When I first started blogging, I remember reading, on someone’s blog (I can’t any longer remember whose), a post about the challenges of simultaneously blogging and living. At the time, this was an entirely incomprehensible challenge to me, twice over: first, I couldn’t imagine that the needs presented by blogging might grow either to the point where they could crowd out living or to the point where living could crowd them out; and second, my worlds were so separate – my “real,” alter-ego life and that of “N. Likes” were so far apart from one another, I couldn’t imagine any awkwardness on/in the blog around my real-life doings.
Nine months, almost 500 posts, over 2,000 comments, a girlfriend and several fuck-buddies later? I sort of see it. Blogging is time-consuming, at least done the way I like to do it. I don’t like more than a day or two to pass between posts (and August is the only month so far in which there have been fewer posts than there were days in the month, though September, with two days left, and only 26 posts to date, may well be the second). And it’s not just that I like to post often – I like to post well, deeply. I like to report on my adventures, and my thoughts, in some level of comprehensive detail. And sex and relationships are, by their very nature, messy. There now are people I genuinely know who read this, and people whom I met through doing this that I genuinely know.
I no longer can write with abandon, without regard to the impact my words have on anyone other than my wife (on whom I can, for the most part, intuit their impact almost viscerally). Now, when I write, I have to think: how will various people react? It’s not a huge number, but it’s meaningfully non-zero – people about whom I care deeply, people whom I have fucked, people I hope to fuck, people I will never fuck but care deeply about, and most every permutation (except, of course, people I hope to fuck and people I will never fuck, I hope). All of them are part of my audience, and with each I have a very different relationship. And as a result, I can’t simply write any more: I have to think – about how my words affect people other than me.
Honestly, this is a bit of a drag. Part of the joy of writing this blog was the unfettered voice I could allow myself here. And the inevitable result of worlds’ merging, of my caring about people who read my words, is that they would care about my words.
Couple that with the demands of real life – about which I try to write rarely (rarely try to write?) – and you’ve got (I’ve got) an almost paralyzing case of writer’s block.
In any event, since you’re reading, you probably are at least a tiny bit interested, and here’s an update: my (real) life is sufficiently busy that I’ve not seen several of the people most important to me in weeks, I’m behind in my (insert plural desires, and/or obligations, here) by several weeks. I have fewer spare moments than I can remember in my adult life, and more going on than has been in years. And, unfortunately, little of it is good.
That’s not to complain too much – much of it isn’t exactly bad, it’s just, well, not good. But some of it is affirmatively, sleep-deprivingly, heart-pressure-affectingly, bad. A big bit. And some is ok, but could be a lot better. And then there’s a whole other piece which is kinda horrifyingly bad.
All of which is to say, I’m sorry if my writing has fallen, or does fall, off a bit of late/in the near future. I’m trying to figure out balance, and, my friends and lovers don’t hesitate to point out to me, I sure haven’t gotten it figured out yet.
When you’re ready to come back and write, I’ll be right here hanging out, keeping myself busy till you’re ready to write again.
Thanks for the update.
I’m not sure that I ever felt I could write with abandon, but I certainly understand some of what I think you’re expressing here. It’s come to some point that I feel my words represent me (or at least, the “me” I inhabit here on the interwebs, which is a very important and meaningful “me.”) and so I’m more cautious than ever about what I write and how I write it.
I’ve always been fearful of being misunderstood (it’s not an entirely understandable fear, I know), but now, I’m fearful of being boring or being a poor writer. I’m not willing to admit how many things I’ve started (how many I’ve near finished!) that I probably won’t ever post because I’m afraid they’re boring, or whiny, or mean.
On top of that, what you mentioned about life getting in the way… absolutely. I don’t mind it when the parts of life that I enjoy get in the way, but it’s the drudgery and busy work that gets me down. Really, I’d rather be writing, even if it is boring.
I can’t even imagine what it would be like if people in my “real life” off internet read what I wrote. I imagine I’d be a million times more worried than I am now.
Out of curiosity, do you have any sort of a plan for how to negotiate this thing (people you care about reading what you write), or is it just something that is that you’re resigned to?
Hope you’re okay, and glad to hear that you’re trying to figure it all out. 🙂 (When you do figure it out… let me know!)
You know, the bottom line is that I’m committed to a radical integration of my life. That presents challenges, some of which I have the poor form to lament. Publicly.
But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So yeah, I guess. I’m “resigned to it.”
Sometimes life just gets in the way of our wants, desires and our needs. I know that just sounds trite. It is! But, it is also true.
You post to my email and I read every post. The future will be no different. Take care of things as you need and take good care of yourself.
Thank you. I’m flattered by your words.
I don’t do it the way you do. I couldn’t. To my mind I don’t blog, I write stories, even tho some aren’t fiction. I feel pressure to get up one post a week. I feel incredibly honored that more than zero read what I write. But if I’m not writing with abandon, understanding your ancillary concerns, I don’t post it.
I love the way you write. Any writer with a brain edits, otherwise it’s masturbatory bullshit and god knows we can find enough of that everywhere. You can find a way to address your concerns, but if you lose that core abandon I’ll know and you’ll know.
Find your way to do it. Fight for it. Nobody said this shit was easy.
Thank you so much. I have. I do. I will.
“Now, when I write, I have to think: how will various people react? It’s not a huge number, but it’s meaningfully non-zero – people about whom I care deeply…”
This is absolutely an inhibitor for me. I’ve written about the dilemma a couple of times and I have no solution.
There are things I will *never* write about publicly because of the impact it will have on the people involved. Sometimes the impact might be positive, it might make them glow with pleasure, but if it’s misleading, then I have to untangle the mess I create with it. Sometimes it might be horribly negative and I know they would be hurt and upset by it *even if it’s a fleeting thought that doesn’t mean anything*.
Were I anonymous from the people in my life, I would write about what is going on with me boldly and without reservation. But I’m not anonymous. So unless I want to create misunderstanding and hurt and horribleness with the people I care about, what I write requires thoughtful filtering.
The only solution for me is to create a *truly* anonymous blog and put the unfiltered stuff there. Or simply keep the unfiltered stuff private, which is what I do, with pages and pages of writing that will probably never see the light of day.
Good luck with whatever is going on in your life.
Thank you. I guess for me the thing is, I WAS anonymous when I started, but compartmentalization just doesn’t work so good for me. Oh well. It’s what you might call a high-class problem.
Like some other respondents here, I too have blogged about the issues of people you know and possibly love on some level reading what I write and being in some way hurt by my words. I don’t have a solution but I have for this moment adopted the “shut my eyes and hope for the best” approach. From my experience it is not the people who are important in my life who will be hurt or offended by my words. These people are more likely to be understanding and forgiving. Rather the people who I DON’T know read my work or people who I don’t know well at all, who will be most likely to be offended or hurt. As the saying goes,
Those who matter won’t mind
Those who mind don’t matter.
As far as life getting in the way that happens to everyone at some point. I find myself struggling from time to time to find the space in my day and my life to put pen to paper and write. I think, though, these things do pass after a time and you can come back to this. There will still be people waiting for you here.