Friday, January 15, 2010

I’ve opened Live Writer. Now what?

This is new for me.  Since I started this blog almost four years ago I’ve had a constant stream of ideas running around my head and I could hardly wait to free them onto my blog. 

But now?  Now the ideas are more like a power surge that come to me like a bolt of lightning and then just as quickly disappear.  Or, because I suffer from a bad case of Social Media Confusion – I might post a quick Facebook status update instead of writing a well thought-out blog post.  (Twitter? Meh, redundant.)  And with my job occupying my energy during most hours of most days, 12 seconds for a Facebook update is much easier to commit to than 30 minutes for a decent blog post.

Take the post that’s been ruminating since last weekend when I saw this at the checkout stand at Target:


Normally I would have mentally down jotted a few notes about the memories this product evoked in me when I saw it.  As I absentmindedly paid for my socks and shampoo, I would have mentally ruffled through the old photos I keep on the little red Western Digital external drive, the old photos of Mom that caused such strong memories when I saw that silly Bumpits product.  Photos like this one…


…and this one…


I would have dusted off and tossed around old memories, as I drove home paying far too little attention to the road, of Mom at her vanity, pulling up a handful of hair at the crown of her head and then “teasing” it until it was a ratty mess, and then gently smoothing out the top layer over the mess, and declaring herself “put together.” 

I would have written about how odd this seemed to me when I was ten, and yet how I wanted to rat and tease my own hair to look just like Mom’s.  That would have launched me into a full description of Mom “putting on her face” as she sat in the backless chair at the antique vanity that had drawers on both sides for her extensive make-up collection and a lowered surface in front of the attached mirror, where she carefully arranged the particular make-up pieces she’d chosen to use that morning.

I would have written about myself at ten, in my fake Sperry Topsider tennis shoes (which might have led to a few sentences about my embarrassment of never having the “right” shoes and clothes because my German parents just didn’t get it), watching Mom’s mouth open slightly as she applied her mascara, or her eye closing halfway as she oh-so-carefully, and with expert precision, painted on her eyeliner.

But these days I no longer open Live Writer and pour my thoughts and memories onto my blog.  I want to… but for some reason that I can’t quite explain, I just haven’t.  Maybe I need a blog break.  Or maybe I need to not feel such pressure (from where? from whom? I have no idea!) to write about things that matter – and to write well.

I used to just write.  I didn’t care how well I wrote and I didn’t care who was reading and I didn’t care if I’d chosen an interesting topic.  I just wrote.  And I felt completely connected, completely transparent, and completely fulfilled with blogging.

There are things going on in my life now that I’ll write about someday, but that I simply can’t share publicly yet – and it feels dishonest and secretive for me to NOT write about my life as openly as I’d done for more than three years.  I have a very faithful following and I’ve always been so completely open on my blog that I feel like I’m betraying my best friends to censure myself a bit -- and that makes this not feel like my blog anymore. 

I’ll be back, I promise.  I love blogging too much not to be back full-force.  And I do believe that I continue to have plenty to say about family life and the process of empty nesting, about Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, about my career and my quest to get back to work that matters, and about my life in general, however mundane it is.  I hope my faithful readers will stick around… or will at least friend me on Facebook (refer to my blog when you do) where I do keep up because THAT’S easy!

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Susanne said...

I hope you won't be gone for too long. I would miss your blogging terribly, but I do understand if you need a break.

Margaret said...

Hope you're OK and will be back soon. Until then, see you on FB,which is indeed more superficial and easy. (not as big a fan of it as blogging, although others feel the opposite) Take care!

nea said...
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Tonya said...

If there was anything I could possibly do to talk you out of it, I would! I do understand your need, though. I agree with Margaret that Facebook is more superficial, but I do get a kick out of it(usually). And I still LOVE Twitter (I tend to be a lot more political and mouthy there...) I don't blog as often as I used to, but I do consider it an extension of myself. When I DO have something I want to say, I'm really glad it's there. I hope that taking a break will re-energize you! :o) Come back soon!

AstroYoga said...

It is interesting how blogging can build an artificial reality that exists only in our minds. Anyone can write about an imaginary life. People who comment on a blog develop an artificial sense of intimacy with a stranger who posts details of their lives. Then, the writer gets a connection to the judgment of these strangers. Facebook is just a exponential extension of this (it's like being in a room of people, some completel strangers, just yelling things).

When I started blogging, I started so friends and family can see what we are up to. Once in a while, I post something about my political or personal stuff, but mostly I just try to tell the people I love what is happening.

I have met a few virtual 'friends' from comments, and one even turned into a real friend because we let in real life and live in the same town.

All that being said, it sounds like you have a full life in the real world, and the fact that you don't have the energy to put into the artificial reality of a blog is probably a really good sign. The fact the you feel pressure to do more probably just reflection your dedicated approach to the projects in your life.

Anonymous said...

Do what you have to do, Carol. I have your blog on my list and will continue to check for it. Be well.

Barb said...

I too, hope you won't be gone for too long, because I have really enjoyed all of your postings. I found you through the broken ankle blog (no longer around). It really helped me through the tough broken ankle times. I felt a kinship with you not only because of the broken ankle, but also we seem to have a lot of other things in common. (IT work, political views, etc). I will look for you on facebook and wait for your return.

Barbara (ms3cats)

Goofball said...

I'll see you here when you're back!

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