I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog lately.
Which way to go? What news is comment-worthy? When will I have time to write out all these ideas that are sticking in my head? etc…
Then I started to remember why I started The Cup in the first place.
Unlike high-fructose corn syrup, this was never really intended for human consumption (though like HFCS, it did turn out to be somewhat ‘addicting’ for more than a few readers.)
I’m still really not sure how or why all of ya’ll found The Cup, but truth is, I started this li’l endeavor as nothing more than my personal sounding board – a place to exercise my creative writing skills away from editors, corporate sponsors, word count limits or any other outside “control”.
Of course, I suspected that there might be the occasional, random neighbor peering over the fence to see what’s going on in my yard, but never imagined this li’l ol’ blog would develop any sort of “following”.
Back in the formative days of The Cup, I met award-winning journalist and author of too many fitness books to name (and a fan of The Cup), Lou Schuler, at a photo shoot in NYC (that name drop is for you, Mr. Holt). He asked me if I know why people read my blog.
I didn’t know the answer (fortunately, he did and was willing to enlighten me.)
Lou’s simple explanation: “It’s ENTERTAINING.”
Moi? Entertaining? Really?
Maybe sarcastic, twisted, cocky or borderline insane… but entertaining?
Bah! I found that awfully hard to believe.
I admit, I have something of an ego (after all, the universe does revolve around me, but I didn’t have to tell you that, did I?). Even so, I’d like to think I also have a semi-reliable system of ‘self-check-and-balance’ to keep the weight of my big head from imploding upon itself.
But when a writer as respected as Lou gives your personal writing playground a high-5, well… it’s bound to have some effect, right?
I mean, yeah, my posts entertained ME… but THAT was really one of my initial goals, anyway: Write stuff that I’d want to read. Throw in some twisted humor, hidden messages, backward song lyrics and subliminal messages. Anything that would make me laugh – or THINK.
Until that chance meeting, I wrote new posts simply for the exercise, experience and growth that comes with putting in the reps… kind of like deadlifting ;-)
Looking back, it’s fair to say that I came to the conclusion that since I had such a good thing going, I might as well flaunt it. Eventually, I became paralyzingly selective on the topics, stories I’d write (or ramble) about.
Always wanting to make the next post better than the last, I became my own worst critic. While I suppose that’s somewhat natural, I also became my own personal road-block. If you’ve been a reader for any length of time, you’ve no doubt realized that my posts have become increasingly infrequent.
It’s not that I don’t still enjoy spouting off on any of the topics that interest me, but with the explosion of social media, I found it so much simpler to throw a link and a brief comment on Facebook than to write out an entire blog post.
Now I’m not saying social media ‘killed’ this blog by any means. In fact, I’m guessing this blog will get even BETTER because of it.
Why? An art form I never really respected when I was sitting in Mrs. Robison’s high-school English class, I now totally appreciate the limitations of the structure of a Haiku – as well as the modern equivalent, 160 character limit of Twitter.
Have a point. Say it succinctly. Move on.
(something I’m obviously not doing here, but that’s because I have no limits on my blog, now do I?)
I have no doubt that I will continue to use social media as an outlet for my creative side. Sparking discussion, thought and possibly even persuading a friend/fan/reader now and then to shift their thinking to a new level.
But I also intend to make a meaningful return to this blog. To write about things I want to read about. But also, to branch out BEYOND the realm of ‘eat right and exercise’.
If you stick around to see what’s been rattling around in my head, you may be surprised, shocked, scared… maybe even entertained?
I’m always happy to see your comments on my posts, whether good, bad or ugly. I continue to delete obvious spam as soon as I find it, but if you want to agree or disagree, that’s up to you. Your comments, however contrary to my own, never offend me. I do read and appreciate all of ’em, but unlike many other bloggers, my goal has never been to get everyone to agree with me.
I don’t typically respond to comments on the blog (though I will often reply directly if you leave an email address). I figure, if I can write my uncensored opinions/thoughts/ideas here, daddgummit, you can, too.
I’m not sure what the future of The Cup will bring, but I can assure you that changes are on the way. I’ll continue to experiment with the words and ideas that flow through my fingers. I imagine I’ll change the look of the blog, too.
The one thing I can tell you with absolute certainty: This blog is NOT going away anytime soon.
It’s just going to change.
But for now, this is the end of my blog as we know it…and I feel fine.
Thanks for reading. Stay tuned. ;-)
For the record, here’s a screen grab of The Cup as we’ve known it until now: