I fancy myself the pretty okay writer when I do choose to write. So, in the process of trying to build a business in today’s market I decided many years ago to venture into the landscape of blogging. Why? Well from all the reading that I have done it seems like that is the thing to do. A way to provide people with a glimpse into who you are, the things you love, the ideas you have to share, etc. So, I started. I named the blog Captured and Inscribed, yes, the same name of this present blog. I just really like the name and felt then that it resonated with me, the occasional writer and the growing photographer. I capture and I inscribe. Hey it works for me. The original idea was to simply write about something that I captured, instead of a photo-essay, which by the way I have done quite a few, see them here; I would write an essay of sorts about a photo. And yes, please pardon the shameless plug back there.
I did this for a little while first using Blogger, then moved that over to Tumblr, both of which I have since deleted. My challenge then as I think it is still now, was consistency and gaining traction. Finding topics to write about inspired by a photo, that would resonate with people. And still trying to answer the internal question as to why am I doing it to begin with. My eternal creative quandary. Why do I want to create? How much of it came from my own innate proclivity and how much of it came from a self-defeating attempt to reflect what I have been reading, the myriad topics and ideas that supposedly people want and enjoy? And those topics are exactly what inspired this actual blog post.
I heard recently that we should stop stressing ourselves to constantly create and rather spend our time documenting. Documenting what’s around us and what affects us, simply document life and our experiences. And in doing so when we zoom out a little, we may actually realize that we are creating in an almost effortless manner. It was almost akin to a statement on the way social media is literally used. Many today spend hours upon hours documenting their lives and experiences, peppered with snappy quotes and engaging Gifs, some with thoughtful morsels of wisdom and such. Thus, ultimately creating an almost mind-numbing array of content in the process, all by simply documenting and sharing. I am sure this could easily segue into another post about how much content is too much content and the effects said content may be having on these same lives that we are so arduously documenting.
But I discovered in my search for things to write about, that the World Wide Web, no one really says that anymore right, but I am a man of a certain age, is awash with blogs telling you how to blog. Many offer lists of topics that you might want to write about. It is amazing how much Ecclesiastes 1:9 rings through here. To paraphrase: The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. So many of these ideas though helpful in some way are merely ideas repackaged and redistributed. But I guess the same can be said of so much that we create.
But the biggest challenge for me in perusing some of these lists, is coming to terms with the value of some of the topics. Granted it is not a one size fits all expectation, but some of the suggestions truly make me wonder who the audience is that I or anyone else would be targeting. Yes, the world is colorful and diverse and our differences in tastes run the gamut of all things possible, but one has to ask, can I really write a blog post answering the question, “Who is my mascot for life?” Or “What is the worst thing I have done in life?“ And would people genuinely be interested in reading my views on such topics? And maybe the answer is yes, why not? If it’s well written and engaging and resonates with people.
I guess essentially your personal spin on the same topic makes it original, unique and timely. It posits that everything is actually new under the sun, just inspired by something else. That using a list like the one below actually allows you to document something about yourself and thus create content that can now be added to this vast repository of content. A snapshot of our moment in time.