the bloggers I read seemed to be – witty, snarky and miserable. Witty and snarky come naturally to me, but the key to a good blog is the misery part – you just can’t spend your time smacking down others unless you have a certain inner angst and self-loathing that needs to be vented.
For the first couple of years, the posts came easily. My job sucked, my life sucked, and it was pretty easy to get me irritated about something in the world. Much like Peter Griffin, there was usually something that really ground my gears, and dumping the bile out on the electronic pad and paper seemed to help. Look back through the history of the MB and you’ll see there’s pretty much a post a day – or two or three – in the early years.
Along the way, though, something happened – I stopped being angry. I’m a little older, so a little mellower, and a little more accepting of the stupidity of those around me. My job, while nothing to write home about, isn’t the worst one in the world, and I’m even happy in my personal life. Things just don’t suck quite as much as they used to, and the MB is paying the price in the form of gaps between posts – including big ones like the one just ended.
What used to come easy has become something of a chore. Much like someone who loved to home cook but suddenly found themselves slinging hash at Denny’s, the posts just don’t flow any more. It’s harder for me to find things to rant about, and harder for me to work up the lather needed to flesh out the rant. It used to be that if I saw someone do something stupid, I thought, “This’ll make a great posting!”; now my reaction more often than not is “Meh …”
Admittedly, I’ve done things to make the job harder on myself. I used to do a lot of posts that were basically just commentary on stories of the day, a couple of sentences wrapped around a quote from an article somewhere. I’ve gotten away from those, as I have the Monday Sports Rant and Weekend Eye Candy posts that allowed me to focus on Tuesday through Thursday. But shifting away from quantity towards quality puts an even larger burden on me to crank out the good stuff, and unlike some of my more talented peers, it’s not always easy.
So what exactly does this all mean? If I was smart, it’d mean the end of this blog. The kiss of death for any content source is lack of content, and those few people who regularly read the MarlinBlog long ago left as the posts became fewer and further between. But I’m a hard-ass and don’t like quitting on things, so we’ll just muddle on. Maybe my life will take a dump and I’ll suddenly find new venomous inspiration, and the posts will once again flow like the green beer and yellow pee on Wednesday. Or perhaps, like the Colorado River once too many irrigation pipes have sucked it off, the posts will slow to a trickle and finally just disappear into the desert sands.
I guess we’ll see, won’t we …