I’m Back! (I Think)

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!

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

8 responses to “I’m Back! (I Think)

  • Lady from Manila

    Six months. That was a looong time ((sigh)). If you decided to suddenly take a break that long once again, I’d definitely have a problem on what blog to go to. Frankly, this is the best one I’ve ever seen and you are, hands down, a blogger of the greatest magnitude :-).

    By all means, you can turn this as your simple public diary (just like what most bloggers do – including me). I’m sure your readers won’t be going anywhere. You don’t need to continue your generosity in educating your readers in case it gets tiresome once more.

    I hope you’ll bear with my presence (or stench? :-)) here a little longer. For what it’s worth, yours is my kind of blog – the one I wouldn’t mind getting stuck with. Happily.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Yeah, that was a long break. Combination of work stress and life stress. I’d changed positions at work. I was looking for a change after seven years, so I was looking to move on. I’d interviewed with someone and was headed for his group when another manager intercepted and made a play to get me in his group. I ended up taking the second manager’s offer, but once I was over there he seemed to not have planned for me well. I didn’t have much to do, and the work I was doing was way beneath me. And then I had some interaction with the ex-wife that caused some distress.

      I doubt this will ever be just a diary. I’m not that interested in writing one (or reading them). Not in the “what I did today” sense, anyway. Telling interesting or exciting stories from my past is a different matter. That is a point of this blog: to leave behind something of who I am.

      And of course, you’re quite welcome to hang around here as long as you like. There’s plenty of seating!

  • Lady from Manila

    I’m actually still following the bloggers who have impressed me with their writing prowess for more than a year now. I am a devoted reader and follower of very few blogs – which I can count using only my single hand (I can’t manage more than that). Some have already closed down their sites for one reason or another. It baffles me that your blog doesn’t have hundreds of followers (yet), but, of course, we all know the ones that are most popular promote their blogs in many different ways – something you may not be willing to do. I’m not fond of blogs that have thousands of followers or posts that can gather more than a hundred Likes anyway. They’re mostly pedestrian. I really do prefer undiscovered, good ones. he he..

    If I may touch a bit on your last comment in my blog, I believe single women bloggers are always at an unfavorable position when it comes to relating with men in whatever manner online. You have clearly seen how a male blogger who writes well – with a nice gravatar photo – can command a huge following (although private self-promotion has a lot to do with it) regardless of his marital status. The ratio of female bloggers as compared to male bloggers could be 100:1 (I guess). The availability of so many women makes it a never-ending win-win for men and an all-time lose-lose for women :-). You’re the smartest blogger I’ve ever encountered. You must surely be aware of that.

    I may go offline again for a few days. It’s currently peak season at work here. I’m just stealing time right now at school (he he). I’ll be back very soon. Take good care, Wyrd.

    Thank you for all your well-written replies to my comments. I appreciate them very much. Although it’s morning here, I’m greeting you “Goodnight!” 🙂

    • Wyrd Smythe

      I’m aware that there are more female bloggers in the social sphere, but in the science or techie spheres, women can be very scarce. In the latter, the guys tend to flock after any women who do show up. In fact, there are technical women who don’t reveal their sex online to avoid the inevitable slobbering crowd. I lean towards the science and technical areas, so being a relatively rare male is unusual for me.

      There’s a part of me that wonders why I don’t have more interested readers, but there’s a bigger part that believes I’m too … something for mainstream tastes. I’m not exactly sure what that something is, but it sure seems to put people off. I’m told I’m “intimidating.” [shrug] Maybe I’m just to esoteric.

      • Lady from Manila

        That you are not meant for mainstream taste could be a reason. You are not just “any” blogger, you know. As for being “intimidating,” hmm… 🙂 My original intention before I was able to gather the nerve to introduce myself to you here was to follow your blog and indulge myself in reading your many posts to my heart’s content – surreptitiously :-). I thought you were too sophisticated a blogger to respond to someone like me. But I was mistaken. You have been hospitable and responsive from day one. So I remain a contented follower and hopefully, a blogger pal of yours.

        I consider myself esoteric (in a quirky manner) as well. Can I somehow join the club? 😉

      • Wyrd Smythe

        You’re definitely a pal and clearly a member of Esoterics R Us. 😀

        A lot of blog comments are along the lines of “Nice post!” or “I like this blog!” I don’t feel much need to respond to those, except to say, “Thanks!” (And should this ever become a busy blog (the though makes me shudder a little), I might have to consolidate all the thanks into a single reply comment (as I’ve seen others do).

        But anyone who takes the time to actually say something or ask a question always gets my full attention.

        (To be honest, I kind of don’t care for the simple “Nice post” and “Love this blog” comments. Why was the post nice? Why do you love this blog? Speak up. Say something. Ask a question.)

      • Lady from Manila

        Replying to comments is a breeze for you. It has never been an easy task for me in my own blog. I ain’t sure why.

        Esoterics R Us. I like it. Ok, I’m now making my grand entrance. But let there be some big drum rolls first. 😀

      • Wyrd Smythe

        I’ve had a lot of practice. I’ve been online since 1985 or so. Back in the day, it was essentially all comments… a bit like a chat room, but divided into topics and post threads. Someone would start a topic, and everyone else hanging out there would comment. (This was not in real time, but somewhat similar to emails.) Debates (and raging arguments) were the norm. It was a blast!

        This modern web-based system is a pale, pale imitation that doesn’t really lend itself to long discussions between two people let alone several dozens. [shrug] But we didn’t have pictures back then, either! 🙂

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