Article pairing: is blogging self indulgent?

All I Want Is a Place to Quip by Ian Bogost (Substack)

(Emphasis mine)

I’d never be allowed to write 820 words (so far) of ramble at The Atlantic, because we write to respect our readers’ time. This isn’t writing to help people, it’s writing to give me the pleasure of having written.

This was, back in the day, the great joy of blogging: the unedited ramble. But not only has that mode of writing fallen out of favor, but also I don’t even remember how to do it. The thought of writing 500 or 700 or 1,200 word newsletter posts for the people who previously consume[d] my 10-word quips seems like a terrible joke…


Never Again by Lucy Bellwood

I’ve wondered with increasing frequency whether it makes the most sense to start consolidating everything on my own site, but the fact is there’s something valuable about maintaining these different tonal environments. I like having Patreon as a space to talk (mostly) about craft and maintaining a creative practice; it keeps my blog free of any pressure to produce “worthwhile” content. 

(Emphasis mine)


I created this digital garden to lessen the pressure on myself for the quality of what I write here, since I try to write more in-depth pieces on my blog. But the value it provides me in exploring wandering threads of thought and working through disconnected ideas from the same source does not also give value to readers. I need this site to get me thinking without expectations, but I also need to write more often on my blog.

Is longform blogging self-indulgent, or is there any value to seeing how others think through a problem? Do rambling, unrefined explorations better show personality or release emotions? Do people polish out all the originality when they revise to conform with expectations of professional writing, or do they more clean up cruft and cliches, and clarify thinking?

(I find Bellwood’s comment about thinking of her blog as where she puts content that’s not worthwhile funny because I find her blog immensely helpful and interesting.)

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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