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Turning the spigot back on

It’s been a long time coming.

It’s time to get back into writing on a more regular basis. I miss it. And I think maybe you, dear reader, maybe miss me too?

I started writing a journal in high school when two things converged. First, with a burgeoning Christian faith I was encouraged to have daily devotional, a time each day– usually the morning– set aside for learning, introspection, and prayer. Second, my 11th grade English teacher pushed journaling in his class. He believed that if you were going to be any good at writing you needed to do it every day. Even if it was a little. Even if it was just for you.

And so I did that for years. There’s a box in my garage with these journals. One day in the future my kids will thumb through them on their way to the dumpster. They are full of personal bible study, things I was dealing with in high school and college, processing the lot I’d been dealt in life, and celebrating overcoming the trajectory towards failure that came with it. Prayers, for myself and others. Some short stories. Some biographical writing. And lot of poorly written biographical stuff.

Those journals were a mix of everything. A mix of everything because it wasn’t meant for publication or for outside eyeballs, it was meant for me.

Around 2000 I got a laptop. My trusty composition notebooks were replaced by a word processor. I wrote there in the same way I’d done in the notebooks, I wrote the date on the top of the page and I just started writing.

Press save, stick it in a folder, move on.

Then a couple years later I started an online blog, first on Blogger. Then I moved to blogging software on my own server, something then called B2. Then, a few years later I lost that blog and started here in 2004, my first public writings with my actual name on them.

But why am I doing this? Mostly as a way to share with myself, just what is going on. I’m not going to use this as a platform for anything else but… Well, whatever I feel like posting. Quotes. Golf scores. Youth Group talks. Carry-over rants. Interesting articles. Stories about the kids. Whatever I want!

“Why Start This?” May 25th, 2004

And so I did. And it was good for me. I took that introspective journaling out from behind the veil and put it on the bookshelf. If people wanted to see it they were free to see it. But if they didn’t, 99.99999999% of the world didn’t know or care, I was OK with that too.

And that’s what I did from 2004-2015ish. I think this practice was good for me.

But somewhere along the way I got lost. My writing slowed down. Having that daily filter of getting those thoughts out and off my mind so I could move on with my day withered.

Without intention or explanation, after writing something every day from 1992-2016, it just stopped. I normally wrote early in the morning, like between 6 and 8 am. But that time got swallowed in taking the kids to school and other stuff.

Yes, social media apps became more popular and easy and blogging became less popular. But it was more than that.

I think I just got frustrated. I had things to say that shouldn’t or couldn’t be written publicly. So instead of just writing it out and not publishing it, I stopped writing long-form altogether and then unfiltered stuff didn’t have anywhere to go.

The spigot of writing, my outlet for nearly 25 years, just ran dry. Sure, it would sputter and spit something out every once in a while. But it wasn’t as good. It wasn’t the same for readers. And I’m not the same as the result.

I adore Twitter, I tolerate Facebook. But sometimes it’s hardly worth the heartburn anymore when context is replaced by rampant rabid rapidity.

Without writing, the daily outlet it provides to filter my thoughts into something more coherent and palatable, I’m not as productive. I don’t understand myself as well and I’m not as understood as I’d like to be.

Moreover, I miss it. (Both the writing and feeling understood.)

So take this post as my statement of intent. I’m writing again. You’re invited if you want. I understand if you don’t.

It’s time so here we go.

So what are you going to write about? I think I’ll save that for tomorrow.

By Adam McLane

Adam McLane is a partner at The Youth Cartel, co-author of A Parent's Guide to Understanding Social Media, blogger of 10+ years, and a fan of all things San Diego State University Aztecs.

5 replies on “Turning the spigot back on”

It’s crazy how similar your thoughts are to my own. While I haven’t had a 2.5 year hiatus, I have wrestled with my blogging for years. Who am I blogging for? What will it take for my blogging to get to the “next level.” I appreciate your honesty and look forward to following you here. I have followed you along the way through your art and Insta and of course, the BB. Thanks for turning on the spigot. I like what Tim Challies said a while back about blogging:

“..be committed to blogging and to be content with blogging. Do not succumb to the temptation to regard blogging as a substandard medium or to view it as a mere means to an end. If blogging is worth doing, it is worth doing well.”

Welp, awkwardly, but I got you confused with Adam Ford in my blog feed on Feedly. So scratch that about art, Insta and Babylon Bee. 😉 But I have been following you here, and look forward to more!

I find myself in a similar situation. I started blogging in March of 03. Changed from MovableType to WordPress. And I used to post multiple times a week. Sometimes more than once a day. Then blogging really took off. And I thought I needed to be impressive with my writing instead of just spewing some thoughts for casual “fun”. So it became more and more infrequent because I put some pressure on myself. Then I lost my job at my church. And though I kept it online I didn’t blog for six years until two months ago. So I’m wanting to get back in the game too. Hoping that 2020 is my new resurgence of blogging. And to start a new podcast. And learn Photoshop. And…..

Anyhow, I enjoy reading your thoughts. Glad you’re back.

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