Tuesday, May 26, 2009

To b or not to b

I've written about this before. This is what I've sunk to. I'm writing a blog entry, and not for the first time, about not writing my blog.

I'm sure there are some of you for whom blogging is as easy as breathing. The words just flow and they're witty and urbane and people love to read your stuff. I envy you. I'm sure there are some of you on the other end of the spectrum who agonize over every adjective, semicolon, and apostrophe before you put your finished product out there for the world to see. Believe it or not, I envy you, too.

I find that, probably like most of you, I tend to fall somewhere in the middle.

If I write something just because I feel like I should or because I feel guilty about not writing for so long, then I'm rarely satisfied with the results. I believe I've written a few pretty good things, a few clunkers, and a lot of mediocre stuff. You have no idea how many things I've written in this space that you've never seen because I was so unhappy with what tripped off my fingertips that I didn't feel it was in any way salvageable. Those went into the bit-bucket. Times like these I think it might be a relief just to shut the thing down, but to continue to read and comment on all those blogs that I enjoy so much. I certainly don't want blogging to become a chore.

On the other hand, I'm loathe to let go. Occasionally someone tosses a pole-dancing bear or an extremely funny Joe Cocker video my way, and I'd like to be able to share those. On rarer occasions, I'm inspired to write about such things as cause-and-effect or medical procedures or even painting a ceiling or a hallway, which people seem to enjoy. This last one was so well received that a blogger who visited my home demanded to see the results of the effort. But even with these, I've never written more than 13 entries in a single month. I've been doing this for over a year now and, if I've read things right, this is my 102nd post.

Not exactly setting the blog world on fire here.

There's also the consideration of all the great people I've met just by writing a few little things down and putting them out there. I've had a grand time with some folks, a few of whom I would even consider friends at this point, that I would in all likelihood never have even met if it wasn't for blogging. Would that fade away if I stopped? Are there great friends out there that I haven't met yet and will never meet if I stop doing this occasionally?

I'm torn.

So which is better? A) Blogging very, very rarely and then only when I'm in a pretty good mood and feel inspired to do so, B) putting mediocre stuff out there just for the sake of putting stuff out there, or C) just shutting down the blog but continuing to read and comment on others?


Hammer said...

The answer is a resounding "A." Blogs are merely a platform for expression, limited only by the technical constraints of the software. The manner and frequency of your posts are entirely up to you, and while I understand where "posting pressure" comes from, I assure you it is an illusion. "A" is good. "A" is satisfying. Go with "A." Northing wrong with a few minor holidays here and there. Just get in that old rusted car and drive. Live a little bit between posts. I'd rather be a good writer than a "good blogger" (whatever the hell that means) any old day.

Cyndy said...

Damn - Google just ate my comment! Basically I think you seem to be having a bit of "performance anxiety" and there is absolutely no need for that! Your blog can be whatever you want it to be. Sometimes what you might think is completely mundane will end up being more interesting to some people than what you think is your good stuff. There is no accounting for what kinds of things people will relate to.

My life has become rather boring lately and my blog has devolved into posts about cutting the grass and seeing a goose nest in a drainage pond. I am often surprised and kind of delighted at the way people respond to such things.

You are an excellent writer and I'm sure that people will continue to enjoy reading or seeing whatever you happen to put up here, no matter how infrequently you might feel like posting. So my choice is also A).

restaurant refugee said...

I really think that you knew the answer to your final question well before you finished typing it. Let me re-frame the question with a bit more human spin....

Would you rather have
a) a dear friend with whom you are only able to bend elbows/ hang-out once a week, or
b) a friend who you can see all of the time but who doesn't even think he is interesting himself, or
c) a friend that just goes away?

Bilbo said...

The answer is clearly "A." I never run out of things to blog about, and I always figure that if someone's not interested, they won't stick around to read. I'm glad for the interesting folks I've met (virtually AND, thanks to Zipcode's happy hour back in November, for real), and I'd hate to think of giving it up. If "A" is the way to keep you around, go for it. I'll still be here, checking on you.

Mike said...

A + B - C = Blogs that you think are good but others might not see it that way. So 10A + 5B = you.

Wv: empetrat - No em isn't. Em is a gerbal!

Sean said...

Blog as often as you feel most comfortable writing. Whether that's once a week or once a month, whenever you write is fine. Personally, I just hope that you don't decide to shut down the blog.

Gilahi said...

To all: Thanks for the encouraging words.

Hammer: You're right, there is pressure (self-applied or not). In several answers to a "what makes you stop reading a blog" post, people said that infrequent posting was enough to make them stop looking. Me? I use a reader so it doesn't matter how seldom you post, I'll always pick it up. Cool music link. Thanks!.

Cyndy: Kind words, thank you. I sort of WISH my life was boring lately. I'd probably spend more time blogging. :-)

Refugee: Cut to the chase, as usual. Nice metaphor, thanks. Let's bend some elbows soon.

Bilbo: You're just looking for an argument :-). Thanks for checking on me. I need that from time to time.

Mike: I'd accuse you of being some kind of algebra geek, but I understood what you were saying perfectly. So don't blame me if you get 5 mediocre posts from me before the next 10 good ones.

Sean: OK, I'm convinced. I'll continue to put out stuff in dribs and drabs with the occasional spurt of creativity.

Thanks again for the encouragement, all. I'll be seeing you around the blog world.

fiona said...

Don't you DARE shut down the blog!
You are on my "list" and I luv ya!

Gilahi said...

fiona - Thanks. Is that the "naughty" or the "nice" list? And when do I get to sit in your lap and tell you what I want for Christmas?

Melissa B. said...

I go with Option A. And don't be so hard on yourself. You could take Gene Weingarten's place in a heartbeat. I find him pompous, repetitive, and kind of an old fart. You, on the other hand, are refreshing.

So, just a little ol' reminder: PS: Please don't forget to join our Sunday Funnies with a visit to Sx3 today!

Mb said...

I've struggle with this. I was very much a type A, but then I realized that I was more "random" then I thought, and suddenly insignificant things seemed to be worry of sharing. If you can strike a balance, getting a solid post in every one in a while and still allowing the silly stuff (that often puts a smile on other people's faces simply for its simplicity) then you've mastered blogging in my opinion.

Gilahi said...

Mb - Thanks. I realize that not everyone is going to enjoy everything I write. It's entirely possible that I'm putting all the pressure on myself and that I should just put something out there when I'm inspired to do so. If I'm lucky, some people will read and it like it.

Mike said...

I'm tired of looking at "12 cool people". Here's to 13.

Gilahi said...

Mike - That seems appropriate, somehow. I learn from this that you apparently don't use a reader to subscribe to blogs. Sorry you keep coming back to the same old entry.

And now it's 14, but I'm probably 7 of them.

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