Increase Your Length and Stamina: Making a Blog and Sticking to It

Jordan Barber chronicles the implications of starting a personal blog. Aside from the social stigma of being a “blogger,” he finds that writing to a small, public audience is oddly self-revealing.

I’m not a very persistent person. I like to think of new things to do, and then do them only once or twice. This always frustrated my parents. Every time they bought me an expensive present, I’d play with it a couple times before losing interest. I got a musical keyboard once. Now they just buy me books and paper.

When blogs exploded onto the scene, I was wary of starting one. After all, if I can’t find enough interest to play the keyboard, then I probably won’t want to post a daily message about my feelings. I also thought personal blogs were reserved only for sad women or men who had nothing else to do with their life. Blogs, I thought, were merely a desperate way of reaching out to the world.

I still think personal blogs are stupid, but I accepted my fate and made one anyway. The first thing I thought about was a name—content comes later. A blog name is almost as important as a band name, and almost as meaningless. They also fall under the same categories; I could choose a cutesy yet smart name, something like “Smiling in the Water” or “Dizzy with Complexity.” There are some people who add in their name, but I was going for something a little more professional. There are some that try for a modish title without sounding too saturated or cliché (The Bygone Bureau, cough). If the last sentence doesn’t make much sense, don’t worry—style is uncompromising like that. My title attempted for the latter: I named it Critical Imbroglio. I chose the word critical because it’s intense and intelligent, but imbroglio suggests that I don’t care very much. It’s like masking your obsession with feigned apathy. I could care less that no one reads my blog or that I update it haphazardly, but I’m going to be checking constantly anyway.

One of the most important choices for a blog is determining who the audience is. I’ve already stated that Critical Imbroglio is a personal blog, thus my audience will likely be myself (and maybe some friends). This is a lifted burden for me, since that means I won’t have to stick to any particular topic or theme. Having a blog geared for a public readership means staying on task. Having only myself and close friends as an audience is liberating: It means that my blog can be like a kid with ADHD who forgot to take his Ritalin. I can talk about the latest items in the Kitchen Caboodle catalog and what happened on the last episode of Gossip Girl. In the same post.

Some people might think that having a blog only for personal enjoyment is a worthless endeavor. That might be true, but since I’ve started Critical Imbroglio, I’ve noticed that my blog is more like a self-induced Rorschach test. It’s some weird mirror of me. I talk about things that have no relation, yet are bonded by self-interest.

I am very happy to report that after one and a half weeks of usage, Critical Imbroglio has not been thrown aside. Quite an accomplishment, I know. It’s even lasting longer than my LiveJournal. And although I am vigilant for any sudden feeling of apathy or a slide towards indifference, I feel positive that I will continue updating it for many days to come.

Jordan Barber is proud that the internet allows him to criticize, admonish, and irritate people from his own living room. And though this immense power only comes to the few, he promises to wield his hammer of judgment with a standoffish, thoughtful outlook.