Glenn Reynolds says he said that back in 2002. He's talking about blogger burnout with Bob Wright on Bloggingheads.tv. The point is that the news is "fundamentally depressing," and the assumption is that blogging requires you to keep up with the news more than you otherwise would.
But you don't have to blog about the news. You don't have to provide any particular service to your readers or even try to maintain your existing set of readers. I started blogging with the idea of just seeing what struck me over the course of the day, primarily as I sat down with the New York Times every morning.
Anything might be bloggable. Something someone said, a TV show, a passing thought, a street scene, a new Supreme Court case ... and the news was just one more thing that had the potential to grab my attention. The thing I'm most likely to be criticized for, by commenters and other bloggers, is the failure to write about some particular subject. They tend to assume that the more important a news story is, the more I am obligated to write about it. So, for example, if I don't write about the treatment of the detainees or the war, that in itself constitutes a statement that I don't care or I think everything that is going on is just fine. But in fact, the failure to write may only mean that I respect the difficulty of the subject. Learning to put up with that criticism and not letting it drag me into obligatory blogging has been crucial to preserving the energy and fun of blogging.
You know, I've guest-blogged over on Instapundit a few times, and it's hard! You have the sense that people expect things to be covered -- even though Glenn never said try to blog in the Instapundit manner. Quite the opposite, in fact. But Glenn can transform into some other sort of blogger if he wants.
Hey, I wrote all this with the linked segment on pause, then went back and unpaused it only to find that Glenn and Bob start talking about me! (At about 2:16 into the segment.) That was kind of cool. Bob opines -- and Glenn agrees -- that my way of blogging is "psychologically healthiest." I wonder if they know that I am called "batshit crazy" virtually every day in the blogosphere.
And it's nice to see Glenn doing Bloggingheads. If you listen to the first segment, you'll see that he and Bob screwed up their first recording and had to redo it. I recorded a Bloggingheads with Jonah Goldberg last Thursday, and some technical snafu ruined it. We didn't find out until the next day, so there was no chance for an instant redo. It was lots of fun doing Bloggingheads with Jonah, in part because he was happy to leave the big Iraq news aside and just talk about sex, food, and religion. And yet, it was actually pretty political.
Similar to my blogging.
I certainly never set out to be a political blogger. But politics has a way of naturally leaking into things, and if you take note of it here and there -- what the hell? -- somehow you end up looking like a political blogger. And now I have all sorts of fervid polibloggers hanging over my every post -- even stuff I write in the comments section -- looking for material to gasp with horror about.
It's weird, this blogging life. But I'm just sitting up here in my lonely outpost in Madison, Wisconsin, typing a few words when something strikes my fancy.