So, I considered giving a palms-up apology for getting so behind on keeping you kind folks updated on the state of my life with frequent blog posts, as though I owed you a debt of timely updates and regular musings on a set, announced schedule. But you know what? That doesn’t matter one iota. My little blog doesn’t matter. There is no schedule, so there is no matter to attend to. I don’t have to apologize.
The “I’m so sorry for being late” sort of apologies are just wrong. This isn’t English class. You’re not running late to your best friend’s wedding. It’s a personal blog, and that’s faulty thinking. The kind of thinking that new webcomic artists are guilty of. The thinking that convinces them that their audience will vote with their feet and turn away if the artist doesn’t keep up his/her end of the bargain and post on a fixed schedule. The thinking that being a day late, or just not posting for a week, will anger everybody so immensely that the blogosphere will be rocked with the same vitriol and slander usually applied against a kidnapper. That thinking is false and obsolete.
Yes, it’s obsolete in this day and age of technological wonder. We have RSS feeds now (here’s mine!). We have software and services that people can use, if they so desire, to automatically check for new updates and alert them on anything new. Nobody has to personally check a website for updates on a regular basis ever again. Freedom!
See, if I tell you that I plan to write a long, thoughtful post every Sunday and ask you folks to tune in to read and comment, then without the technological publishing advantage of using feeds, you would be required to visit every Sunday for the freshest stuff. If I fizzle out on that high-minded goal, either because I’m lazy, have nothing in my head, or because everything I want to say has already been said on Facebook, for instance (hypothetically, of course), then without the aid of modern technology, you, my readers, would have some amount of right to get upset at my slack, or else you’d just go for months without checking. Both of which, historically, are actual outcomes.
But this isn’t 1999. We have automation now, technology where we can “time-shift” posts for people to fetch and read on their own schedule. It’s like someone using a DVR to grab every episode of a show whenever it happens to come out and alerting the viewer when it has arrived. That’s not our future; that’s our present! We don’t have to actually check for ourselves and wait with bated breath for the next post, or bite our tongue if that post is late, because when it comes out, it comes out. End of story.
I have to wonder how much of the content streaming from the blogging and webcomic world is wasted on writers apologizing for a lack of updates. I’m guilty of it, and I know you know other people who are guilty of it. It’s a waste of time mentally kowtowing to a great and faceless Other out there reading your posts. Progress to the next stage of technological evolution. Stop apologizing and just start writing. You owe no karmic debt to your little audience. When your audience grows to millions, then that’s when you have license to apologize for not posting regularly. But by then, I would assume you’d be making a living through your posts. But these little blogs? Don’t sweat it. Just write and move on. Don’t show your palms.