If you happen to be a book blogger, you’re probably aware of an ongoing conversation via blog posts over the last couple of weeks about why we blog (I linked to several in Sunday’s post, so I won’t do that again). I’ve read, and I hope commented, on many of them and I’m glad they’re being written because they’ve helped me solidify some thoughts I’ve alluded to briefly over the last month or so about changes that I need to make here.
(If you are not interested in some broadish thoughts on the state of blogging, just skip this post — there are no books here!)
The question of why I blog is actually pretty easy to answer. This blog has become the holding place for my life in books, which is deeply (almost entirely) connected to my life in everything else. Certainly, this function of a blog-as-list could be done with a commonplace type book, but a notebook isn’t searchable or sharable or even conducive to the other thing I love about blogging — conversations with other readers. This blog facilitates and encourages those conversations and holds them in place for me into the future. I love being able to search an archive and pull up a moment in time and what I was thinking about then.
Since the “why” is pretty easy, the better question for me, at this moment, is how do I blog now, and what do I need to do so I can keep blogging into the future?
Right now, I feel pulled in two very different directions: blog less or blog more.
The blog less urge is fairly straightforward. Over the last six months or so, I’ve been dealing with what I consider mild/moderate, persistent pain in my hands, wrists, arms and shoulders. I’ve had issues with this since grad school, but lately it’s gotten much worse. I’m taking some steps to address the ergonomics of my home and work spaces, but I’m not sure if they’re helping much. As a result, I’ve already been pulling back a bit on the time I put into blogging… some evenings, I can’t bear the thought of sitting at a desk and typing more.
At the same time, we’re going through some major staff changes at my day job. They haven’t affected me much yet, but I can see in the next few months ways in which I, and everyone else in our small office, will be doing more tasks with less support while we hire and train new staff members. This isn’t uncommon for most working people, but it is a change to how my life has been that I’m trying to anticipate and adjust for ahead of time.
And yet… I have so many ideas for this place. I want to blog more. And I want to write about more than books. As much as I love reading, I want to continue to make my life full of more things that just pages and words. I really admire and enjoy bloggers like Meg (Write Meg!) and Florinda (The 3 R’s Blog) that integrate life with books and bloggers who have evolved far beyond books like Trish (Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity). I’m also feeling an urge to go there, to blog more about the other things I love in new and challenging ways.
Ultimately, I think the solution is going to be a combination of more and less. It’s going to be to learn to blog differently and manage my online life in a different way (changing the “how” because the “why” is so important). I wish I knew, concretely, what those changes might be… but I don’t. I have ideas. I may cut back on responding to comments. I may try to write shorter blog posts. I may try to incorporate more lists, videos, and photos. I’m just not entirely sure yet. What I do hope is that you will stick around with me while I try to figure it out.