Saturday, October 3, 2009

Cough. Rumble. Wheeze. Grumble. Protest. Sputter. Quit. Repeat.

It’s woefully evident that I haven’t been inspired to blog much lately: Some re-marketed thoughts on materialism and a half-assed back-to-school update are all I’ve haphazardly chucked on here through most of the summer.

Although, maybe “inspired” isn’t the correct word choice. I’m wondering if I’ve just lost focus of, and faith in, the point of medium.

What is a blog? Why do we keep one? Most importantly...WHO’S READING THIS THING, ANYWAY??

Loads of people say that blogging should be undertaken first and foremost for oneself and not for others. Wikipedia offers this gem: “Personal bloggers usually take pride in their blog posts, even if their blog is never read by anyone but them.”

Eh. I’m not buying it.

The way I see it, if these screenfuls of boundless pontificating, far-flung ruminating and general waffling-on were truly intended for an audience of one, the resulting amalgam would be referred to as a “journal” (one of which I’ve faithfully kept since the age of about 14) and no matter how hard they searched nobody would ever be able to find it (although I’m 100% confident that my mom and my sister found mine on more than one occasion over the years. Completely by accident, of course.)

So the lined paper journal (with its useless little golden lock and key, back in the day), full of our innermost private thoughts, clearly has its place. On the other hand, it seems to me that we blog because we have something to say that for whatever reason, we think or hope others might want to read about. Little doubt that this holds true for a select list of celebrity gossip, tech info and recipe blogs. But what about the billions of us other unknowns who hopefully and often hopelessly hit the upload button every day, week, or in my case, season?

Am I the only one that gets excited when someone comments on my blog post – because it means someone actually read it?

I was coming perilously close to giving up completely on the blogging idea when a lovely meeting with a smart woman in a Parisian-style cafe yesterday changed my mind.

Damn her!

The elegant and charming L wrote a book about women in the corporate world (yes, that’s an intentionally-vague description on my part) that’s being published in a few months and I’m in it. Not only am I in it, turns out I’m the CLOSING STORY in it. And not ONLY am I the closing story in it – but she informed me that she’s also included the link to this blog in it.


To calm me down (and no doubt out of a sense of responsibility to her own readers to some degree) she was kind enough to send me a list of the subjects that readers of her book will want to be updated on when (not if, but when, according to her) they visit my blog. The list includes (but not exhaustively): Did I cave in and go back to my old corporate lifestyle? If not, what am I doing now? How am I coping and what are the challenges I’m facing? What’s the latest on my little island paradise in Indonesia? And of course, the timeless and ever-popular: Do people think I’m crazy?

So. My blog apparently is going to get some visits. As a result I feel a newfound and slightly overwhelming sense of responsibility to try really hard to populate this space with interesting fodder, and certainly on a much more regular basis. How I’m going to accomplish that will be a feat of miracles in and of itself, as I’m quite literally on the cusp of being busier than I’ve probably ever been in my entire life.

They say if you want something done, give it to a busy person. If the adage holds any water, my little space here in the ether is about to spring back into action. Guess we’ll (or I’ll) see. (ARE there any of you out there who are actually reading this? Drop me a comment to let me know. Thanks.)

Time to dust this relic off, turn the crank a few times and see if I can bully it back to life again.

Cough. Rumble. Wheeze. Grumble. Protest. Sputter. Quit. Repeat.

“Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but in the ability to start over.” F. Scott Fitzgerald


Anonymous said...

Of course I'm reading you, Miss! And they say that for one comment posted on a blog, there is at least one dozen silent readers, so it seems we're already a bunch! :o) - V

Barbara said...

So glad you are back on the blog - we have missed you and your fabulous way with words! A whole new adventure is just beginning with endless possibilities. Hard work is good for the soul and keeps the mind sharp and keen. Don't ever stop writing ....this is your forte!

JT said...

OK... I admit that since you are back from the travel adventure, and no longer part of our classroom decor (yes, sad I know...) I haven't been following. BUT, I'm back and have actually "signed up" as a "follower" of your blog. You DO have something to say and I for one am listening.


Sarah Lolley said...

Perfect timing. I've been giving a lot of thought to blogging lately; specifically, trying to puzzle out what makes a good blog.

Contrary to what one might expect, given the medium, I find that the best blogs are not the ones in which the blogger randomly reports on his/her life, but rather those in which the author concisely makes a clear point. This point is generally one that the authors has reflected on for some time.

More than five years ago, blogs could succeed (and by that I mean attract readers) if they were merely a frequent update of someone's life activities, but that's because blogging was still relatively rare. The fact that you could regularly learn about some stranger's personal life still held great novelty.

I do not blog (yet?) but this is because I tend to mine most of my interesting life experiences for personal essays, which I then publish in magazines and newspapers. I can't "give away my material" on a blog. Also, it's extremely time consuming to write for a living, write creatively, and also attempt to maintain a blog.

Still, there are nuggets of life that are not ripe for personal essays but nevertheless would work beautifully on a blog, and this is what tempts me about blogging. You can have an audience (however small) without facing the exhausting cycle of submissions and rejections.

My greatest blog inspiration is Adriana Palanca's blog:

Anonymous said...

I don't know you, but I've read your travel adventures with great enthusiasm, and continue to check in on your blog monthly to see how your transition back to your new life is going. I've commented to you previously that I admire and respect your courage and determination in leaving a comfortable career to make a mid-life change. Your writing style is really unique, entertaining, thought-provoking, and makes reading your blog not a chore, but something I look forward to. Keep it up.

Wendy said...

This world wide web of celeb gossip and recipes I'll read, print and then never cook, is a much enriched cyberplace with your blog in it. I check on your progress every once in a while since you've returned from you travels, and am always excited to see a new entry! Please do not give up...we'd miss you!

chehaw said...

Please keep writing! Don't let the fallow periods that always come up deter you. Even if it's just random thoughts with no connections, just let it rip and write. Some of your best ideas may come out of that mind dump. So don't abandon your workout space.

Most writers walk a fine line between searching for an audience and writing for themselves. People who read you see you, but they also see a piece of themselves in your words. That's one of the best things a writer can do.