Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Drawn Like Moths We Drift Into The Blogosphere

Yesterday I was musing about my struggle to find a write/blog balance. In other words, trying to establish a proper mix of writing for my blog and writing for my writing. Although I talked about how blogging has helped my own writing, I think I failed to recognize an important thing, and perhaps it’s one of the reasons why blogging has become such a phenomenon.

You see, perhaps bloggers have discovered the wonderfully therapeutic joy of writing. Perhaps THAT is what makes blogging so addictive (more addictive than crack, my bloggy buddy Lime says)

Lately, I’ve seen many bloggy buddies either retire from blogging or scale back significantly in order to either achieve a blog/life balance, or perhaps to cut out that addictive behaviour entirely. Robin (creator of the MeMe Monday meme) recently rediscovered the joy and wonder of her family life and has significantly scaled back her blogging. She’s delighted and happy. Lance gave up blogging for lent -- and has reconnected with the non-virtual world in great new ways. His writing has returned to a more personal nature, with less thought of the “audience.” And the talented graphic artist known online as Bsoholic, the one who participated in my Darth Tater Spud Wars HNT series, responsible for cloning the little spud, recently retired from blogging altogether.

I’m sure that other bloggers feel that same struggle, unable to resist the pull. “Drawn like moths we drift into the blogosphere” (anyone recognize the reference to a Rush song in there?)

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve met plenty of great friends through blogging, reconnected with old friends and stayed in touch with people who live really close but whom I rarely get to hang out with. My participation in Half-Nekkid Thursday (HNT) has helped expand the giant network of friends around the world -- what a fun and wonderful group of people.

But I still struggle with it all. I’ve added links to the blogs that I like to visit regularly, but I’m finding it more and more difficult to visit them all on a regular basis. And for example, every Thursday I feel compelled not just to post an HNT photo, but to make the rounds and visit a group of HNTers, usually the same cast of characters whose blogs I enjoy. When I first started I tried to visit every single person on the HNT list but realized it was an almost impossible task (particularly if I wanted to do anything else that day, like, I don't know, work, or sleep or talk to people). I mean, was I merely visiting everyone and commenting on their site just so they’d visit me? Or was I visiting them because I enjoyed what they were up to on their blogs? Sure, I’m missing lots of fun by not visiting more people each Thursday, but I certainly enjoy re-visiting the regular crowd and doing a little catch-up to see what they’ve been up to. And that’s okay.

I’ve tried to curb my old comment-whore ways and become what some bloggers seem to dislike -- a lurker. I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. I still check out lots of fun blogs online, still enjoy reading them, I just don’t comment on every single visit. Except perhaps on Thursdays, where I think it’s just good manners to wish other HNTers a Happy Half-Nekkid Thursday when I visit them, I try to limit my comments to when I actually feel like I have something worthwhile to add, and not just comment for the sake of commenting. Yes, I know, having lots of comments is nice, and I love getting lots of comments; but isn’t it nicer when the comments are actually thoughtful and intelligent and not just the equivalent of manually entered spam?

So now here I sit on the GO train, typing up my blog and trying to wrap up these thoughts so I can get on to that other writing I do. I’ve tried to think of a quick and nice “5 ways to find a blog/life balance” list -- but I can’t. Because I don’t think it’s that easy. And I think it’s a personal decision that each person makes.

For me, the blog/life balance is not all that much different than the writing/life balance I’ve been struggling with for as long as I can remember (sometimes I’m out living life, immersed into it and loving it; other times, I’ve stuffed myself into the corner madly typing and dreaming and working on writing projects) As I said yesterday, for me, the struggle isn’t so much a life/blog balance so much as it’s a write/blog balance.

But, shy of actually offering advice, here’s something to ask yourself: Is blogging taking you away from something or someone that is important to you? That’s all. I’m not going to suggest what you should do or how you should respond. There is no right answer. Besides, who am I to dole out that type of advice? There’s just that question. Ask it. And listen to your answer.


Abandoned in Pasadena said...

It's almost impossible to visit all blogfriends on a daily basis. It takes me several days to cover them all, and I also don't always leave a comment.
I sometimes read several posts at one sitting and leave only one comment for all the posts.

I have informed personal blog friends that I will not be posting as often now that the weather is warming as I will be outdoors, either working in the yard or bike riding, or just generally enjoying the outdoors.

I have given up watching TV to blog and find it more enjoyable actually making blogfriends instead of watching mindless TV shows.
Blogging was addicting at first, but I have achieved the right balance with a time schedule. I blog while my husband is showering and getting ready in the morning and I blog again at night. Of course if it's raining...I blog more.

Kimberly said...

my extra long comment will be posted on my blog for those who feel like heading over to read it!!!

yep, it's me.... said...


i scrolled down and started to read the chain letter

then saw
the dang picture

and now i have turned on every light in the house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i can't sleep and i have to get up in four hours

i hope you are happy MARK LESLIE!
--- --- --- ---
I am sure there was more to read -- --- --- but i got freaked and screeched and have that shivery feeling up my spine ... ... ...

and the icky feeling on my back
and have to keep turning around

good grief

what was that?


Lara said...

I had to cut back on my posting, as well as my commenting... I try to read about a half dozen blogs a day, and I try to comment some of them. But I find it impossible to find anything worth writing that often, and I don't enjoy reading them when I'm simply doing it because I owe them a comment.

My photo blog is easy.. I have a huge collection of pics to choose from and I just select one and ramble a few random thoughts and I'm done. But my drivel blog is more difficult... good drivel takes effort! So I try to think as I experience each day and come up with something that I can ramble about that's worth reading (maybe). And then I try to find the time to actually do it. My goal is to post at least twice a week on that blog... one long piece of drivel, and one HNT shot.

Everyone needs to find their balance... and the balance is different for everyone. I admire those who manage to post interesting stuff daily. I just am not one of them.

And I appreciate your comments whenever you leave them. You obviously put a bit of thought into them... something many don't. They give me a smile every time. :)

Mark Leslie said...

Abandoned - glad to hear you've established a fine blog/life balance - and, like you, I've given up some TV in favour of reading and posting blogs. Not a bad trade-off

Kimberly _ I'll be going to check out your comment. Looking forward to reading it

V - LOL! I didn't create spooky eyed girl, was just forced to share her so she'd stop haunting me. Sorry about that. :)

Lara - For what it's worth your drivel is good, thought-provoking and entertaining. I don't mind waiting for quality posts like that. (I'm also a fan, of course, of your fine HNT posts, too - but you already know that)

Ryan Oakley said...

It's funny. I don't think I have blog friends. There's no site that I feel obligated to comment on and I never started doing this for the whole interpersonal relationships thing. For me it's basically a way to keep track of weird things I find online. I got sick of forgetting about them. Blogging is, to me, more of a notebook than a journal and no sort of substitute for flesh and blood relationships.