Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ummm... Hi.

So, anyone who still checks in with this blog is, I warrant, to be rewarded well for such admirable persistence. You’ve demonstrated dedication to a cause that I, myself, have vacillated upon for a long while. It is not that I have rejected it, for truly, that is not the case. I very much enjoy sharing my (mundane) experiences with people. I find it rewarding not just because the stories are usually entertaining (if sadly lacking in drama), but because to put them into words is a form of creativity that I find relaxing and enriching.

The problem is not desire.

After considering it, I think the reason I find blogging so challenging revolves, at least in part, around the way I tend to do things. I like to spend dedicated time with what I’m doing. I like to be in a particular mood, in a particular place (not necessarily a single place, just the “right” place for the moment) and, most importantly, I like to have time to focus only on what I’m doing. When any of the above are not as they need to be, then I often choose to avoid tasks out of a desire to properly enjoy them.

Those who know me can say that my individual wiring explains the problem. You see, I don’t multitask very well. I do one thing at a time well. I can do more than one thing on occasion, but it often leads to problems because my attention doesn’t truly split, it shifts back and forth. Eventually, it will zig when it should have zagged, I’ll short circuit and, like the juggler who misses the first flaming sword, I’m unable to prevent everything from clattering to the ground.

Since school started this past September, I’ve been chasing my tail and it has been rare that everything has been right for to do creative things of any kind. There are several reasons for this and, in a detached frame of mind, I can say that it is unusual that all these things have happened one-after-the-other as they have this year, but that doesn’t make it any better. It’s still annoying that I haven’t been in a place where I can sit down with time, place and spirit to be creative.

Actually, it recently passed beyond the point of being annoying, and so I decided to examine how I might adjust life to solve the problem, so I can be a blogger again. Here’s what I came to:

There’s a lot in my professional life right now. Granted, much of it is there by choice and, when the universe is properly aligned, it is all wonderfully energizing. Lately, however, quite the opposite is true. I may write about this later. Right now there’s still a great deal of emotion tied up in what’s going on and I don’t want to write something that would get me “dooced”.

When I write, I like to sit over it for rather a long time. I can, when the need arises, spit out quick, unedited email to people, but rarely do I just throw something down and kick it off. I futz with my writing. As you can read, of course, this doesn’t necessarily make it any better or easier to read, but at least I feel comfortable that it says what I intend. I hate it when I’m misunderstood in my writing, but it’s a constant hazard, especially when I try to convert to print all the things that make my oral communication effective. The facial expressions and hyperbolic gestures that so often grace my speech do not often translate well to print.

I suffer from seasonal blahs. I hesitate to call it depression even though that’s probably what it probably is. The term “depression” is on its own, well, depressing. Every year, I get all the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder: I begin to eat everything in sight (I’ve gained 15lbs. since October 1), I want to sleep all the time (which is different from needing naps—I’ve always needed naps, no matter what the time of year), I get irritable much faster than normal and I more often than not just want to be alone. I’ve explored ways to deal with it (or, rather, to moderate the effects of it), but it never seems to go away entirely. That leaves me with a more or less constant feeling of preferring to curl up and do something mindless, which is not often conducive to blogging.

All this has brought me to the conclusion that to try to blog every day is simply untenable. It takes an awful lot of time and psychological effort to keep up with a blog in the middle of my very full day, and it ends up leading me to an ever more frustrated place when I can’t keep up.

So, what to do?

Some of the blogs I read (when I take the time to read them) have routine days that they post. For example, this blog I read by Kristin Espinasse posts three times a week. I think I like the idea of regular deadlines, so I’m going to work to build a routine of two committed posts a week: On the weekend (most likely Saturday) and on Wednesday. I think that this gives me adequate time to write and futz over what (and how) to say what’s going on, but still get it out there often enough that I will feel like I’m keeping you, dedicated readers, in the loop. I really like doing 10 Things Tuesdays, but I think it’s best to focus on a routine that I can handle for now. Maybe I’ll be able to join in again sometime later.

That takes care of when to post.

The next thing is the what. I wrestle with this because, quite frankly, I cannot believe that my view of the world is worth spending your valuable time on. There are lots of things that *I* might find worthy of recording for posterity, but it just seems so insipid when put in the context of what I read. Add to that the feeling that this blog just seems to lack a certain focus. It seems like the content of my blog over the last year has been all over the map. I’d like to narrow its focus some.

The tagline of this space reads, “Take a path and follow it”. I value this quote because it reinforces the belief that, if I make the choice to do something, I have succeeded in something wonderful and, whether I eventually succeed or fail at what I have chosen, I have learned something in the process. The choice is the important thing, together with the appreciation and reflection of the experience afterward, because it leads to self-understanding. I think this is the essence of what I have always wanted to write about: A journey to self-understanding that comes from living life by choice.

Of course, that’s not all I’ll put here. JesusGod, but that would be sickening to read! No, I like a good meme, the random news item or political rant, and I think it’s important to be able to say, “Sorry, kids, but I’ve got nothing for you today. Here’s a video.” If I have a central idea for my space, however, I’ll feel more directed in filling it up properly.

Finally, I’d like to ask your help. If you read this, I could use some encouragement to keep it going. I’m not expecting it to be a blog that wins the popularity contest, but I think all of us that spend time blogging can say that, when we know people are out there, we’re more inclined to keep posting. I think part of the deal is supposed to be that I comment on your blog and you comment on mine? OK. I think can do that, but I may not be able to do it every day. When I do, though, I’ll do my best to make the comments thoughtful and worth the read.

So, there it is. I’m going to try blogging again. Thank you for your patience as I wrestle yet again to create this incredibly challenging, yet thoroughly gratifying habit.


Kizz said...

God I hate to be misunderstood when I write. I was just thinking about that this weekend. And yet, it happens. Even when the writing is good. I just wish there was a law. Sigh.

Welcome back!

Mrs. Chili said...

I was wondering what the hell you've been doing, because you've not been writing here! Welcome back.

I like your idea of setting up a schedule for yourself. Knowing how you think, I believe you'll do well with some order. I've got you on my feed reader, so whenever you post something new, I'll know. I promise to comment, too, even if it's just a "I've got nothing productive to add, but I did read it!" sort of thing...

The Grammar Snob said...

If you're like me, you can go from gung-ho writing every single thing and your fingers can barely keep up with your thoughts right into having things to say, but when you sit down to type them: total blank.

I tend to do better when I remember my blog isn't so much for others as for myself. Don't get me wrong, I love getting comments, but when or if you start writing for others, you're going to lose the fun of writing for yourself.

The Grammar Snob said...

That being said, I promise to keep commenting!

Laurie B said...

I've kept you on my list for good reason and what fun to click and find something new.

Write for yourself, I can' promise thoughtful answers all of the time, but will let you know I've checked in.

Welcome back, I was curious about how things are for you all at Wayfarer House.

Fran said...

I'm glad you're back! I've not been writing so much, either. It comes in spates, for me. But, that being said, I'm glad you're here and writing again.