I wanted to love These Modern Headaches. I really did. However, as you might have noticed, I fell out of the love with the idea two posts in. It’s not that i’m non-committtal, mind you- I just forgot how to do this. And by ‘this’, I mean writing. And by ‘writing’, I mean whatever the hell it is I think I do.
Modern Headaches was devised- as From Somewhere had been -as an undefined entity with no focused topic. The difference, I thought, would be me. I was at a different place (figuratively and literally) from when FS started- and the tone kind of felt right for what that was at the time.
But MH was devised as the natural mutation of FS – the same guy, only with a more nuanced, mature perspective. And it was to have served a supposed need in this new process I’d thought up using social media to generate, develop, and promote the eventual pieces that resulted simultaneously in real time. The theory being that followers and readers might feel more connected to the eventual articles and bring more people in if they can see the process. Throw things out on the fly and I could see if anything stuck. And then the stuff that I felt I needed to to go long on would become the articles on the blog.
This did not work for many reasons, including:
- It’s not terribly natural. You’re trying to engage to an audience to see if the thing you’re thinking of writing about is worth the time to write about. And, in doing so-you’re not writing about it.
- When there is engagement on a thing, you get caught up in replying- which is what you should do, because that’s the natural thing to do . But then you’ve said what you wanted to say- and you haven’t written about it.
- Admittedly-and particularly where Twitter is concerned-followers may not actually be following you because they like the things you say. So then, if you’re using engagement as a litmus test for topics- you may just be kept waiting. In that waiting, the idea dies on the vine.
- It was much easier to write about things I wanted to write about when I wasn’t constantly talking about them. Because after podcasting, and after social media- I feel I’ve as if I have exhausted that topic, and then I don’t want to write about it.
- And if you already know I’m going to say- why would you then go somewhere else read it a few days later? So what’s the point in writing it?
Twitter and Facebook are more like greetings you make to someone in the hall, or when you’re calling for someone’s attention. But blogs- they’re the sitting and talking. Really talking. Actual intent and feeling and context happen. I miss that. I miss making it. And I want to do more of that.
Blogs are more in keeping with a longer form conversation- From Somwhere was that- and I think it came to a natural end. It felt right- that conversation was over. And Modern Headaches felt like the thematic next step. To take what I liked about the previous thing, throw in some new twists and update it a bit.
This is not what happened. Ultimately, trying to work the social media angle distracted me from the thing that I wanted to be doing . Which was putting words on a page.
BTW: not a verdict against Social Media. I’ve met a lot of great folks and have discovered a lot of things and ways of thinking I certainly would not have had access to otherwise. And I’m not bailing on Twitter and Facebook- they’re great tools to have to get the word out about about things that matter to you. But my pattern may change a bit- because I want to write about the things that matter to me.
AND then I’ll share them. Yeah, I know- slow to figure that one out.
So, I’m playing around with a new thing. A new thought. An actual new blog. Something different. Not Op ED, not talking head- not the thing I do everywhere else on the internet. Something more intimate, but at the same time extremely universal. And it has to do with music.
Working on it now. With any luck-and if you’re out still there- you’ll see it soon.