One of the things that is difficult for me to deal with in the world of blogging and even just editorial/public writing in general is that for any given issue, it often feels like every possible perspective has been rendered by others in so many different ways well before *I* get to that issue. This has gotten "worse" with the advent of blogging, where those viewpoints are often published within minutes or hours of any given piece of information becoming available. So by the time I develop an opinion about something, I'm often left with the sense that it would be a waste of my time to say roughly the same things that have already been said, with only a minor degree of personalized presentation.
I suppose that this is not a hang-up one can afford to take too seriously, lest it become a justification for not living one's own life to the fullest just because it has already all been done before. I do believe that we each have something unique to bring to any given conversation, and I value my own ability to find fresh ways of looking at something that's already been talked about a hundred different ways.
But when you tend to cluster together with other people who read and write about similar things and in similar ways - as the world of blogging and online community in general encourages - the degrees of diversity within presentation styles and actual content become much smaller, and much harder to distinguish. And because blogging is already a sort of self-indulgent exercise, feeling compelled to seek out new audiences and topics just so I can sound like I have something interesting to say is draining at best.
For other bloggers and writers out there, I'm certainly curious as to whether you experience this concern, and how you deal with it. Despite my frustration, this medium remains one of the most promising for me in terms of its low barrier to entry for easily and quickly putting some thoughts down and getting them out there, before I have too much time to second-guess myself or my ability to communicate a particular idea. And while the standard for blog content is usually fairly low, I still feel that in most cases I don't abuse that fact and tend to publish entries that have at least some non-trivial use to some group of people out there. I just hope I/we don't reach a point where the perceived "clutter" of the blogosphere or of published writing in general becomes such that those who once felt they had something worthwhile to contribute don't even bother.
(You can also listen to the audio MP3 version of this entry.)
2 thoughts on “When it's all already been said”
Ha. I haven't read your blog before, just perusing. First I saw the song game thing, then the next thing I come across this. I was just telling someone this exact thing today about my own blog. Again, we think the same vague abstract thoughts.