Why aren’t you blogging?

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A good friend of mine asked me via email, “Why aren’t you blogging?” And then another friend of mine asked me the same question via IM.

I guess my blogging has been reliable throughout the years–even after my stroke, I blogged. But I haven’t been blogging for the last couple of weeks.

So here’s the answer I provided to my friend, and one I’m sharing with you:

I took this break from blogging from China, mostly forced because they didn’t allow access…and I rather liked it. I was surprised that I would enjoy a break from blogging–but I am. I have thought about blogging about a number of things, but none of them were so pressing and interesting to me as to spend the time to post them. So I’m waiting for my burning desire to blog to return before blogging again. And in a way, I’m intrigued by this “conserving of writing energy” and perhaps only channeling it to my novel (hahaha.)

Without access to blogs, and without any good TV on the boobtube…what did I do? I got a bit more sleep. I let my mind wander and cull some more thoughts. I went to the gym and exercised (seriously!). I went out for walks. I saw an ARMY of people just spending hours and hours reading in a bookstore! I went to the market and pondered eating scorpion kebab (seriously!). I saw The Great Wall (amazing!). I saw The Forbidden City (wowzers!). I toured the West Lake in Hangzhou (beautiful). I went on an interesting taxi ride to the Longjing Tea Village and had the most interesting consumer experience of my life (more interesting than the backalley purchases in Korea’s Itaewon).

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My mind is full, my body is rested. I did not want to return to my daily life. In sum, it has been wonderful to detox. I took better care of myself. Oh man!

I had no idea how many poisons were in my life, especially in the wake of a sort of Tough Year (my stroke, the untimely death of an immediate family member, other troubles, then my father’s heart attack). It was time to go away.

I thought about blogging about Bookfox’s list of Top 12 online literary journals, and recalling Perpetual Folly’s 2008 Pushcart Prize rankings. But no. It wasn’t enough to break the quiet.

What would bring me out into the blogging spotlight again?

Something very stupid. But something very toxic, that I think would be better aired than kept festering in my brain.

I signed up for another workshop again. I have heard SO many good things about this particular Famous Writer and his work as a mentor. And so I applied! It turns out that the workshop had filled up. So no dice. But in the last couple of weeks, a spot opened up, and it was given to me!

The manuscripts were sent out via email this week. But first, like any seasoned workshop participant…I scanned the email list. Did anyone look familiar? What did I know of them?

Ugh.
Remember the gal who said she wished she could blame her short term memory problems on a stroke? She is in the workshop. I am no longer as sensitive as i was then (I credit time and actual healing of the brain to this), but…still not looking forward to revisiting her.

And the guy who gave me FOUR SENTENCE feedback in my MFA workshop? He’s in the workshop too.

A friend and I have already decided that if he pulls that 4-sentence-feedback stuff, we’re going to confront him this time.

Okay. Feeling better. See how stupid and toxic these little “papercuts of life” can be?

I need to learn to let things go a lot faster.

Even so, I’m having my swells of emotions these days. Perhaps I’m coming to a turning point in my life. All I know is that I must turn a concerted effort towards focus. Because I am not working on my dreams, and it makes me cry, cry, cry when I acknowledge that fact. When I know I’m capable, but not focused enough to complete this novel.

So there’s a second mission here. Focus. And that might mean a lot less blogging and communicating with the world.

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14 Comments

Filed under Life, The Novel, The World, Travel, Writing

14 responses to “Why aren’t you blogging?

  1. heather

    Well I understand breaks, but I’m glad you’re back. And, re the workshop, hear this:

    My friend received little to no feedback, often, in his workshop this semester. He finally sent an email to the workshop (minus the workshop leader), explaining that it was unprofessional, unsupportive, infuriating, and frustrating, and that he expected more from his workshops–especially since he was paying tuition and many of his slacker workshopmates were not.

    He received some very honest responses–apologies, even some missed comments–and it seemed to set the tone for the rest of the term. Some of the slackers still didn’t come through, but my friend at least knew he had said his piece and stopped spending so much energy on it. And some people stepped up to the plate.

    After his bravery, I vowed that if I were ever in that kind of situation again, I would confront it head on. (Perhaps — perhaps? — your workshopmates have matured or learned a bit? I’ll keep my fingers crossed.)

  2. I think in a busy life like yours that if you want to get that novel written, something has to give. And if it’s blogging frequently, well so be it (though sad for us). I’ve noticed now that I am writing frequently that, while I still blog, I am not the conscientious blogger I once was – I make fewer comments, I’m not out looking for new blogs, I’m not doing blog round-ups and the quality of my posts is not what they once were. I have had to take away blogging time and give it to my novel.

  3. piratejanny

    o, hai…it’s nice to stumble across the blog of a fellow aspiring writer. best of luck with your novel, and may your travels continue to be joyful and fulfilling.

    –jan

  4. Eve

    I haven’t even been blogging for a year yet, and not all that often, and I can see pretty clearly that regular blogging and real writing will not work together for me.

    I think it was Brenda Ueland who said that the best advice she could give to an aspiring writer was, “Insert butt in chair. Write.”

    And I’ll bet she didn’t mean blog entries, either.

    I’m going to read your blog until it doesn’t exist any more, and I love it; but as a sometime writer I want to encourage you to do whatever it takes to follow your dreams, which basically means to WRITE.

  5. I’ve barely been blogging, either. I miss it. But my offline life has been consuming and overwhelming and I barely have time to pee. And I am sooooo far away from writing right now it makes me want to cry. But the end is near! I will resume in end of July.

    I’m very curious and intrigued by your new workshop!!

  6. Violeta

    Along the lines of what Eve said, I love reading your blog and will keep doing so, BUT… I would also love to read any other work of yours, so don’t feel any guilt for needing to redistribute your writing time.

  7. what everyone else has said. (as usual, I am late to the party…)

    I can’t wait to read your novel! 🙂

  8. Thank you all, you’re so awesome! I am so happy that you will continue to read me, no matter how measly my output here. 🙂 And in the words of Eve, that so many of you will read my blog until it doesn’t exist anymore.

    I’ll be popping by just not every single day…and if you want to keep up and you know my “irl” name, I’m on twitter.

  9. I love reading your blog, but I also think it’s great that you want to focus more on your novel. Like Charlotte said, something’s gotta give. For me, it’s been climbing. Have climbed twice in the past year.

  10. interesting that i found your blog and read this post the same week that i’ve been thinking about closing down my blog in order to spend some more time writing and focusing on other projects. when do you know you’ve gotten everything you can from a project? good luck, either way. i’ll be checking back in!

  11. I say concentrate on your novel. Blog about it when you lose energy for it. Then, concentrate on your novel again. Forget the workshop.

    Bad feelings before you even arrive??? No way…. Listen to your body….. stay home and write and blog.

    http://plotwhisperer.blogspot.com/

  12. You know I’m missing you, but life and writing must come first and it would be truly selfish of me not to understand that! I hope your workshop is a great one (congrats on getting in!) and I am sending you all the good thoughts I can for your novel. Will good thoughts help you to write it? Um, let’s say yes for now, ok?

    I look forward to when you’re blogging again, but I know it’ll be worth the wait.

  13. Hyun

    hey, you think you can get off this easily with just one picture of China!? give us more details of your trip… that is of course if it doesn’t take away time from your other, you know, more important writing.

  14. thank you for the continuing encouragement–! i still email and all, and i’ll be poking my head here now and then.

    and hyun: i know! i am sooo behind–! but i don’t ever know if i’ll share trip details here, mostly because–i’m strangely not compelled to blog about it! egads. but if we ever meet in real life, i’d be happy to chit chat about China.

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