Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What do I think of blogging?

When I started my experiment I was quite uncertain what I would want to post - I have several handfuls of poems, short stories, the odd barely started/almost finished novel and shelf-loads of notebooks - and I began quite tentatively, and then enthusiastically.  My blog, and finding other blogs  to read, became a welcome distraction from illness and misery.  I was seduced by all the lovely comments I received on my poems and had lots of fun scribbling ditties in response to the various prompts I found.

I wonder if other bloggers have this feeling of failing themselves somehow?  I began to feel that I was only writing and posting as some sort of elaborate prostitution, of choosing what I thought were appealing, easy poems, and not wrestling with what really matters to me  (which is ...?) in order to continue to enjoy being read and appreciated.

I set up a separate blog to focus more on life in exile, thinking people might be interested in the bizarre lifestyle of this corner of the world, only to find that generally people weren't interested (save a few loyal ones) and that my squashed in and compromised life makes pretty boring writing:  how many posts can one make about a tiny scrap of garden, semi-feral cats and peacocks?  Well quite a few it turned out, but they hardly make compelling reading.  I can't write about the vivid cultural life here - the bars and nightclubs, the restaurants and concerts, because I don't go out, except to the hospital and back.

I don't want to write about being ill, I know there is a sub-genre  (well maybe a very big genre) of agony blogs and fora:  not interested in others' misery and not interested in sharing mine.   I could write about my obsession with the temperature (46 today), but if you really wanted to know, you could look that up, couldn't you?

I seem to be going further and further away from what feels authentic, which is why I have been so quiet lately.  I haven't figured out what it is I want to do - I could simply 'have fun', but that is not my nature, unfortunately.

I am interested to know if other bloggers have these doubts about masks and identities, about doing what they see as their 'writing work' or not, or whether you just carry on into the dark without thinking too much on't?



Marylinn Kelly said...

The closest word for my blog content is musings. I lead a quiet life, do not go about as I once did, have been, over time, strong-armed into a contemplative state. Knowing what you don't want your blog to be seems a great step toward finding its heart. Most humans I know have an endless capacity for self-doubt or uncertainty; I am one of them. Sometimes the words, the thoughts, are out of reach and we become quiet. My blog is not a place in which I share every crumb of myself; what I do as best I can is tell my truth or what is the truth of the moment. Through my blog and seeking the blogs of others I have found a community. I imagine that your life in exile gives you insights that might have been missed in a whirl of social activity. I hope you will write what matters to you, that is really all we have.

Jan Freeman said...

As so many established writers say, one should write for oneself. I write for my own pleasure and try to be innovative. Unfortunately, one hardly ever comes across negative comments - for obvious reasons - and so their importance to the writer is generally limited. The number of hits would seem to give a better indication of one's talents.

jabblog said...

What feels authentic is the writing that expresses you most clearly and in a way that doesn't expose you, since you are (I think) rather a private person.
Blogging can take over - it has almost done so for me - but it has also exercised my brain and now I have returned to more sustained writing and that gives me more confidence.
You will find your way - personally, your poetry is both thoughtful and thought-provoking.

Tim Jones said...

I've been blogging since late 2007, and there have been a couple of times since then that I have come close to quitting, or at least taking a lengthy break: once not long after I started, and once earlier this year.

I enjoy blogging, and would do more of it - and particular, more reading of and commenting on others' blogs - if I could. My problem is a lack of time. I have become involved in a major environmental campaign over the past year which is threatening to eat all the non-paid-job, non-family time I have. Ring-fencing time to write my fiction and poetry has been difficult, and if I have to choose between blogging and writing, I'll choose writing.

On the other hand, I have a poetry collection coming out later this year, so the opportunity the blog gives me to herald its arrival, and then promote it once it has arrived, is one I don't want to pass up.

Not the purest of motives, perhaps - but at least it's kept me going.