If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Sunday, March 1, 2009

No Worries...

...I'm not about to stop blogging just yet. I didn't really mean to give that impression as much as explore what blogging does and doesn't do and what it is still doing for me personally and for others who choose to continue in spite of FaceBook and Twitter. I guess seeing so many sign off or fade away made me realize that I may do the same some day. But I'm not about to do it yet.

But thank you for the lovely comments. They made me think about several additional issues. One is the issue of Unbloggability--issues that occur in our lives that we cannot blog about due to personal and/or professional obligations, yet they often take up a lot of our mental space. The Unbloggable makes the distinction between a blog and a journal perfectly clear. But what do we do on our blogs while in the midst of the Unbloggable? It often seems false and/or unsatisfying to write posts on other topics, especially since they often end up being fluff. So perhaps we just blog less.

Are we going through a time when many of us have the Unbloggables? Is it a cohort effect? Is it tied to the economy and changing national mood? Do we need a space where we can blog our Unbloggables anonymously? Ms. Prufrock tried setting that up for us at Swallow The Key, but that site has been quiet since November.

Then there is the issue of identity, which I think is Profgrrrrl is referring to in her comment and she has mentioned previously on her blog. If we start out as an academic blog and circumstances in our lives change so that our daily concerns and thoughts are on non-academic issues, do we go with it? Will we lose/disappoint our original readers? Do we have an obligation to them? Do we want to see ourselves as something other than an academic (or literary or what-have-you) blog? I felt this way when going through some of the worst of Angel's leaving. Some of it seemed unbloggable because I became aware just how easy it was for people IRL to find my blog and there were aspects I didn't want to share with some people. I also felt too much would alter my identity as an academic blogger to an empty nest blogger (a category I don't even think exists--yet) and I wasn't sure that was something I wanted.

However if I look past my own identity concerns and think about bloggers I have been following for a while, whether they were academic bloggers, literary bloggers, or feminist mother bloggers to start, who have changed the tone and content of their blog due to changes in their lives, I realize I not only don't stop reading or get disappointed, but often enjoy them more. I think what turns me off a blog is inauthenticity. Following life's twists and turns and how people reconcile their roles and identities is fascinating to me. So perhaps we all need to be kinder to ourselves and give ourselves the same leeway we give our friends.

FYI...I played around with Twitter last night, figuring I should give it a try before stating it doesn't work for me. So far its not doing too much but I'll give it a week or so before I make an official ruling.


life_of_a_fool said...

I'm with you on the identity issue. I may start reading because it's an "academic" blog, but then I keep reading because I like what I see of the person. If profgrrrl starts focusing more on her role as a mother, I'm interested, because I've long since become interested in who I see as profgrrrl, the person, and motherhood is a big (and new) part of that now. Same with you and Angel. (of course that doesn't address the issue of pseudonymity and unbloggability). I've also never worried too much about what readers may want to read, but then that may be easier for me since I have such a small little blog with a small group of readers, and I can understand the concern of not wanting to be seen as a certain "type" of blogger. . .

Seeking Solace said...

I started a post about this very issue before my trip. I was thinking about all the folks who have left blogging or are blogging less because of Facebook.

Julie said...

I'm glad you're still blogging. Regardless of the topic, I always learn something. It doesn't matter if it's academic or family oriented, I always leave with many thoughts to ponder. That is good writing. And I enjoy the variety you offer.

I do understand what you mean about identity and "unbloggable" things in our lives.

But I'm truly glad you're here.