Monday, January 19, 2009

A touch of the blogging blues. Yawn.

I seem to be experiencing something of a blogger's block of late.

There may be several reasons for this. I've recently come to the end of a couple of writing projects with other people, which I'll inform about in due course. They've been very satisfying, more than, but have left me a bit barren, it seems.

And then there's what I find myself doing when I sit down at the computer.

The feeds: 3 new here, 5 there, blimey, 10 new there, I haven't been to so-and-so's for that long? You're all so delicious, and you all need to be done justice, and you often make me wonder quite what it is I should be doing myself. I sometimes think it might be easier to be one of those who only reads blogs and doesn't have one. From time to time I knock a few feeds off, people I think won't miss me, rather than because they aren't of interest, but then more come along...

Then lately I find I'm slipping off to the online papers, or Wikipaedia, reading and watching articles, videos, about Israel - Palestine. My comfortable ignorance wouldn't do any more, but the remedying of it is hardly better. I've a bad head for history and politics at the best of times; it was a vaguely intractable, sickening thing on the fringes of my awareness, now it's a more clearly defined intractable, sickening thing nearer the forefront of the same. I'm heavy-hearted with other people's suffering, anger, hatred, the endless rigmarole of whose grievance counts most and why, and all the while the fear and pain.

I long to take refuge in glibness and easy opinion, to be able to shrug off, make light of and discount what suits me, scoff at this or that as being no worse than something else, close down in that way. And why not, it would make no difference to anything? I have few certainties, and those I do allow for few conclusions. And I'm well aware that while something becomes the centre of attention for a while, the litany of unrecorded suffering goes on all the while. Which knowledge doesn't make anything any better either.

Of course snippets, a quote or two, a pastiche, a photo, a few crumbs thrown to the hungry blog-monster, are fine, and probably easier on one's readers anyway. But writing, and photographing, have been important to me here, and I don't want to lose that. I think perhaps I need to step back from the screen and keyboard a bit. My longhand notebooks go untouched; I can't blame anyone else for that, I suppose there are other things I pick up and do with my hands, but I think I'm going to try to reclaim them.

This probably won't last long, it doesn't usually. I don't have a lot of time for people agonising about blogging, though I've done my share of it; I tend to think one should just get on with it or shut up, since overall it's not that important. But what I think I will do, and this was something I was considering doing a month or two back, on the suggestion of a couple of very nice encouraging readers, is go back over my archives, and dig out what I thought were the better pieces, go over and edit them a bit, and from time to time post links to them here, with a comment or two. Some of them might be of interest, and it might help me to feel a bit clearer about what I want to get out of this activity on the basis of what has worked in the past.

So I'll be back with something soon. Thanks for being around.


Lee said...

Take your time. We'll wait. It seems to be a common ailment at the moment.

marja-leena said...

Ah yes, the blogging blues, though it sounds also like a letdown after those writing projects, rather like after I've finished a show. Anyway, take it easy, we'll be here when you come back.

HLiza said...

I noticed that a lot of my blogging friends are experiencing the blues too..but as for me..this is one hobby I still love..sort of a stress-buster for me at the end of my hectic day. I'll be waiting for you what you must..

Barrett Bonden said...

"I have few certainties, and those I do allow for few conclusions." I like that. Certainty is at the heart of the Gaza "war", the suicide bombings, the restrictions on stem-cell research and all the rest.

So it's "The best of Box Elder" with an admission that you may re-edit. I like that too. Very early on when I was still a tea-boy I was introduced to a formula for writing articles: Spend twenty mins on the first para, ten mins per para afterwards, spend as much time on the revision as you spent on the first draft, then delete the first para. May we make requests for TBOBE? Guess what mine is.

Bee said...

As readers (and writers), our moods and appetites can fluctuate wildly . . . and of course attention must be paid to the serious and tragic, but we cannot always dwell in that territory. And sometimes we are just tired, and need to go back to whatever our well is.

As with everything you write, this touches a chord in me. A vibrating responsiveness. You add a lot, Lucy.

apprentice said...

Yes a good and honest piece Lucy and I'm sorry if I've contributed to drying up the well.

I think we all struggle to do justice to what we want to say and to find a focus in a world where the weight of events and opinion threaten to crush us all.

The radio today said this is the gloomest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, with the highest level of absences from work.

Truth be told we all need a duvet day from time to time.

Have something warming and look at the shoots in the garden, my aconites are through, a wee scattering of sunshine in all this gloom.


Zhoen said...

A cyclical thing, indeed.

I get my news at the edges, weird news aggregate sites, Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, BBC front page. Breaks it up, keeps it from swamping my compassion. I get the sense of it, without bogging down.

Rouchswalwe said...

At the tail end of a 3-day weekend here, during which I was able to revivify a wee bit and to immerse myself in the things inaugural with friends, I happily read that you, dear Lucy, plan to go back over your archives. Count on me to be here through that process! As they say here, you're a keeper.

Rosie said...

the year is swinging back round...spring will be here soon, and the sooner the better. meanwhile let's live on the nuts we have saved for winter.

christopher said...

Losing The Masterpiece

I stare blank, far off,
Thinking I should get going
Then can't think quite why.

I remember the fever
I had over yesterday.

If a masterpiece
Came today I would not rise
To the occasion.

herhimnbryn said...

I know.
YOu do what you need to.

leslee said...

Yes, you remind me that it comes and goes. I always find some change of scenery (external or internal) helps loosen up the pump. Anyway, it's breathe in and breathe out. Let the process be what it will.

Granny J said...

The plan sounds like a good one. You'll probably discover how much you have changed over a short period of time and even try to rewrite yourself. It will be interesting.

tristan said...

you'll probably find it almost impossible to confine your impulse to share life's beauties with your friends

zephyr said...

i totally understand the ennui
and you won't be surprised when i tell you that earlier this month i considered shutting mine down
if you were over here
i bet you would be infected with inaugural excitement and joy, too.
i'm delightfully stunned at how happy i feel today.
did not think it was possible for many more days from now
but this moment in our history transcends, for me, even tragic loss.

No, he is not superman
yes, he will undoubtedly make some disappointing choices/decisions
he is a good man
and the spirit he projects is what we need.
well, it's what i need anyway
and judging from the sea of smiling faces in DC and around the country i see on TV
most of the rest of us needed it too.

Lady Prism said...

I feel the same way sometimes too! Take a rest then come back..I'll miss you:>

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, I think we all need a break from blogging from time to time. I know I do quite often.

Funny you should mention Gaza as my little one asked about it in the car this morning and my 9 year old launched into this detailed and clear explanation, including history and current situation. I was dumbstruck. I had assumed he was playing games whilst he was on the computer but apparently he spends a lot of time cruising news channels and tells me he wants to be a reporter for the BBC one day. His knowledge was much better than mine and explained at just the right level for a six year old. I can't get over it.

I am a bit lost for things to blog about too. I find it hard to write when I am happy. When I have something on my mind it is much easier.

Enjoy your blogbatical.

Lucy said...

Bless you all. Looking back, I got a bit like this this time last year, which was when I started 30 word posts, so I shouldn't be surprised.

Lee - time of the year I guess, though it's a different season your end... thanks.

ML - I think your shows are probably more demanding; with the writing projects I was really following the leads of my collaborators, whose creative energy still glows undimmed, so I can't really make that excuse!

Hliza - you're an inspiration; I don't know how you find the time but I'm glad you do.

BB - yer a darling. The dechetterie post will be the first up, very soon I promise!

Bee - yes, of course, and I'm really not being melodramatic, I'll be back soon. Your vibrating responsiveness is hugely appreciated!

Anna, no apologies required from you! I think perhaps we planted aconites a year or two back, but I'm not sure they've succeeded. But even the winter wheat showing, and the catkins are welcome. I can usually find something to enjoy most months, but January can be difficult.

Rouchswalwe - nice to know you'll be reading, and being a relative newcomer you won't have read before. I hope you enjoyed your inaugural conviviality!

Rosie - ah ha, Saved Nuts, there's a title!

Christopher - spot on, as ever. Bloody marvellous. You never seem to suffer from shortage of inspiration, though...

Thanks, HHB.

Leslee - and, hopefully, there'll be som of that, though not immediately. You keep it up so well for quite a seasoned blogger!

GJ - indeed, I do find that looking over some of the old ones, and it poses questions about editing, since often I don't quite feel like the person who wrote that. Often, of course, it's writing about it that has effected the change...

Tristan - what a lovely thing to say; you are a dear friend yourself.

Zephyr - I'm so glad you haven't, and so sorry for your loss. I thought of you often on Tuesday.

Lady Prism - thank you sweety!

RB - your boys are a wonder! It's great that he's cultivating an awareness like that, though it can seem a lot to expect children to understand, yet he's doing it for himself. Never worry about being too happy to blog much!

Dale said...

the endless rigmarole of whose grievance counts most and why . . .

Yes, exactly, exactly. As if that was more important than addressing them and stopping the damn thing.