Tuesday, June 10, 2008

To be me or not to be me....

I haven't been blogging much recently because I have spent enormous amounts of time (for me, at least) reading other people's blogs and connecting with people via social networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.). So far, it's been an overwhelmingly positive experience albeit rather time-consuming. I haven't encountered any creeps or stalkers or people with poisonous negativity. In general, folks have been friendly and helpful which is remarkable to me because they don't know a single thing about me.

Among the many wonderful links that have been shared have been several analyses of blogs, what makes a good blog, how to get more readers for your blog, how to make your blog "better", etc. Reading this all at one sitting was, I have to say, overwhelming. I realized that I had no conception of "who my audience was". I guess I am writing for myself but I read other people's personal blogs so, who knows?, maybe there are people interested in reading about my problems finding a housemate or having writer's block or looking for inspiration and finding it in unexpected places.

I was feeling a LOT of pressure (by whom? I haven't a clue) to have this blog provide something meaningful, to make it more "helpful" to the reader and less like an episode of Seinfeld (without the punchlines). Less anecdotal and more substance.

Yet, I created this blog as a place to come and write about the stuff of life or, at least, my life however narrow that is. My dissertation fills up most of my life and has for the past few years and it is where I try to make meaningful statements and, as they say, "contribute to the literature." Although I might talk about my cat being sick (which I think was completely misdiagnosed), this blog was intended to be a place for interior thoughts, silly observations, great quotes, lingering frustrations, maybe a nice picture or two or even a video clip. It was not meant to be WORK, another job.

When I start thinking, "I need to write another blog entry", it becomes an unpaid job and I tend to write less. When I can share things I delight in or I find maddening, then it becomes a pleasure.

As the NY Times article about Emily Gould reveals (and the letters it provoked), this smacks of narcissism to a lot of people. Me, me, me. But, right now, I'm my primary resource for ideas along with a lot of wonderful new websites that people have introduced me to over the past three weeks.

I've decided that there is probably another blog in me, someway I can share all of the years I've spent in higher education with other people. But as for Spiral Scratch, that will just continue as a personal journal. I might update the stodgy template some and reduce the numbers of widgets to give it a cleaner look, but the message will remain the same. And for those of you who wander in here for wherever in cyberspace, I hope you will feel at home.