Why I haven’t written for a long time

I haven’t done any significant work on this site for years. There have been many reasons.

First, life intervened, as it does. But no one cares about my personal life—least of all me—so nevermind that.

Second, I fell for the curse of monetization. When I first started a website—all the way back in 1993, if I recall, when I learned about this cool new thing called Mosaic—I just wrote about whatever I was interested in, uploaded it, and that was the end of that. There may have been the occasional angry e-mail from a creationist or polite inquiry from a Carnap enthusiast, but all of that was still on point. My first check from ads, however, started me on a path that led to where I was more stressed about SEO than pure content, and that was a joyless place to be.

Third, my site took a primarily educational turn in its early maturity, but over time I became so disappointed with so many people who ought to have been better that I came to seriously question the entire premise of education.

Finally, I increasingly came to feel that I had nothing novel to write about, and that everything not novel that I could write about already had been written about better by someone else.

But now I am starting to feel like I might want to start writing a little bit again. (Hence, actually writing this.)

What has changed?

The main thing is that I have realized that I just miss the process. I miss how writing focuses research and clarifies thoughts. I miss putting words to screen and hammering away at them until they take a form I like (or like enough). And I miss the sense of committment that comes with sending the finished (or finished enough) product out into the world. That attitude sidesteps all of the problems: I don’t have to think about SEO, don’t have to worry about my readers, and in fact don’t actually need readers. If I want, I can even start writing PDFs filled with math again, responsive design and ad serving be damned.

Will I actually write more after this? I suppose I will find out.