Lately, I have been thinking about the theme and general direction of this blog, neither of which I am currently happy with.
As a few of my fellow bloggers have revamped their sites, the most successful being the unequivocal notion with his daily list of links that we are all now addicted to, I have taken note of what works and what simply doesn't. Community blogs or blogs with multiple authors work in some cases (43rd State Blues) and simply burn out in others (Red State Rebels, by no fault of the Blogmother). Things that I think absolutely work are the "Spud State Blog Rundown" posts at 43SB, the growing number of contributions from Sisyphus and nearly everything over at the MountainGoat Report. Certainly what works in the Idaho blogosphere isn't limited to these three stand-outs. There are new blogs (new to me at least) popping up all over the state that I'm catching on to and enjoying immensely (Nemesis Today, Byron Yankey's site and TUBOB). And of course, there are blogs that have been around for years that always offer unique perspectives (Idablue, TSSBP, etc.).
A community or multi-author blog isn't in the cards for The Political Game. The people I would entrust with writing here mostly have blogs of their own. Additionally, Blogger is not the best blogging platform for multi-author sites. I'm thinking back to the LaRocco campaign guest-blogging days and how accounts had to be set up for Congressman LaRocco and his staff. So, this leaves me with the question: What do I do with this blog from here on?
Part of the problem with thematic blogs, in this case a political blog, is that you're limited in your scope. This could have all been avoided had I named this blog something less restricting, but "The Political Game" pretty much announces to anyone entering that they should expect some political analysis. I've tried to broaden the themes here, capturing the analogy of political life and a chess match in the quote from John F. Kennedy that sits atop this blog, while introducing material on subjects other than politics (i.e. baseball, history, music, poetry & literature). There are a few elements that I'm fond of keeping (TGIF Tunes, Smorgasbord Saturday, This Day In History, and Quote of the Day) and then elements that have fizzled out or simply need to be abandoned (Zeb Bell coverage and cross-posting at ArmchairGM). I would like movie/book reviews to return and I would love from This Day In History to be a more common element. I would also like to post music videos, lyrics, baseball commentary and quotes without feeling like I'm cheating readers.
Of course, I will receive some comment from somewhere about this being my blog and my choice and I should write about whatever I so wish. However, that argument isn't necessarily the be-all-end-all. I can write about whatever I so wish, but that doesn't mean what I write about will be interesting to anyone else. My randomness is only quirky and entertaining to a point. A quote I pick out from something I've been reading, a music video of a song I've recently heard or a historical essay on an event that is significant from some particular day in history might be interesting to me, it might put somebody else to sleep! So, now what?
My hope is that what originally drew me to blogging, the intrigue and the need for an outlet for my curiosity, will return. I have held this hope for many months, continuing to write a few substantive pieces here and there to get by, though I haven't seen much of a change in my feelings about blogging. Perhaps I bogged myself down in the negativity of Zeb Bell for too long and lost touch with the parts of blogging that were always positive for me. Whatever the case may be, I hope that I can turn this train around and get it back on the tracks, writing more regularly about issues, people and events.
Just as I am not the student I used to be, I am no longer the writer I used to be. I find myself relying too heavily on the words of others to articulate the feelings I have about current events and life in general. I may have things to say, I am simply having a difficult time converting those things into words. Having spent far too much time observing on a daily basis the most reactionary among us, I lost something of myself. I react, but I do so quietly, often holding in my thoughts and reactions. There must be a happy medium somewhere, a place where I can write about whatever irritates, intrigues or interests me, without the intense reaction from those who may disagree with my words and the friction of what I want and what I have meeting head-to-head every time I post.
As nineteenth century writers may have pleaded, I beg your patience. As a twenty-first century amateur writer struggling to understand why we all have this need, almost naturally as an extension of ourselves, to write about every single thing we think, say, feel or do in so many technological formats (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, mySpace, webcam, Skype, email, text message), please hold on while I try to define what this blog is to and for me and why at one point I felt I had to have this medium to breathe.