The art of the blog, or how The Toast closing made me realize I’d gotten it all wrong

I’m pretty sure I’ve been told it would be a smart choice to have a blog at least 500 times in my career. And I have friends in my career path who do it. They do it well. They do it so damn well that frankly it’s a bit daunting.

But me? I’m the quintessential Jack of all trades, which means stuff I will say I am an absolute expert in is a very small list, and sticking my brain to one topic is pretty near impossible. I once sat through a lady presenting about mental health who said such multi-tasking was ‘crazy making’, and my only response was to ask if that should go on my business cards then. My brain doesn’t play favourites. It’s more likely to play the conga.

Great for where your world is about juggling & herding, no matter what strange ladies say. Not so great for clear & concise, or so I figured. Trying to shout out into the void would require a target, wouldn’t it?

It’s not that I didn’t try. At one point or another I’ve tried different things. I have files of half written pieces or idea titles. At one point I was like maybe I should do only edtech. That lasted one whole post. Then I thought maybe if I start with my interests outside working world that’d help? That almost-kinda-worked, but not really (though it does provide where this is pivoting from, so bless it).

Target missed. Sorry Hawkeye.

I don’t know when I first found The Toast. It was undoubtedly because of Cleolinda, but timing is fuzzy. I do know that although I never posted a comment or logged into the Slack, reading it became part of my weekly blog roundup checklist before long.

It was irreverent and random and damn fun. It’s also sadly now closed down, so this post is the worst advertising ever.

But I remember my feed flooding with goodbyes. And I remember reading the announcement post which said the site would remain open. An archive. And ‘from time to time we might run something just for funsies’.

For fun.  If they wanted to get something out. Not for the void (though with that following it wasn’t really a void). But because of enjoyment & cause you can.

I never thought of The Toast as a blog in the same way that I thought of the suggestions to write a blog before that. The streams did not cross. One was hilarity and stuff I would have never been able to write. The other was me not quite ever screaming into that void.

But that resonated. It doesn’t have to be focused for an audience (which in my line of work I’m too used to everything having to be focused for an audience). This can be just for me as I go through things to document and rant, and if someone else gets something out of it, huzzah bonus, but I don’t have to worry about the intrinsic value of each word.

And while I’m very sad that it was the death of something I enjoyed that led to my brain to get it, at least it broke through.

So here we go. Welcome to the crazy making.

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