First, let me point you to Life From Scratch by our very own Melissa which was on my Christmas list but sadly not gifted by anyone. Then I found out that it was temporarily on sale for 99c! At 99c I can probably get away with gifting it to myself. Duly downloaded and can't wait to read it.

Two thousand and twelve could be an interesting time. I may be making some long-awaited moves on my career. I have ideas for a couple of other projects. I have the optimism of a twenty-year-old when it comes to my ability to pull it all off. I love having my self-belief back, misguided though it may be.

I once heard someone in blogland say she preferred blogs where people wrote about what they'd been doing from day to day, rather than - I can't remember how it was worded at all - basically editorialising on some topic or other.Really? I thought. That explains a lot. Like, for example, how come people whose posts always consist entirely of a laundry list of events which have occurred in their lives since the last post can sometimes have quite the following.

Not only that. I have friends with whom I never seem to discuss anything but stuff which has happened to each of us since we last saw each other. It's pleasant enough, don't get me wrong. But my whole life, I'd been assuming we weren't really very good friends, until I read that comment, whereupon this occurred to me: perhaps that's how some people do friendship! It's an astounding thought.

Some bloggers, sooner or later, are forced by a commenter to write a post along the lines of, "Hey! People! This is my place to whinge, ok?" In the past, I have agreed wholeheartedly with the poster. Your space is what you want it to be, and for some people, what they want is a spot to put the nasty stuff so they don't end up inflicting it on anyone they know face to face. It doesn't mean they spend 100% of their lives whinging, and they shouldn't have to change the way they blog. Are they forcing you to read?

I guess I still agree with that. I'm not talking about those whose lives (at least as they're writing) are such a suckhole of suck that the odd bit of cheer is completely overrun by the mountains of suckitude - those people you can't help but feel for - I'm talking about those who just plain don't see the need to post the good bits, whilst seeing all the need in the world to post the bad. That is absolutely a valid way to blog. I'm a bit sad that they don't know anyone face to face who can handle them without the edges taken off, or (in a different way) for those who don't know anyone with whom they feel comfortable displaying their edges, but if blogging fills that gap, so be it and I'm glad the internet exists. It's pretty lonely, though, to be the person inside the computer who only hears about the rough patches and never gets to share the joys.

For myself, I blog to think. More than that: I connect to think. But in a world where everyone is rushing to and fro with work and family and houses and hobbies and social engagements and travel delete as appropriate blogging seems to fit the bill better than rambling conversations in late night bars or coffee houses or, afterwards, on park benches situated halfway home - more's the shame. I've been trying to work out why I don't seem so motivated to post now that infertility is behind me, and I'm pretty sure it's because I don't have a big mess inside my head to untangle any more. Or rather, I do, but it's cheerfully disorganised as opposed to actually squalid, and I don't have a chunk of time just now to put it all back in order anyway. I am pretty much resigned to just stepping over my thoughts where they lay until I dependably get not only a full night's unbroken sleep, but a few hours of regular solitude, and I'm ten thousand miles removed from going out of my way in search of new thoughts. (Melissa - are there many new thoughts in your book? Prepare me.) I am just not at a blogging stage of life, at least not blogging in any way that resonates with me.

Here's my thing.

I have made friends in this community, and I don't really want to lose touch with everyone I ever knew. And I can't rely on facebook or anything, because I suck at those sorts of places, and I guess I'm just afraid that, one by one, you'll all stop blogging and one day I'll think something and there'll be nobody left to mull with me. Is it inevitable?  I'm not finished with this space - or at least I'm not finished with a space. It's just my thoughts - my reasons for being here - are few and far between at present.

I'm not going to make any promises to blog more in 2012. I see no purpose to such a promise, to blogging for the sake of writing something down (and yet I know some blog for that reason, too, and God bless). I guess I just want to have somewhere to reflect on things at my own pace and time, and to have my reflections understood, and I am increasingly afraid that 2012 will take me further from it. Even as it brings me closer to other things.

I'm not quite sure what to do about it.


Aubrey (No Minivan) said...

I think it's doubly hard when the main purpose of your blog changes too. Like you, my blog was started to chronicle my journey to conceive. Once I had my kids I didn't feel like anyone really wanted to read my blog and I didn't feel like I had much blog fodder once the TTC drama was gone (not to say kids don't have their own drama!).

I shut down my blog this year and I don't have any plans to start a new one. To me, the blogosphere is full of bloggers much more talented than I am (present company included!) and Facebook gives me enough of a place to rant or share news. Plus, I know the folks reading there honestly care about me and my kids so I can share more openly than I feel I can with strangers.

You gotta do what works for you.

Thalia said...

I'm with you, and the reason I have not shut down the blog despite having not written there in months. I do think the feed readers are fantastic for this - personally I never unsubscribe from a feed, which means that when someone suddenly posts again, I always see it. Whereas in the old days when you had to manually check, it was very easy to lose track of people.

Serenity said...

Yes, I have some of this as well. I use my blog space to think and untangle both my thoughts and emotions.

It stands to reason that your blogging ebbs and flows over the years. But I second what Thalia said - that's the beauty of google reader, IMO. Gives you the ability to write when you need the space AND people can know when you do post.


Lollipop Goldstein said...

Cracking up because the infertility section of your brain sounds like our storage room. It's a mess, but it's sort of out-of-sight-out-of-mind at the moment. While I'd love to give it order, I'm committing my energy towards other things.

I love this: "I have the optimism of a twenty-year-old when it comes to my ability to pull it all off. I love having my self-belief back, misguided though it may be." I wish I could find that optimism again. My teacher is in that age range, and when he speaks about his future, I either am jealous that he has such confidence that all will work out or I'm internally rolling my eyes, thinking, "life will beat that attitude out of you, my friend." I know by this point that all does work out in the sense that you make peace with your accomplishments and failures because you must. But a long time ago, I thought I'd have only accomplishments if I worked hard enough. If I kept at things.

Love this post. You gave me a lot to think about. And no, my book is mindless :-) Thank you for downloading it.

sharah said...

I was quite sad looking through the creme de la creme list and realizing that only 5 or 6 of the blogs I started out reading had submitted posts. I have loads of peeps stored in my reader so that I can always go back and find someone if they post even sporadically.

And I blog the way you do, to sort out topics in my head. Daily lists just aren't my thing, reading them or writing them.

Vee said...

Great post Bea. I totally get this. My blogging has slowed down for me it's a time and energy thing. I do have lots to write about but I am so tired when I do get the time I rarely type my thoughts out.
I would hate to lose all my blogging friends too, there are some wonderful friendships, I hope to keep for a lifetime.

I agree about Reader, it's the best way to know that you are still blogging even if it is very occasional.

Lut C. said...

I'm a feed reader fan too. I've had trouble keeping up with friends who went password protected without a solution for the feed readers :-(

To be very honest, I don't have the time to read that many blogs of the laundry list type. Usually, I'm at a loss on what to comment too.

I would be sad to realize one day that you've moved to a new blog and I'd missed the link. Over the past years, I've enjoyed reading your take on things. Enjoyed isn't the right word - especially considering some of the misery that went on at times. Appreciated?

Do you need to do anything in particular about your blog? It's there, we're here, whenever inspiration strikes. Sounds all right.

Ellen K. said...

Happy New Year, Bea!

I prefer to write introspectively, but I don't have the time to write well. I promised to have my Paris trip written up in a week; it's been almost 3 months and there's no chance it will be published anytime soon.

My life is a little messy, but I don't feel inwardly confused. I think I'm figuring out parenting, if not toilet training, and I don't feel that I'm alone or put upon as I did during infertility, so I don't feel the need to reach out or ask for support by blogging.

I think that there is about a 5-year life expectancy for most crisis-related blogs. I've noticed a general slowing-down among the blogs that began around the same time as mine (winter 2005-2006). Even the bloggers who remain childless do not post as frequently.

My blog is staying up until I somehow find time to edit my Blog2Print book, which I started working on the week after Christmas and hope to finish by the end of the year. Who knows whether the Paris recap will be in there.

Esperanza said...

Hello. Here from the Round Up. What a fabulous post. I love your realization that the shooting the shit, this is what's been going on with me conversation is the way some people *want* to do friendship. I don't think I realized that either! I thought it was something we were all forced to do by the constraints of time and energy and how our brains simply turn to mush at the end (or beginning of a long day). I didn't realize anyone might actually prefer that. But then recently I heard that a blog I read, that I have considered quite boring this year as it's about new mamahood and sleep deprivation and just the day to day listed out with nary an insight included and evidently it gets crazy hits and I thought huh, people must just have stuck with her because they are so happy she's finally arrived (as I have) but now I wonder if they are there because of that laundry list and not inspite of it. A fascinating idea to be sure.

I'm like you, I come to my blog to think. To work things out. To *say* something and have people say something back. I want to make declarations and determine my position on things and then present it in some meaningful way. I want to have that rambling conversation at the back of the coffee shop that no one has time for anymore. That is what my blog is about. And I'm looking for more blogs like that so I'll definitely be following yours.

See you in 2012.

KH99 said...

Hi, I'm here from the Round Up. I am just returning to my blog after almost 2 years of not blogging much, if any at all. I abandoned my IF blog because I didn't feel like I had anything to say after my son was born, and I semi-abandoned my parenting blog because of no time (work + parenting + grad school). I missed it horribly, though, and decided to make time for it last summer which coincided with the end of grad school.

Like you, I blog b/c it is my space to think and ruminate and just get out the stuff that is in my head. Sure, sometimes there's a laundry list type post, but my blog is more about how I think.

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