It’s clear to anyone who notices the small date on the posts in this blog that it is a defunct blog. One of those sad sites that was once updated, perhaps even loved, but now sits neglected and ignored by its owner. It catches readers from Google and other sites that link to it, but isn’t being updated in any meaningful way.
So it’s time to call it a day. After a fashion.
I pondered closing it for a while – either a straightforward deletion, or a little header text explaining its demise – but refrained because, oddly, I enjoy having a blog. I enjoy blogging. It has created opportunities which have far outweighed the investment of time put into it. Which begs the question why it languishes so.
That’s a tricky one, partly because the decline has (in my mind) been so gradual. But I think it’s a combination of two factors.
The first is the lack of ‘mission’. I have always said that this was a bit of an experiment, just to see what happens, and that it was a personal blog. What actually happened is that I pushed myself into a lie, into cognitive dissonance: I would say it was a personal blog, but somehow I began to consider it a council, or councillor, blog and nothing else. This cut the legs off every blog post except the council related.
Second I found myself constantly restricting the council related topics on which I would post. I grew increasingly uncomfortable posting on topics outside my small council portfolio and would viciously self-censor to the extent I was moving towards the view that a blog and my council rôle were simply incompatible.
In combination these left me with nothing to post about. I have a folder stuffed full of drafts that I dashed off, only to decide that I couldn’t post. In the end the only things that made it past my internal censor were purely factual posts on licensing and my old favourite of Battersea fundamentalism.
That does mean that the world is spared my thoughts on a myriad of topics, which you might consider a good thing; but blogging is an online expression of extroverted egotism, so I would have to disagree.
And that extroverted egotism means I’m not calling it a day on this blog, but instead calling it a day on my attitude towards this blog. It is not a council blog, and it is only a councillor’s blog insofar as I am currently a councillor.
We’re going to have a trial separation for a few weeks, when I won’t even think about the blog. I won’t be posting, but I won’t be feeling guilty about not posting nor coming up with ideas that I then discard either.
It’s possible that after a few weeks of separation I will realise that it is all over, but at least that will be conscious and a clean decision, rather than a prolonged terminal decline or a shameful putting it out of it’s misery in the dead of the night.
But if I do decide to return, I will start afresh with a personal blog. Undoubtedly I will post on Wandsworth and council related topics. And probably on wider local government issues, since it is a subject that interests me. But then there might be a post on anything that takes my fancy.
It may well not be to previous readers’ tastes, but it will be to my taste, and that’s one of the points of egotistical blogging.