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Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Expectations and Pride

Let's face it folks, I'm in the middle of a serious bout of "blogger's block." I'm not going to dignify it by calling it "writer's block." That's a term more correctly applied to those who write for a living--or are trying to. The distinction between blogging and writing was sharply drawn by Shelley Powers in her farewell post--an event still causing withdrawal pains for many of us.

I seem to have entered into one of those periodic episodes where one's "Dark Forces" take over. When these invasions occur, in my case, there seems to be a recurring theme--a visceral, oppositional reaction to something that I conclude is being expected of me.

A couple of weeks ago, my blogging appeared to have reached some sort of threshold--a passage into the next level of visibility and recognition. There was my interview by Frank Paynter; a day or two on Daypop Top 40; an email from John C. Dvorak commenting on one of my posts; my addition to Doc Searls's blogroll--and several others; a couple of citations on Corante on Blogging; and a number of supportive emails.

I think that I may have taken all these occurrences and wrapped them into an interpretation which says, "I am now being expected to keep putting out a blog that people like, whether or not I feel like it." This may have been the trigger. When I sense that "something is expected of me," here come the Dark Forces. I meet the threat by shutting down like a hibernating bear.

Paid a visit to the shrink who reminded me that I was forced to take care of my mother while still a boy--a very Big Expectation. "Have some compassion for yourself," I was counseled. "Do things that make you proud," she said. "I've read your blog and I see a lot of pride coming through."

She didn't need to say it. The prescription was perfectly implicit: "Keep on bloggin' " OK, OK. I'll give it a whirl. And it may be a struggle.

"If it's a struggle, why do it?" I ask myself. Blogging's supposed to be for fun isn't it? Yes, but it's also for pride. Every blogger that I enjoy is projecting his or her pride in one way or another. I respect them for it. It's an important part of what makes them attractive to me. Why should it be any different in my case?

Bear with me while I try to get back on my feet.


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