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Thursday, August 01, 2002

Dorothea Sets Me Straight

If you missed Dorothea's outstanding post on blogging a couple of days ago, let me urge you to check it out. Especially if your blogging starts to feel like a chore at times. She provides some sage words regarding something with which I continue to struggle: why should I bother to blog when I experience it as a struggle?

My usual answers are: "because I made a commitment to myself to do it;" "because I always derive a rewarding experience of value from doing it;" and "because if I didn't overcome my resistance to doing it, my blog wouldn't exist--and I truly want my blog to exist."

These answers are usually sufficient for me. Where the experience of struggle really intrudes is when my consciousness for most of the day is invaded and dominated by a conversation along these lines:

"Oh, shit! What am I going to blog about today? I can't think of anything. I didn't blog yesterday. If I don't do it today, that will be two days in a row. Unthinkable! My audience will desert me." And similar drivel, followed by a frantic search across the Web for something, anything, that will provide some fodder for a "meaningful" post.

That's the dance I hate and am trying to end without resorting to the drastic act of quitting blogging. Dorothea is speaking to me directly when she observes:

"One motif I see repeating itself is that of how the felt expectations of blog readers affect bloggers. What will happen if I don’t post today? Will people be disappointed? Angry? Will they stop reading?

So blogging becomes less a spontaneous expression of the self than yet one more demand on one’s time. Sad. And, in my opinion, unnecessary.

Letter-writing solved this one long ago, and email uses similar techniques. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you; horribly busy. Oh, that’s all right; I know things are crazy on your end.

………..I don’t see any reason absences from a blog must be any different.

………..Ergo, if you feel that you must blog despite not wanting to—and I say this as someone else who has felt the Call of the Blog—it isn’t your audience talking; it’s you."

Thanks for the advice, Dorthea, I needed it. Next time I want to vacate the blog for more than a day, I'll just bloody say so.


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