For starters, you get in the habit of writing on a regular basis. Not only does that hone your wordsmithing skills, it also fosters a degree of discipline. That comes in handy when you’re working on large projects that require you to crank out a lot of copy.
It’s also nice because periodically you look up, and you say to yourself, “Holy shit, look how much crap I’ve written!” It’s not all good, it’s not all important, but it’s a quantifiable achievement. It’s like saying, “Hey, I could’ve spend my leisure hours watching reading Wikipedia and eating doughnuts, but instead, I spent them writing terrible haiku and eating doughnuts. What a legacy!”
On the other hand, there are some not-so-awesome things about maintaining a blog for 12-plus years.
For instance, you write a lot of things that are terrible. You could erase them, of course, but that feels like a cop-out. Me, I prefer a warts-and-all approach to blogging. That can make scrolling through the archives a painful experience.
Also not so awesome: realizing that you can’t remember a lot of the things you’ve written. Yesterday, for example, the folks at Nightcharm asked if they could post my parody of/sequel to Brokeback Mountain. The email conversation went something like this:
ME: Are you sure that was me?
NC: Yup, it was definitely you.
ME: I don’t think so. I would’ve remembered that.
NC: I promise, you wrote it.
ME: No, I kinda hated Brokeback. Well, not hated, per se. But apart from Anne Hathaway and that nutty wig she wore toward the end, it didn’t leave much of an impression.
NC: I don’t know how else to say it, Richard, but it’s your work.
So, I did a quick search of this site, and lo and behold, there it was. I could tell it was mine because (a) I visited Roxy in the 1990s, and I remember what that shit was like; (b) I’m the only person on Planet Earth who regularly pays homage to Tatjana Patitz; and (c) I lifted huge chunks of the ending from Boys in the Band, which is standard operating procedure for me.
And so, I had to email the folks at Nightcharm back and say, “Sorry, you’re right. It’s my handiwork. Do with it as you see fit.”
And they have. If you’re someplace where it’s cool to browse NSFW content — you know, like a Starbucks or a day care center — sit back and relive the magic.