Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Second star to the right, and straight on 'til morning

In recent months, a certain feeling of ennui has crept into my brain, and it's set up camp on the blog. It's hard not to notice it: my posting has been more infrequent, my commentary less interesting, and my traffic has accordingly been, well, just less. I'm finding myself with fewer and fewer things to say.

Some might say that this is inevitable after more than four years of blogging, and maybe it is. This is probably the reason so many bloggers eventually end up leaving Blogistan entirely -- but I don't know. I've seen lots of bloggers quit blogging, but I've also seen plenty who closed one blog and then returned some time later with a different one. So what happened?

The problem for me, I've realized, is that I'm doing too much sitting at the computer and robotically clicking links, and too little actual engaging with, you know, the stuff that used to fuel my work here. Not enough reading books, not enough listening to music, not enough walking in the park, not enough writing.

So what does this mean for Byzantium's Shores? Well, being perfectly honest, I have considered closing the blog down. I wouldn't do a "Thanks folks, but that's it and I'm done" post, but I'd have announced a date for closure -- a timetable for pulling my troops out of Blogistan, you might say -- and tried to end up with a group of posts summing things up and closing it out. I even picked out a poem that would have served as my final post. (For a lark, ten points to the reader who correctly guesses which poem I was going to use.)

But the problem there is that I know myself, and I know that I can't shut up. And I love having this outlet for things to say; it's why I launched the blog in the first place. So if I'm not closing the blog, what am I doing?

I'm going to listen to more music. I'm going to read more books. I'm going to go for walks. I'm going to write more. Not here, necessarily -- I'm going to write at my other desk, the actual writing desk, on paper, using my fountain pens. I'm going to start reading blogs through my long-underused BlogLines account, and I'm going to start using a timer to limit the amount of time I spend sitting in front of the machine and clicking my way around the Interweb.

So yeah, I'll be posting less frequently in the future. New material might appear here only two or three times a week, as opposed to four or five. But hopefully that material will be better. It won't be "all long essays, all the time"; I'm sure that I'll still get in the playful mood to just link stuff with short comment every so often. The regular features here, Sentential Links and the Sunday Burst of Weirdness, will stick around. (Yeah, the Image of the Week is pretty much dead, mainly because I just kept forgetting to do it.) I will still designate certain beautiful women for ROWR! status once or twice a month; I will still occasionally wax poetic about Star Wars and cyber-stalk George Lucas; come fall I will still take time every Monday to vent my frustrations about the Bills' offensive line and lambaste the Stupid Patriots; I'll still trawl YouTube for funky videos and make vague references to questionable non-desert uses for whipped cream. In short, I'll still be offering the occasional meditations that one would expect from an overgrown hippie who is just discovering the joys of hand tools and who thinks life would be perfect if he could wear overalls all the time.

So anyway, that's the plan.


Erinna said...

I've been having similar thoughts...and the recent erin-go-blog disaster has sort of reinforced this idea. I'm not quitting, but probably changing. Putting more energy into "real" writing. I feel like I've been hiding behind my blog to a certain extent. Anyway, good luck!

Anonymous said...

I had a blog while living in the UK called "The Unsuspecting Tourist". It was pretty popular and I thought this blog thing was going to be easy but when I came back here, I realized that the reason it was popular was I had something to talk about (and American living in the UK and talking about all of the differences... suprisingly that can go a long way). Anyway, I'm on something like my 4th installment here because I haven't found my niche. Although I'm certainly not as eloquent as you, I can relate a bit to what you're going through. I'm still trying to figure out what I can offer to this blogoshpere and hopefully I'll find it before I decide to call it quits...The blogging community in Buffalo continues to grow and is fantastic.
It looks like you may have found a happy medium between not having anything to say and doing the other things that you enjoy so much. Good luck with it!

All Things Jennifer said...

The blog thing is weird. I wanted more of an audience when I shifted over to WNYMEDIA and I somehow lost over 100 hits a day. Which I know SHOULDN'T depress me, but in a way, it does, ya know?

Blogging has created a way for me to reach people everyday and make sure that I connect. I treat it as my own little column and fear that without it I would be even more I guess for me it is the opposite, without the blog I write less and read less.

I wish you luck!

Thomas said...

As I was telling Erin the other day while (unsuccessfully) attempting to help her restore her deleted blog, when I deleted my blog, I felt a great disturbance in the force, er, well, I felt a personal loss. I was in a funk for a month, and no one could understand why. As my wife put it then "What does it matter, if no one reads your blog?" It matters because I put myself into it.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I think, "I can't keep doing this forever. Everyone quits sooner or later." Once in a while, for a day or two, I don't feel very inclined to surf the Web looking for things to link to and I think, "Maybe soon," but so far I always get over it. Sometimes I don't like the kind of blogging I do. I want to write more essays like I had planned to when I first started. But most days I can't think of anything and when I do either it doesn't look right when I get it written down or I never do get it written. It just stays in my head. I've got stuff like that that's been in my head for months. I don't know why I don't ever just go ahead and write them. I'm a linker not a thinker and sometimes I feel trapped into being just a linker but other times I think it isn't so bad to be just a linker. I'm providing a service instead of just venting or ranting. Mostly, I guess I just keep on doing what I'm doing because it's a habit.

Anonymous said...

Kelly, in what may be the most obvious blog-advice ever given, you have to run the blog, and not vice-a-versa.

If the blog is taking away from who you feel you are, well, by all means reconnect with your bad self.

And my guess on the closing poem: the classic "There once was a man from Nantucket"?

Simon said...

Methinks your poetical selection may have something to do with Peter Pan. But that's just a guess.

mad photog said...

This is close to what the faculty in film school tells students. "Quit watching movies! Go out and experience life! Your stories will be better for it." Probably that can go for any activity. Good luck.
Oh, and I think the poem will be about a GIRL from Nantucket...

Aaron said...

Annabel Lee.