I’ve never been a “what’s in it for me?” type of guy. I think that is what makes me a good worker and employee, and possibly a good father and husband. I’m not going to tell anybody I’m a selfless martyr either, but I generally don’t do things with some sort of nefarious ulterior motive; I just do what feels right much of the time. That is probably how I started writing this blog. Yet a comment made on the post I wrote yesterday really made me wonder why I actually continue to do this. There was nothing wrong with the comment at all; it was a friendly comment from a nice guy. But the comment did have a point: In theory the whole world can read this blog, and in theory they can all be laughing at it. For the record I don’t think everybody is laughing at it, but I do wonder who, if anybody, cares?
What has this blog done for me? What has it brought to the people who read it? I can say for sure that I don’t write this blog to make money from it. Nobody pays me to write it, I’m not sponsored by a corporation. I don’t use this blog to sell furniture because I don’t sell furniture. Everything I make is for my own house. I would like to be a woodworker who is talented enough to sell furniture one day, but that doesn’t mean that I would go into business. If you can’t already tell I’m not a professional writer and I don’t really aspire to be a pro, either. I respect the job and the talent it takes to do it, and I would hope those that do it well make a decent living at it, but I don’t believe that it is my station in life to do it. I can’t necessarily say that I’m an informative blog writer. Maybe this blog has helped somebody out, maybe not. I’ve been woodworking for less than five years and on weekends at that. Again, I like to think that I’m pretty good considering my experience, but there are many woodworkers who also have blogs that are much more qualified than I to pass on advice.
I’ve been lucky enough to become acquainted with some really great people and woodworkers through this blog, and at the same time I know I’ve made a few enemies. I won’t name any names or point any fingers but I know of at least three professional woodworkers that don’t care for me very much, and there’s at least one semi-pro that doesn’t think I’m a super swell guy. That is partially my fault and I can’t say that I’m proud of it. Sometimes I’ve ranted and raved, or maybe gave an opinion that should have been left unwritten. But I feel that in order to write something compelling you need to be honest, with others and yourself. So that’s why I’ve maybe been over-the-top honest, and maybe even what you would call downright angry on some of my posts. I didn’t do it for shock factor, I’m not Howard Stern. Believe me if I wanted to be shocking I could be, but I would be talking politics and not woodworking. I did it because I thought people might be interested to hear what I had to say. The problem was that some of those who were interested also didn’t happen to care for it so much.
A few months back I wrote a post that offended a few people although that wasn’t my intent. At that time I very nearly stopped writing this blog, because whatever it may be, it isn’t a hate manifesto. I left the post up, though maybe I should have deleted it. But as I was saying, maybe deleting it may have been the easy thing to do, yet it wouldn’t have been the honest thing. Now, as I am reconsidering things, it isn’t because I’ve offended anybody, or got into some kind of woodworking argument, it’s just because the blog has been as much trouble as it’s been worth sometimes, which is probably my fault too. I won’t deny that I’ve gotten some great advice here. And I really like to think that some of the people I communicate with on a regular basis because of this blog would probably be people that I would be hanging with at the local pub watching sports if the geography was different. The converse is because of this blog I would probably be escorted out of Woodworking in America by security if I showed up. I could just as easily follow the blogs on my blog roll and get some good advice, keep in touch with my internet woodworking friends, and leave the occasional comment when I see fit. That would certainly be a lot more painless than some of my blogging exploits.
I guess I have a little bit of thinking to do. Maybe everybody who writes a blog goes through this at some point. I have a lot to write about, that isn’t the problem; the problems usually show up afterwards. Right now, at this moment, much of me thinks it’s all still worth it. The shadow of doubt has managed to creep into through the window, though. I think it’s just a shadow, only time well tell. Maybe the easy thing would be to just stop getting so personal on this blog, and write my posts that detail whatever I happen to be working on at the moment, or a new tool I purchased. I’ve never been one who does things the easy way, but I might be willing to learn.