Eventually every blogger writes a post about his/her blog and why they blog. I think I have written at least two or three before this post. My “readership” has waned here at PilgrimAkimbo. I track the numbers. I see how many people come here, from where, and what they look at. I see the number of comments drop from a few here and there to almost none. I see most of the visitors are coming from Google’s image search and they mostly end up on older posts. Not many people seem interested in following what’s new here. I am faced day after day with the question of whether I should continue writing this blog.
When I began PilgrimAkimbo I did so because I wanted to re-explore my interest in cinema and to connect with like-minded folks. I studied cinema in grad school and I wished to bring some of that interest back up to the surface of my busy life. I wrote a lot about films and made comments on other film-related blogs. There is a loose community of such people, many of whom are far better bloggers than I. But my eclectic interests, as I expected they would, overcame me and I began to blog on other topics as well, from art and poetry, to family and life, to politics and religion. My blog kind of exploded in a way. Topically it became a yard sale, a flea market of personal musings. In short, it got diluted and unfocused. I knew that anyone who had been coming to my blog because I wrote about film would likely start to feel as though this was not as interesting or meaningful a place for them. I also knew that anyone who was new to this blog would wonder what the hell it was all about. PilgrimAkimbo increasingly lost any sense of focus, apart from the “whatever Tucker is interested in today” focus. It’s not a personal diary, but it’s not far from it.
As I began to write more about religion and theology I decided to concentrate that writing into a new blog, SateliteSaint
. Apart from that PilgrimAkimbo hasn’t changed all that much, except I am now writing a lot about bicycling. But this is not a bicycling blog. It is a personal blog and its author happens to be exploring the topic of bicycling for the time being. You can expect I will get back to politics and art and cinema, with more family stuff as well.
Which brings me to the purpose of PilgrimAkimbo. We can write blogs for any number of reasons. Many of the best blogs are very focused in their purview, from celebrity gossip blogs to Swedish pastry blogs. Many blogs are fundamentally photo-diaries of a family in process as seen through the eyes of mom. I love many of the those blogs and I applaud the ability of their authors to be focused and consistent with their content. I don’t do that very well.
PilgrimAkimbo is a personal blog. And when I say personal, I mean it is a kind of extension of myself, for better or worse. I do not write this for others, though I do try to consider my audience. I have a hard time staying focused on anything for very long. Maybe I’m a little bit ADD under my calm exterior. I have too many interests, a short attention span, plus an intellectual bent, and the need to talk, talk, talk. Writing is a little like talking and this blog is an outlet.
When I started PilgrimAkimbo I was really into tracking how many people visited my blog. I tracked specific posts, and even wrote posts that I knew would attract more readers. I thought about how to make my blog a place where people would like to come repeatedly. I made long links lists on the sidebar. I had lists of favorite books and films. I tried to post every other day to keep the blog alive and current. I wanted to create the feeling that this was a significant blog. Then I got a little burnt out. But not because of all the work, which I did not mind so much. No, I just could not stay limited in my topics. I figured out that a community of bloggers is not a true community, at least not in the same sense as a community of friends. I didn’t owe other bloggers anything really. I realized that it didn’t matter to me if this blog was all that focused, and I wasn’t that interested in how many people stopped by. I don’t get paid for writing my blog and I don’t care. In fact it is a blessing that PilgrimAkimbo is really just a personal outlet for me. I only feel the pressure I put on myself.
PilgrimAkimbo has value for me. I hope it has at least some value for others. I need a place to write and express my thoughts. Blogging is one way to do that. I want more people to comment on my posts and thereby enter into a kind of dialog, because I love that as well. So, to answer my own question, yes I should keep writing this blog if it has value to me, which it does. But if you frequent this blog you’ll have to put up with my eclectic interests and occasional strangeness. If you are new to this blog and want to know what it is about, I can only apologize.