Still blogging like it's 2006: The Quiet Man @ 10

Ten years ago today I started The Quiet Man.

With a rambling introductory post, I entered the world of blogging — which was all the rage back then. It has been a long and interesting decade personally, and my humble place on the blogosphere has been there through it all, so I thought it would be fitting to reflect on ten years of blogging and The Quiet Man.

I don’t remember the exact reason I started blogging, but I think it had a lot to do with the fact I was in the throes of an epic, end-of-college identity crisis. I was beginning my last semester of college and had no clue what I was going to do, or wanted to do, after it ended. I had no clue what purpose college had served, either, and was unsure what opportunities there were for me. Why had I gone to college in the first place? Had college just been job training? Had I gone to college to learn about writing? Vexing questions, doubts, and uncertainties hung over me. Before then, going back as far as kindergarten, life had been planned; I knew exactly what I was going to do the next year and the year after that. There were moments of uncertainty at the end of high school, I suppose, but it was nothing like the blank slate awaiting after college. Every day was one day closer to the unknown and it scared the hell out of me. On top of all that, I was battling some personal demons and was desperate to figure out who I was.

It was an interesting time that I do not want to relive. It makes my stomach churn just thinking about it. I fought and fought and fought, and thought and thought and thought. Eventually I was blessed with an epiphany and filled that blank slate with directions I wanted to take. In all the frustrating chaos, I tried new things, tried to pull myself out of a worn groove. I started experimenting with what eventually become known as social media, joining MySpace and Facebook, and even creating a blog — The Quiet Man.

I’m still blogging after ten years. That’s more, I am sure, than what a lot of mid-naughties–era bloggers can say. Many blogs from that period are now neglected, including the other Blogger site known as The Quiet Man, which forced me to include “22” in my URL. Fittingly, the most recent post there is dated July 19, 2006.

The story of that Quiet Man seems to mirror many others. It begins with an initial flurry of activity that soon slows to a trickle. Eventually, there is nothing but silence. Bloggers moved on to other things, perhaps other social media platforms. Life gets in the way. Blogging is, in its simplest form, just a hobby, an artistic release. Some people don’t have time for that anymore, or become interested in other things. Like I said, perhaps some switched to Facebook, then Twitter, and then Instagram. Others didn’t, like me. We’re still blogging like it’s 2006, baby!

(Though his home on the blogosphere has changed a couple times, Bobblehead is still blogging. His foray into blogging began before mine, perhaps as early as 2004.)

Blogging has been both beneficial and detrimental for me. It’s beneficial because it keeps me writing. It’s detrimental because it has destroyed all of my other writing aspirations.

I write blog posts — that’s all I do. Sure, I dabble in a little beer-related journalism — which stems from the beer reviews I started writing on this very site — but I spend a lot of time writing blog posts no one reads. I could definitely put my writing talent to much better use. Once every year I think about taking some time off, not posting a single word for one or two months. It may serve me well, but I just can’t do it. I feel compelled — perhaps obligated — to blog, despite the fact it has never provided any tangible benefit.

However, The Quiet Man serves as my own personal newspaper. I’m a writing fool and a sucker for the freedom to write whatever the hell I want. I can review beer, movies, CDs; post photos and music; rant; write opinion pieces (which I have not done much recently); acknowledge history; write game recaps; post experimental nonfiction; think through uncertainties; celebrate accomplishments; recognize and relish the small and nerdy things I love. I can write whatever I want. Whatever it is that crosses my mind, I can post online. I don’t, but the opportunity to do so is there. That is what keeps me blogging. The Quiet Man is my personal, creative outlet.

What will the future bring? Will I still be blogging in ten years, or will I have found another way to put my writing talent to use? It is imperative that I move on to bigger and better writing opportunities, I think, especially since there is once again uncertainty and a blank slate in my future. But I want to continue blogging. I don’t want to stop and would feel very guilty if I did. I don’t want this to be just another phase, something I have grown out of. I have spent too much time and effort to abandon it. It is part of my personal identity now. I have often thought about moving the Beer of the Weekend series to its own blog, but feel it is too intertwined with The Quiet Man, too much a part of a blog that has become an extension of my personality. (I would lose a lot of potential posts, too.)

Back when I first started The Quiet Man, I mentioned it to one of my bosses. She was intrigued and wanted the URL so she could check it out. However, she did not want me to send it immediately. She wanted me to wait until I had written more posts and the blog had developed its own personality.

I never did send her the link. Perhaps, after ten years, it’s finally time.

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