What is Blogging, Anyway?

No, really, will someone tell me?

Justin Cox
4 min readOct 13, 2020

Photo by Nicolas Castez on Unsplash, edited by the author.

Cards on the table: I’ve not written anything in nearly two weeks.

Yes, I’m the editor of The Writing Cooperative, one of Medium’s largest publications with writing advice for 210k followers. No, that doesn’t mean I’m the most productive writer in the world.

Right now, I’m stuck inside my own head. The thought of writing seems impossible. Before I even put fingers to keys, I worry how the concept will land. My anxiety rises over the possibility of a typo or misplaced thought. When I get into this headspace, it’s difficult to create. Let me rephrase that: it seems difficult to create.

The act of fleshing thoughts out and putting the words on the screen seems impossible when I’m in this headspace. So, to compensate, I do anything and everything adjacent to writing. I update the design for the publication. I reorganize my drafts in Bear. Andy Weir called it “lazy-assed work avoidance.” I call it an existential crisis and wonder if I’ll ever be able to write a complete sentence again.

In college, I’d put my headphones on and end up writing 5,000 words for my blog based on whatever song came on. Back then, the stakes were lower. If my friends didn’t appreciate an exploration of financial inequality filled with Dave Matthews lyrics, well, so be it. They just didn’t get what I was going for — no big deal.

Today, the pressure is on. A bad piece can directly impact my income. At least, that’s what my lizard brain tries to tell me. As a result, I overthink everything. Every. single. word.

My first website, Justin’s World, was a GeoCities masterpiece. I can still picture the black background, yellow text, and an edgy yellow globe gif — this was pre gif resurgence, when they were, you know, new. Anyway, I’ve been writing on the internet for a long time.

At the start, blogging was a game-changer. People wrote about their lives, and people showed up to read. Words were raw, unchained, dare I say, real? Then blogging moved to vlogging and, eventually, the influencer market. In the process, blog became a dirty word, and most of the internet got a lot more serious in the process.

Justin Cox

I help writers and nonprofits grow. Editor of The Writing Cooperative. Contact at JustinCox.com