I’ve been walking around all week thinking about blogging and how it works and what it does and why I try to write now and why I’ve written like crazy in the past and not so much lately, and all I’ve decided is that Twitter is dangerous, because a tweet led me to this post which sent me to another post that calls itself, “How to Build a Huge Blog Following” but is really more about why we write, and why we write out here, publicly, on our blogs. And now my head is full and a little achy and I think I know what I want to say about it, though I so seldom have a thought in one coherent piece anymore that I can’t be entirely sure.
What got to me was the idea of needing the space, of having to write, share, and be part of a community, or even just to write and fling your words out there, hoping that someone, somewhere might find something in them that was needed at the moment that they stumbled across them. Blogging is different from journaling, even when nobody reads your blog; after eight years of blog-writing in one form or another, I can’t bear to write in a journal anymore. I want the things I write about to be out in the world, for reasons I can’t entirely explain.
The only difficulty with that is that there is a level of risk associated with putting some things out into the world. This is part of why I’ve avoided Facebook: there is only so much I want the folks at work to know about me, and there’s only so much avoiding the people you work with that you can do in that space. Now, granted, they could find me on the web if they really wanted to, but they’re all too busy on Facebook (and trust me, that comment is only half-facetious, if that) and there’s a difference between the two formats, anyway. Blogging leaves room for your thoughts to get out of the car and stretch a bit. Hell, sometimes they get back in and turn off the GPS and just drive, and I don’t know if it’s the same for everyone, but I need some words, some blank page, and some quiet to get to that place where I’m typing as fast as the page can scroll and I feel like I’m really saying something that needs to be said, something essential, something true.
To go back to that idea that you have to, as she says, need your space: once I started to think about it I realized that this is the issue at the heart of the difficulty I’ve had keeping this blog going. There’s too damned much of my life that I feel doesn’t belong here, because I think of this as my business blog or my crochet blog or my knitting blog and I don’t think of it as just my blog. I don’t think of it as a space in which I’m free to talk about whatever and at this point it’s the whatever I need to talk about, not the knitting. And I had a big a-ha! moment when it dawned on me that if I’m not writing about knitting or crocheting or designing, it’s not because I’m not interested in those things, but because I don’t have that burning need to write about them that drives one to turn the TV off and talk to the internet instead, whether anyone’s listening or not. So it’s perfectly natural that my blog is slowly withering away over here in the corner of the yard that the sprinklers never quite reached properly and nobody remembers to water.
The dilemma lies in the fact that what one makes public, one cannot make unpublic. And the things that I feel a real need to write about right now are personal and while these are not things that I am embarrassed to talk about publicly, and are things that quite a few people both on the web and off already know about to some extent or another, they are not things that it would necessarily be good for, say, a google-happy future employer to find. (I argue with myself about that one, because I have the feeling that anyone who wouldn’t hire me because they read my blog isn’t anyone I’d like to work for, but work is scarce enough and important enough to actually consider the question, at least for me, at least for now.)
And now I’m stuck. I think about starting another blog, a quiet, anonymous one off in the corner over there, but splitting my life apart onto separate blogs is not something that has worked well in the past for me. I get way too self-censoring trying to fit what I want to say into one place or the other and wind up frozen. I think about saying to hell with it and just saying what I need to say, consequences be damned. I think about reviving this blog but with fiber arts content only, and just making myself maintain it even if the passion isn’t there, after the fashion of some writers who write X words a day to stay in the work, whether they throw it all away later or not. And I think that I’m thinking too hard about a damned blog, but I remember what it was to need to write and now that I’ve remembered it I miss it. I miss it with a yearning that has taken me entirely by surprise.
I have a couple of ideas that might work that involve blending these factors a bit, but I’m still thinking about the options. Pondering, if you will. I’m not sure I’ll ever reach a conclusion, exactly; I am sure that thinking about it may be one of the best things I’ve done in a long time.