The Machine: why I'm not blogging anymore

I have spent more time reading about video games than playing them.  At one point, I spent more time reading about photography gear or photography in general than the time I spent shooting.  I have a feeling I'm not alone in this, especially from those with some obsessive tendencies like myself.  

In a similar vein, I've spent an inordinate amount of time reading or listening to or writing movie reviews.  What an odd thing: Watch a movie, then go listen to other people's thoughts about what you just watched.

Doing "the thing" is now a small piece of the process, and it doesn't have to be a bad thing.  I think unpacking a particularly heavy movie by checking out other people's thoughts can be helpful.  Maybe you need to get past a certain point in a video game and need help. Maybe you're looking to upgrade your camera or troubleshoot.  The internet is a great place for these things.

Except, I often don't do those things.  I listen to a movie review podcast to fill the air, I used to read about video games when I was too lazy to pick up the controller (I know.), and I read about camera gear when I'm lacking in ideas on what to make next or I just don't want to go out and do anything.  

My blog is the most indulgent of all of these things. It's a place where I can talk about creating without actually making anything. I can tell people what to do without actually doing anything myself. I can do something admirable in real life, and tell everyone about it online.

That's the story of the internet.

We all worship the machine, talk about it, love it, but we never turn it on and use it. We want to take selfies with the machine, show people the machine, yet we don't even know what the machine does. 

All these blog posts, videos, and snapchats on how to be creative are empty. To be creative, you have to create something more than a guide on how to be creative. You have to earn that authority through years of work.  Even those who are an "authority" and put in the work spend all their time telling you about how hard they work and how hard they hustle. Snapchat has become a vehicle for showing off their grind, their hustle with little value attached to it.

I am the worst of these. I've spent the past 5 years taking photos and thinking that gives me any sort of credibility. I have some, certainly, I know my way around a camera, but very early on my creative output was telling others how to be creative like me.  This blog and I have had a complicated relationship since the birth of willmalone.com.  What's it for? Is it a photo album? Is it a place to review things? Is it a guide? Is it a diary?

My reason for writing almost every day over the past couple months was to keep traffic driving to my blog. Willmalone.com probably has more consistent traffic than much of my other social media pages, it always has, but only when I blog often.  I blog for the numbers.

That's why seemingly everyone is blogging these days. Everyone wants the click, and the clickers want to click on something that tells them how to live a successful life. Top 5 ways to be Productive, Expand your Creativity with these tricks, How to be a Real Entrepreneur, How To Be Successful--- You've seen it before.

Numbers blogging tends to become a career path (or attempted career path) for many.  It's the next level of talking about the machine, without using it. Those who use the machine don't talk about it or read about it, because they are too busy using it.

Numbers have never been what I'm about. I've wasted too much time talking about the work than actually doing the work.  

I don't want to tell anyone how to do anything, because I'm still figuring it all out myself.

I don't want to be like everyone else. My blog was quickly slipping into "numbers blogging", and that's just not me.  Finding my style, finding my own vision is the most difficult thing I've ever done, but I'm determined.  I don't want to be "a creative", I want to be Will Malone.  Turns out being yourself is one of the hardest things you can do, especially when you just turned 24 and you still don't know quite what life looks like yet.

I beginning to believe that very little good can come from a early 20s person with a blog.  That sounds controversial, and maybe I'm alone in my struggle. I just know how easy it is to be deceived that I'm doing something when I'm really not.  I also believe I can communicate on the internet in much better ways than this.  Blogging for me is superfluous, my talking needs to be done with a camera.

I believe my life will be much improved if I deny myself (for once) the urge to share my thoughts on a blog.

-Will