Tuesday, May 29, 2007

not quite dead yet

Here’s the deal.

I didn’t intend to take a vacation from my blog. I got busy and missed a few days. Then a few more. I thought about writing, really I did. I composed the opening lines to several posts in my head. But whenever I found a few spare moments, I just didn’t feel like writing because I knew that I should write. The thought of it hung over me like a chore. And who needs another chore? Honestly. I have enough of those already.

When I first started my blog, I wrote out of a powerful need to hear myself think and write my thoughts down. I never anticipated that people would want to read what I had to say. That aspect of the blogosphere took me by surprise. And a pleasant surprise it has been. I feel like I’ve found a small band of friends who support me and feed my hungry ego yummy chocolate-coated compliments . Some days, when the frustrations and tedium of my life seem (in my melodramatic mind anyway) too much to bear, I have gotten by purely on the adrenalin rush of a new post and the comments that follow. Thank you.

But the problem with having an audience is that I worry about disappointing them. Some days I wish this blog were more of a soliloquy and less of a big, dramatic, must hire Kenneth Branagh to play me in the movie version monologue.

Occasionally, out of habit in the past few weeks, I have checked my stats on sitemeter and discovered I had only slightly fewer hits on the days I didn’t post than the days I did. This was quite a liberating discovery, actually. Perhaps my fears of disappointing too many readers are a bit overblown. I suspect that with anything I do or don’t write I’ll disappoint the majority of my visitors, who appear to be accidental tourists stumbling upon my domain. Whether or not I labor and deliver (and believe me, sometimes the painful child-birth metaphor fits) thought-provoking and original prose or not, some dude in Singapore with the Google query “what does a goiter feel like?” is going to find my website less than informative.

Then one day my laptop began to show symptoms of a terminal illness (graciously breaking the secret oath of all electronics and appliances by doing so two weeks BEFORE the extended warranty expired) and had to be sent in for repairs. I hope to never relive the moment when I was forced to put my brain into a box with only two pieces of Styrofoam to protect it, seal it up with tape and a note that said “please be kind to my brain as I am rather stupid without it” and leave it out on the porch for the UPS man to collect. Perhaps I should have paid the extra fee for the ice-pack, cooler, and medical life-flight service.

Anyway, the longer I went without writing, the more I dreaded catching up and making excuses for my absence. How silly is that? It’s MY BLOG isn’t it? Why should I feel obligated to write or even compelled to say anything in particular? So today, I declare myself free from the need to be interesting. Or funny. Or meaningful in any way. Some days I hope the muse inspires me to craft lovely little nuggets. Other days, be forewarned, I may post doggy turds.

Please forgive me if some days I have lots of time to write and on other days, I have the length of Elmo’s World to mention a random thought that just occurred to me.

Today, for example, I’m wondering why our mailman, who drives 5 miles an hour on the wrong side of the street and has to park at a new mailbox every 50 feet, fastidiously buckles and unbuckles his seatbelt with every stop. This strikes me as rather odd.

That’s it. Nothing more or less blogworthy than that.

I’m now going to sit on my hands and post this thing with my nose to avoid trying to make something more fragrant out of this particular turd.

24 comments:

Heffalump said...

I get worried that people will stop checking my blog, but so far my three friends are still loyal. To be honest, I enjoy reading everyday posts from people. Of course I love reading posts that flow like poetry, but if that is all I am reading, I start to feel like my blog must really suck because I don't write that way. There are times that I have felt...intimidated by this particular blog because there are a lot of really beautiful posts in it, and I can't compare. Luckily we aren't meant to compare our blogs. Blogs are unique and lovely, and they are a great tool. I think you should write what and how you enjoy writing, and not pressure yourself. I will work on not pressuring myself too much as well.

Kim from Hiraeth said...

I subscribed to you some time ago because you were highly recommended. Can't remember who, might've been scribbit.

I just waited you out. You can do that with bloglines, you know. . .

I'm glad I did. Your post resonated with me. I've been in one big long blogging slump for some big long time. I've felt frustrated, embarrassed, pressured, ignored (and rightly so!) and generally not sure what to do to "get over it."

Still not sure, but your post gave me hope that my blog will again someday be more than just pictures of my garden and quotes and memes.

TARA said...

Good for you, Jules! Your blog should be just as much fun for you as it for us! That being said, I'm glad you're back...I was starting to wonder if I should call to see if you're okay.

Seriously, buckles and unbuckles every single time?!? That's hilarious!

Klutzmom said...

One reason you get hits even when you don't post is because your blog is so fun to read and because your Mother(even when she could just pick up the phone and call) checks your blog every day. Your writing reveals another facet of your personality which I love. I'm glad you found you can just write and not worry about perfection. I dare you to post one without a spell check or a proofread. No way!!!
Just write when the muse strikes and have fun.

Readers:
If Julie doesn't post you can always read about the day she was born on my attempt at a blog. That way maybe someone besides my family and my two faithful readers will check it out. Now why didn't I think of that before?

Heth said...

YAY! It's great to hear from you! I'm like Kim, I've totally been waiting you out in bloglines. I knew you would be back.

Freddie Sirmans said...

Just browsing the net, very interesting.

An Ordinary Mom said...

Golden nuggets or doggy turds ... I will always be a faithful and loyal reader. However, blog beauty is in the eye of the reader and I don't think you could possibly post anything that wasn't "lovely" to read.

Thanks for this post, I know it helped me. I have been fighting some of the same self-imposed pressures about how often and what to post. I suppose people can just take it or leave it :)!!

Andrea said...

Glad your back. it's just fun to read about anything by anyone. a sort of commercial from my own everyday life.

Kimberly said...

Sitemeters are deceptive, because they don't reflect people like me who've subscribed and therefore don't have to click over everyday. I love Bloglines!

I've very familiar with the phenomenon you've described here. I have an e-mail from an old friend that I received...oh, about a month or so ago. The longer I put off responding, the longer I'm going to put off responding, because I feel like I'll have to go for ages describing why I'm such a dork and haven't written sooner.

I'm trying to learn that there's nothing wrong with a quick note. Short e-mails and blog posts go against my very nature, but they're oddly satisfying. =P

Love you lots! Yours is a blog I read for the person rather than the writing.

Em said...

It all gets a bit much doesn't it? I've become a "part time blogger". I highly recommend it - it is liberating!

Luisa Perkins said...

I'll take you whenever I can get you!

I understand about the pressure; sometimes my novels feel that way. Which is dumb, to my self-critical mind, but apparently not too uncommon.

I'm going to be watching our mail carrier this morning....

Duchess said...

hey, don’t worry about your blog, that’s not why we do this. Don’t we all have enough to worry about? Variety is what makes reading and writing blogs interesting, entertaining, and informative. Remember, poop can be as valuable as gold when it is used as fertilizer. We all need a little poop to help the garden grow.

Jenni said...

Well, I know just how you feel-- minus the many visitors. The reason so many more folks visit your blog and don't quit checking when you haven't posted in a while is evident in this post. This is the best "I have nothing to write today" post I've read, and there are posts with that theme on just about every blog I've seen. It was every bit as interesting and well-written as your other posts--minus the art.

Kelly said...

I've had the exact same thoughts sloshing around in my head over the last few days. When I realized I dreaded turning on my computer this morning because I'm so far behind in my blog posting and reading and commenting, I realized something is dreadfully wrong with this picture.

Blogging should not be a chore. Here's to hoping you can find enough room to breathe that it won't be a burden for you. Surely there are many of us out here who enjoy your writing. But don't let us enslave you. Live as one freed.

And I hope you get your brain back soon. Loved that line.

allysha said...

It is your blog, so do as you like! I will keep checking in. Also, when I get to Utah, we need to have lunch in person and that will be a fun thing to arise from this blogging craze.

Radioactive Jam said...

I'm forwarding this post to your mailman.

Jennifer B. said...

I love your blog! I feel the same pressures and most of my recent posts are my excuses for why I'm not blogging more regularly. I'm actually a better mom and healthier person if I don't blog everyday. It has been a bit too addictive at times. I'm with em--part-time blogging is great!

eve said...

I think all of us that blog feel the same things. And we also understand that we all really do have other lives outside the one on our keyboard. We love you whenever you post. Don't WORRY about it!

elasticwaistbandlady said...

I got a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt. In the middle of a neighborhood. Driving 5 miles per hour. Throwing newspapers. In the middle of the night. This was all done thanks to the new Texas campaign of 'Click It Or Ticket.' Catchy, huh? I want to call it 'Write It And BITE IT,' because they don't take extinuating factors into account. I bet your mailman has fallen prey and doesn't take chances anymore.

I don't feel pressured to write so much as I feel pressured to comment. Nowadays I just have too many blogs to read so I alternate and have my own little bloggy caste system. All comments to my blog will get a reciprocal comment back, but it just takes me longer to do it these days.

compulsive writer said...

I understand. Hence I have a category called "stupid posts" on my blog. I probably ought to worry that it's the one with the most posts.

We probably all deal with the need to post and the need to comment, but I finally just decided sitemeters be damned. If I have something to say I'm going to say it. And if I don't...

Scribbit said...

Hey write when you can. I'll stop in for sure.

Jenni said...

Oh you are so funny, and might I say what a relief it is to know I'm not the only one who feels that way about her blog, even if I do have only 5 readers.

The Daring One said...

You're about due for a taste of blogger's block. I find that the more I don't write, the more I dread it. It's true what you say about gaining an audience. It builds pressure and in a lot of ways I feel like the bigger my audience gets, the harder time I have feeling satisfied with my posts. It comes and goes and there are times when the fun and freedom comes back. Just wait it out.

Jenna said...

Could I just copy and paste this entry onto my blog? This is EXACTLY what I've been experiencing. So much pressure sometimes! Fortunately, we're patient and understanding of each other, and I love to see a new entry by you!