First off, this is not the kind of post that complains about a faculty member who doesn’t get back with feedback soon enough. I don’t work with faculty who are like that for one, and the other is that there are better places to air such grievances besides a blog that no one reads. More constructive places, certainly.
No, this is actually about the difficulty of continuing to write a blog when no one reads it; indeed, especially when it’s a blog that supposedly made peace with the fact that it was purely a journal-made public in a world filled with journals-made-public. I quite clearly remember when setting this whole thing up that I told myself that no one would ever see this blog, and that wasn’t a problem. I stand by that in some senses, too; it’s not that I’m upset that I don’t get a lot of hits. This is something else, and I wanted to take a minute to kind of work that out in my head by writing it down in the most appropriate spot imaginable.
See, I don’t really care that no one reads this stuff because the real issue here is that I write it. I started this up so I could get the wheels turning on my dissertation. I’ve even had some success at that, although I need to write a lot faster if I’m going to get through the rest of my chapters by the time I’m supposed to. The act of writing itself was important enough, and the fact that it was going to be published to the world made it at least a little easier for me to justify keeping it up for the first two months or so.
So…yeah…I guess it sort of worked according to plan.
The issue I want to kind of wrestle with right now, however, is the fact that a blog that doesn’t have much traffic also doesn’t have much reason to post, which ends up being problematic if the action of writing is what is actually supposed to be the important thing in the first place. If I’m writing for me, if I’m writing for the practice of writing and trying to get the ideas in my head out into a format that I can share with others, then I should be continuing to write here every day, even if it’s just briefly.
I’ve pretty much failed at that over the past weeks. It’s not quite been a month since I posted last, and, to be utterly honest, it’s not like that’s the longest I’ve been between posts on a blog project, but this time was supposed to be different because the purpose was so personal. I was supposed to keep it up so I could go back through after the diss was done and realize that I’ve had a long, nasty road to get there, and that I should be proud of the way I’ve grown as a human being and scholar. Instead, I’ve used that time in other ways. One of the most important was to work on the diss, to be fair, and that’s good. I need to accept that, even if I’ve not written much, I’ve written, and that’s not nothing. I’ve also seen a bunch of movies and played video games and cooked and cleaned and done laundry and…and…and… My biggest waste of time has got to be watching the news and getting angry at what’s going on, both domestically and abroad. I’ve been consuming media again, in other words, after a long time of not really feeling like I have the right to do that. That’s both good and bad; good for my personal mental health and bad for getting things done. but I’m not so much unhappy about that part, either.
No, what I’m not happy about is that I all but forgot about this blog for weeks at a time. Remember, this is supposed to be theraputic for me. I should be writing for the sake of wanting to write. I just didn’t. I’m afraid of that, just like I’m afraid that I might have forgotten how to write. Pages just used to fly out of my fingers. Now I have to rip them out or they’ll never come. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has experienced this, but I don’t want to hit Google up for advice because that just seems like a totally unnecessary trip down self-loathing lane.
The question becomes, can I consciously choose to love to write? That’s right up there with “can I choose whom I love?” I have no idea. I just know that I used to be in love with writing, but we seem to be worlds apart right now. I’m hoping that my efforts can bring us closer together again because I value writing and I always want it to be a part of not just my life, but who I am. I don’t want to lose it. I just have to put in the work to make it happen again, and for someone who didn’t have to put the work in, that can be a hard transition to make.