Until this month, I had never tried writing as a hobby. I do a lot of writing for work, and it comes easily to me. Most of my Blaugust posts only took 30-45 minutes to write and sometimes another hour for an interview or illustrations. That’s free time I had available, so the time commitment hasn’t been an issue. But it’s already clear that writing on a personal blog has had an undesirable effect on my personality.
I feel like I’m becoming narcissistic. The truth is, I don’t really have any important information or special wisdom to convey; I just have opinions. But even when I was writing about other people for my Voices of LOTRO series, I could see that I was sometimes highlighting perspectives that agreed with my own or that I personally felt were worth writing about. I was telling an edited version of someone else’s story in a way that fit my own narrative.
When I write for work, it absolutely has to be authoritative. I hope you’ll pardon the conceit, but I really am the world’s foremost authority on one very small, very specific, very obscure thing. There are a couple dozen university professors from around the world—who are much smarter than I am—who give me advice and review my writing. But in the end, it’s my name that goes on it, and that’s the final word as far as anyone is concerned.
I can’t seem to turn that voice off when I sit down to write here. I don’t have the benefit of colleagues to review my work. I’m really just a happy, pie-loving hobbit, but from reading my posts here, I’d think I was a pompous jerk! Maybe I shouldn’t be trusted to have personal opinions that can’t be expressed in 140 characters.
I don’t want to be that guy, so I’m ending this Blaugust experiment early. It has been fun and rewarding, but only in the worst possible way for my ego. I wouldn’t mind participating in group discussions, or in a point-counterpoint type of debate in the future. I might even enjoy contributing (with editorial review) to another site. But my words here on a personal site honestly aren’t that enriching for you to read, and I don’t feel they’re particularly healthy for me to write.