Sorry for disappearing and going MIA with no reason or explanation from how I went from a loyal blog writer and commenter, to obsolete in a short time span. Blogvoyeur turned Blog Bore indeed.
Let me explain.
The last month or so of writing has changed and what was once was most therapeutic and enjoyable hobby I've ever had has become something I dread the most. Although blogging since 2003 on a variety of formats, in the last two years it became more than a way to keep old friends up to date, and a way of entertaining college friends, it became therapy. Diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder in 2006, blogging has gotten me through some of the roughest patches of worry, allowing an outlet for my stress, a place to be silly, to be honest and most of all to be me.
For years I did not have a readership and didn't even know about blog networks or sitemeter. In hindsight I realized that I had a broader audience than the two or three people known to read but it was not something to think about. I did not censor myself, draw attention to myself or anything more. I just was.
Over the last year since joining a blogger network something wonderful has happened. My readership has openly grown and an added sitemeter (which I hardly know how to use) shows that my blog is read daily around the world. It has given me the same chills I had when people would openly recognize me on the streets as my college newspapers sex columnist. Suddenly my eyes are open to a world full of amazing writers and I soak up their stories; funny, offensive, heartfelt. I feel as if I know some of you and would be lying if I haven't started sentances in my day to day life with, "Oh, my blogger friend______ had a story about that!"
But something else has slowly changed, bettering my writing at first but then affecting the person clacking on the keyboard. I started writing for an audience rather than myself. And then the insecurity blanket I know all too well has wrapped itself around me. I have always had insecurities after four years of going to university for journalism proved I'm anything but a writer. Which is why I have always loved blogging. It wasn't me wanting to be a writer, it's just me writing. Big difference, trust me.
But now I feel I have to hit a certain bar to entertain, and it's leading to a level of anxiety and dread that started my consistent writing in the first place. It's no longer about saying who I am, it's a race to get the most comments. Comments have become my validation, and if twenty people comment, twenty five is even better. It's a self imposed popularity contest with myself I cannot win. I feel I have to be generic to cater to the masses, and heartfelt enough to be more. A character of fun trainwrecking partygirl, suddenly a one dimensional sitcom star. At some point I stopped being me and started being the version of me I want others to see. Still completely honest, but with shinier facets.
It had occured to me that the continuation of this is the equivalent of walking a tightrope of razorblades with insecurity and narciccism on either side. I cannot win. I still love that people read and comment on my blog and am not trying to deter that or be ungrateful. It is more flattering than you know and I am not trying to sound like a whiney brat. I'm just realizing that I need to step back and make it about the writing, not the audience.
Which is why it's time to step back and gain some clarity as to what I want out of my blog and decide if I want to pursue it further. I want to gain back the love for blogging I had in the first place-telling the world a little bit about me, and learning more from others. I can honesly say I still read everyone's blog consistently and learn something new everyday and I'm not going anywhere. I just need a break. It may be a week, it may be a month but I will be back with more to give than I have been for the last while.
"Writers write to influence their readers , their preachers, their auditors, but always, at the bottom to be more themselves." Aldous Huxley, English novelist and Critic