David Ker is my blogfather. He is the one I thank or blame (depending on my mood) for getting me into this whole blogging thing. I think my comments on his blog were getting too long (imagine that) or something, and he nicely recommended I start my own blog.
Well, I’ve now been blogging a little over a year, and I’m guessing that in blog years, that makes me just about a blogolescent. Which means I’m supposed to rebel, right? And if I’m supposed to rebel, when I hit the blogging teen years, then it really doesn’t matter if I break a few of my blogfather’s hard and fast rules. I don’t remember exactly where these rules are written, but I seem to remember his saying that to be a good blogger one most post frequently. I’ve obviously been breaking that rule. And then, I think I recall his saying that one should never blog about why one has not been blogging frequently. I’m now about to break that rule, too.
Here are the top reasons why Eclexia has become rather unpredictable in her blogging habits:
5. Single Mom. Four Kids. Summer Break. Self explanatory.
4. Blogging is like mixing pen pals with reality TV. Pen pals, on the one hand, can be fun. On the other hand,I can’t stand reality TV and the stilted drama-for-entertainment-that-pretends-to-be-real-life. Pen-palling, like blogging, is only a one-dimensional relationship, but that’s not bad in and of itself. You get to meet interesting people and learn interesting things. But, in blogging, to have such public pen pals, in such a big social circle, brings certain social dynamics into the public realm without all the bigger social supporting beams that support face to face relationships. In pen-palling, there usually aren’t social pressures to put a strain on the relationship. On reality TV, social pressures are magnified, but in a context where there is no connection beyond the contrived and limited context to fall back on. And to make it worse, those voices-with-nothing-else-to-back-them-up are very public. Both agreements and disagreements are made more of, I think, in the blogging world than they would be in the rest of life where the people agreeing or disagreeing have more to life and relationship to fall back on than just their intense, disembodied talk. Disagreements on blogs, in my opinion, take on more of the reality TV drama than they ever would in ordinary dialogue, which is anchored in deeper social contexts. I haven’t quite decided, as I get to know and enjoy more online friendships, if I can handle the lopsided and public nature of those friendships, or if I’d just rather revert to the penpal model (I suppose it’s called something like epal these days. Or maybe Facebook.) with the online friends I’ve already made.
3. Some days trying to make sense is just too much work. I recently received this little statement in a daily email I get from StoryPeople:
Thinking there’s not a whole lot to say anymore, now that people listen and he has to make sense.”
With all the joys of meeting so many interesting people, comes the pressure I feel to have to make sense and say something that they–my new friends–will find worthwhile reading. That part was easier when I didn’t know anybody online and didn’t care if I could write well or if I made much sense in what I wrote. Being able to write my thoughts helped me make sense of them to myself. It was an anonymous little world where I could work to try to make sense of my thoughts without social pressure, and then having sorted them out a bit, find it easier to communicate my thoughts in my face-to-face friendships. I wanted a place to struggle to articulate my thoughts on various topics without having to worry about how they would be heard or understood. Now, blogging feels more like real life where I really care about communicating what’s on my heart in a way that real people who I know and like will actually be able to hear and understand what it is I’m trying to say. That people are listening intimidates me a little.
2. Blogging is a lot more like public speaking than I ever imagined. I’m an introvert. I like my friends one a time. I can be quite talkative one-on-one. But you will find me speaking up to a whole group of my friends a whole lot less frequently. I like to be fully engaged with the person I’m communicating with. And you can’t do that with a lot of people. Blogging stresses me out a little bit, because I’m thinking of each of the people I’ve come to know who are reading my blog, and I can’t really talk to each of them. I have to talk to all of them at once. And that is not easy for me.
And the number 1 reason I’ve not been blogging much lately:
1. I don’t have a waterproof laptop in my shower. Just this morning, in my pre-church shower, I had an interesting thought I wanted to blog about, and the words to express it were right there. All of that was gone by the time I got back to my computer. Either I’m delusional in overestimating the profoundness of my shower thoughts, and once I get out, I come back to reality and realize they weren’t all that interesting after all. Or, I’ve got some serious short term memory loss issues going on. Either way, I’m never so confident about my ability to talk about interesting things in interesting ways, as I am when I’m in the shower. Which is, needless to say, not very conducive to blogging.
Well, it might sound like I’ve just talked myself right out of blogging anymore. But for me, the most important step in doing anything is spelling out all the obstacles, and then deciding whether or not I want to really do the thing and if so, how to work with or around the obstacles.
I will say this: I only want to continue blogging if it gives me energy, rather than takes energy from me. By looking at these challenges, I’m encouraged to think that there might be ways around some of these stressors, so I can continue to enjoy this venue for expressing myself and dialoging with all manner of interesting people who make me think and feel (Thinking and feeling both give me energy. So, blogging really is a good place for me to get energy. But only if I can minimize the above obstacles.)
Any suggestions are appreciated. Of course, if no one comments, I might think everyone I know has gone away during my quiet time, and if no one I know is reading my blog anymore, I’m back to not having to worry about making sense!
I’m just kidding about that. I do miss chatting with those of you who read and comment here, and I look forward to hearing any thoughts or suggestions you might have as I keep growing up (and hopefully maturing) in blog years. I really do see many things I like about this odd little social realm, and I don’t think I’m ready to totally step out of it yet.