Anyone who has visited this blog much over the past few years will have noticed that I’ve really slowed down my posting of late. Initially, I put this down to the fact that my decision to re-focus the site on camping rather than parenting – as much as I love camping, it’s not something I get to do very often these days, so my focus on it can be limited.
But while taking a morning walk this morning (something I also don’t get to do as often as I used to, sadly) I got to thinking about why my focus on blogging might have waned, and I think it might be due to more than just the topic I write about.
Blogs seem to have fallen out of favour
Obviously this is just my opinion, but it feels like the world of ‘bloggers and blogging’ is a lot less popular than it used to be when I started – are people even reading blogs these days? What with the rise of podcasts, TikTok, super-influencers and social media in general, I’m not convinced that the general public want to read the opinions of bloggers as much as they once did.
AI and ChatGPT are making casual writing less meaningful
Without wishing to piss in any other writers’ proverbial Weetabix, I’ve been spending a lot of time learning about the rise of machine-learning and text generation recently, and the results can often be really depressing for a blogger. While I don’t think the rise of tools like ChatGPT is quite as scary or revolutionary as some people are saying (at least not yet), I do think that a tool like Bard or ChatGPT can probably spit out a blog post about “15 tips for first time campers” which is barely distinguishable from something I could write. And if they’re capable of doing that just as well as me, what value am I adding?
Covid may have killed my mojo
As I mentioned at the start of the post, my decision to re-focus this blog on camping may have been dealt a bit of a blog when Covid hit – not least of all because it meant we couldn’t really camp for a year or so. But more than that, I think I actually went off writing a little bit during the lock-downs, and I’ve never really gotten back into it since. I had big aspirations for what I could do during those early months, with no commute and a slightly less stressful work day. But in reality, I never had any time off work at all, and even my attempt at reading more fell by the wayside (though I’m pleased to say I’ve picked that up again since).
Life just keeps getting busier
I realise this is a fairly weak one as excuses go, but it’s true – ever since we moved house back in 2020 (right before the pandemic), life has been getting consistently busier. We’ve had a house to decorate and renovate, both of our jobs are getting busier, the kids commute to school has gotten longer (meaning more time ferrying them each day) and on the odd occasion that I do get spare time, the last place I want to be is sat at a computer like I am the rest of the day.
Social media is less appealing / fun than it used to be
This blog may well be sat on its own website, but the business of getting readers to visit it has always been down mainly to social media. In the site’s hay-day I was sharing posts across all my social media pages, taking part in blogger groups, revisiting old posts to check keywords, monitoring traffic to spot trends – all of which takes up far more time than the actual writing. The social media aspects are a lot less fun than they once were – I’ve left Twitter (for obvious reasons), Facebook has become a bit of a waste-land for organic content and most of the groups I once frequented have fallen by the wayside.
I may have fallen out of love with writing
While all of the above is certainly true, I suspect the crux of the matter is that I’m just not as in love with writing as I once was – after all, if I had a passion for doing this then I wouldn’t let most of the above hold me back… would I? I certainly don’t get the gratification I once did out of writing – though maybe that’s a self-fulfilling prophesy caused by me not putting the effort in anymore? Or maybe I’ve just come to the conclusion that there are a lot of better writers out there than me, and a whole internet full of better information – so am I adding any value?
I may be cheating on my blog with other sites…
All of the above being said, I actually AM still writing – just not necessarily here. For instance, since moving in to a new village (just before the pandemic hit) I’ve been learning a lot about the village’s history – and have even started a website about it all. Sure, I don’t contribute to that site as much as I’d like to either, but at least it is keeping me occupied. If you’re interested in finding out more about that site, check out Brimpton Village for lots of black-and-white historic fun.