March 11, 2005

Inside World

So yesterday I wrote a post that will go down in the annals of depressive history. I was feeling lonely and unloved, but it turns out that some people were having trouble making comments. It was a good thing because it told me that I may be becoming too attached to this place and I need to take a step back. This isn’t about posting music, it’s about everything. I have to get back into my own head. I’m going to stop posting at the same pace.

I am going to take Spiral Stairs lead and put my efforts back into my fiction for a while. A lot of my energy goes into writing blog entries and wondering if people are reading them. Too much time goes into the wondering. I check my referrals like a madman. I need to conserve that energy. I spend so much time on my paying job--so much of my will--that not much is left for writing, not to mention taking care of my girl.

I learned some of this from the Richard Yates book. He was so much the real thing, and it’s made me rethink my devotion to writing. It’s actually made me doubt myself, but an instructive kind of doubt. I feel like I’ve yet to write something that is a pure, enduring expression of myself. Something I can give to people and say, This is me. I've got to get back to it. This resolve might last all of two days. If I get some good fiction writing done, I may feel justified to write a blog entry or two.


Magazine Man said...

This week posting has been a major pain, asswise. Tried to post here twice yesterday (day before) and no joy. Then last night I was able to post twice somewhere else. What the f?

Anyway, do what you gotta do, directing energy to other writing and such. But don't feel unread. We're here, even though we may go silent (or in the past couple days, muzzled)...

Spiral Stairs said...

Finally, the Great Blogger Comment Blackout of 2005 seems to have passed.

It's dangerous to rest too much of one's ego on the feedback of others, especially in an impersonal medium like the blog. A blogger has such an incredibly tiny window into the lives of his readers that it is a bad idea to try to divine any actual information from what can be seen through the window. In other words, when someone who is a regular commenter seems to have stopped, it could be because he or she (1) is really busy; (2) is experience a complication in his or her personal life; (3) is simply feeling "down" or insufficiently energetic.

The analogy that comes to mind: My wife is looking for a job right now. The window she has into the worlds of those to whom she is applying is absurdly small. Yet, it is her instinct to try to divine the truth from it: "They haven't called me -- they must think I'm unqualified." "They haven't returned my voicemail -- it must be because they are letting me down easy." I try to tell her, "You have no idea what's going on. Maybe his family dog died. Maybe he died. Maybe his water heater exploded. Maybe he's so stunned by the quality of your resume that he's sat stiff and speechless in his chair for three days."

The truth is, except for a very few relationships in our lives, we know virtually nothing about other people. However, it is also entirely human to ignore that fact and seek validation in every nook and cranny of our lives, including through these tiny windows. I know I do it.

Unrelatedly, I gotta read some Richard Yates. You talk about him all the time, and through some confluence of circumstance he's popped up several times in my recently.

Henry Baum said...

Yates has had an amazing impact on my life. I learned that I wanted to be a writer when I first read Richard Yates and it seems he’s changed my life again.

I agree with everything you’re saying. It’s just that with the volume of rejections I’ve received in the last ten years, the validation I’ve felt here has become all the more important. Finally, people are reading and responding well to what I’ve written. Also, one thing I haven’t written about is that I don’t have a hell of a lot of friends. These virtual friendships have come to make up for it. This blog has given me a slightly false sense of connection to the world. I say "slightly" because the communication has been amazing but it’s not quite the same thing as real human contact.

One other reason I want to step back is that I don’t feel like I’m being completely honest here. To some extent, I have ceased writing this blog for myself and have started writing it so I can appear how I want people to see me. I have to put my energy into other fiction.

Anonymous said...

i know how you feel. i'm too dependent on my blog.

Anonymous said...

i need to write more often. i'm sorry that i don't. i'm unsure if anyone accutually reads it, anyway.


Mere Existence said...

Just wanted to let you know that I'm reading, but if you want to put more energy into your writing, and less into your blog, I understand and fully support the decision.

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