On (Not) Blogging

I am a fairly successful engineering consultant.  That is my vocation.  Blogging is my avocation, which I suppose is just a highfalutin way to say hobby.  When someone I know goes on and on about hating their job, I’ve been known to say, It’s a job.  If it was fun, they’d call it a hobby.  Is that cynical?  As much as I enjoy engineering, I wouldn’t do it for fun.  Now, blogging I do for fun.  Supposedly.  About a month ago, after posting daily since January 4th, blogging began to feel like work.  If my avocation is going to feel like a vocation, I damn well better be making some money from it.

During week 4 of Julia Cameron’s 12 week Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self (also known as The Artist’s Way), she recommends a reading deprivation week.  That’s right … no reading.  She says it is the part of her program that meets the most resistance from students.  For most artists, she says, words are like tiny tranquilizers … We gobble the words of others rather than digest our own thoughts and feelings, rather than cook up something of our own.  If it works for reading, maybe it works for writing, so a week ago, I wrote my posts for Friday and Saturday, then started my own blogging deprivation week.  That runs contrary to the obsessive side of my personality, so I scheduled a few reposts, too.   After all, the experiment was about how it feels not to be blogging, not about leaving Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog dormant for a week.

Faced with several empty hours a day, it took effort to stick to my commitment not to post … and to let yesterday pass without even a repost.   It was interesting … without a post to write, the ideas didn’t turn up as often, and when they did, I didn’t find myself writing in my head.  I really missed the process of seeing a post come together on my laptop.   Julia Cameron may be right that the words we read are like tiny tranquilizers.   But what I realized in the last week is that the words I write … more specifically … the words I post … are tiny but powerful stimulants.  When I’m posting, I watch the world go by differently.  A song on the radio becomes more than an long-forgotten favorite … it becomes thoughts on how music can stimulate our memories.   The death of a homeless person near our house becomes, Faceless, a commentary on how we look at things that make us uncomfortable.  And the impolite boor in the supermarket becomes fuel for a humorous rant.  All good.   But just as too many of those tiny tranquilizers can take me from relaxing in the midst of turmoil to oblivion, too many stimulants can take me from a happy blogger to an obsessive one.  Doesn’t it seem that in the end, it always comes down to balance?

So, I’m back.  Ready to roll.  And in search of that ever elusive balance.  To bad it doesn’t come in capsule form.  Time release.

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One Comment on “On (Not) Blogging”

  1. Welcome back!!

    ” the words I post … are tiny but powerful stimulants. ”


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