You know how, if you don’t visit or call someone regularly, sometimes the longer you haven’t connected the harder it is to will yourself into connecting again? It’s been that way with this blog. I haven’t posted in a while, and the longer it goes, the harder it is to return. I’m not strapped for the ideas or the desire or even the time; it’s something else that makes sitting down to write a lesser option.
Maybe I just have a huge inertia quotient, but I do find I get “stuck” in doing—or not doing—a thing. It can be hard for me to will a transition; it seems better somehow, or maybe just easier, to keep doing whatever I’m doing. Or not doing. If I get really into something, be it reading a book or doing some work task, stopping to eat or sleep seems so inconvenient, so inefficient.
Fortunately, one can eat and drink while reading or working. I haven’t managed to do those things while sleeping though.
In any event, it’s been quite a while since my last post—almost half a year. A lot of life turmoil kind of got me off blogging, and the longer I was off, the harder it got to return to it. As I mentioned before, after that last bit of dead air, it’s like the old hammer joke.
“Why are you hitting yourself on the head with a hammer?”
“Because it feels so good when I stop!”
It felt good to stop blogging. At the same time, it felt bad.
One thing I know interferes is wanting each article to turn out perfectly. Yet it seems that every time I go back and re-read what I’ve posted I find typos and grammos and other noise in the signal. The OCD in me has a hard time with that! It’s discouraging. It calls to mind a True Rule about computer programming:
The number of proof reads required is always N+1, where N is the actual number performed. This rule holds regardless of the value of N.
I suppose it applies to writing in general. The bugs always find a way to avoid detection. It may be that Heisenberg or Gödel is involved. It wouldn’t surprise me, especially if the universe really is a mathematical illusion.
Another source of interference is that, as I mentioned last time, I find I must re-think my topics and material. A lot of what I used to write about, the technical stuff, is covered elsewhere far better. My thought now is to go the more traditional blogging route of treating this essentially as a public diary. (The word, “blog,” does come from “web log” after all.) The counter-balance is that I’m kind of a private person (on some levels, anyway), so I need to find a voice and tone that suits me.
Work has been an energy and morale sink in the last year or two, and that has drained my will to write. I plan to retire in about a year, and I suspect my presence on the web, both in my own blogs and on others, will increase greatly. In the meantime, I’m going to try to write as casually as possible just to keep writing. The result may not be very enjoyable, but it’s not like I have a vast readership to disappoint! (As far as I can tell, I have no readers at all!)
One last rant: I find that in some ways I’m tired. I’m tired of my own opinions, and that I have grown weary of other people’s opinions. I’ve developed a keen appreciation in the last few years for the old adage about opinions and assholes (we all have them, they all stink, and while you might think yours doesn’t small quite so bad, it does—you are just used to your own stench). I’ve been online a long time—since the mid 80s—and I find in some ways I have just kind of talked myself out.
And yet, in those moments away from the keyboard I often find myself writing articles in my head. And it can be very hard to read some comment threads without chiming in. (But many decades of experience have taught me the futility of helpfully instructing others on the errors in their thinking or the falseness of their beliefs. Really kind of a pity, as I could have helped so many people. )
So, bottom line, you’re stuck with me, and I—apparently—am stuck with y’all!