The Problem with Blogging

Over the weekend I queried the Internet about how to make the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival1 a success and in doing so it brought to light my own personal issues with participating and blogging in general.

Let’s face it, the Internet is an entirely different beast than it was in 2000 when I first set up my little slice of the great WWW on LiveJournal. Blogs were basically personal journals that just happened to be public. And like the Internet itself, they were considered a fad. For me, and many others, they were exactly the thing we needed. A place to pour out our streams of consciousness and share life with family, friends, and/or any interested party behind a computer screen.

An aluminum keyboard with white chiclet style keysNowadays blogs are so many things: sources of news and entertainment, resources of information, etc. The average blog with any real presence has some focus to it and the personal journal has all but died out. Social media has a lot to do with this. It’s much easier to natter on about random daily life in short snippets than find the time to write an entire article. What seems to push this shift is that even commenting has moved over to social media. The back-and-forth is more convenient, but with the comment section’s where the interaction occurs and it’s also a large source of generating traffic to and from a blog.

So where do I fit in with all this? I’ve never really had a specific focus to my blog — and I have absolutely zero intention of turning it into one. I never set out to be the best or most popular blogger, especially since I’m forever amazed that anyone finds me interesting enough to read. It’s probably why I’ve never particularly minded that more often than not I feel like I’m blogging in the void. And yet even though I’m admittedly a rather lazy social media user, even I have slowly gravitated towards using it.

The big roadblock for me has been an almost oppressive lack of desire to blog. At first it was just that I lacked anything inspiring to share.2 It didn’t alarm me since I’d gone through it a fair few times before. Eventually, it became clear to me this wasn’t a typical dry spell because when I did have something I felt like sharing I still wasn’t writing. Sometimes I’d try and it just felt stale and ludicrously pointless. This was partly because writing about the frustration and stress in my life was only heightening those issues for me, but I also know now these things were were some of the first clues I was slipping into major depression.

I’ve been out of that black cloud for several months now and so the question remains why the lack of blogging? Honestly, I don’t have the answer to that. I do know that my time on the Internet has largely been spent searching for a new job. It’s time-consuming in a way that you only understand if you’re in the same situation. It also makes me want to spend any moment not engaged in job-searching away from the computer. There’s also the intermittent issues I’ve had with pain and stiffness that make it difficult at times to be at my keyboard.

Mostly, I think it’s just that I simply got out of the habit, which you would might think would be easily rectified. I’m finding, however, that is far from the case and quite honestly I’m not sure why.

  1. Presently, the Internet has responded with only silence.
  2. Champion rambler that I am, even I can only prattle on about nothing for so long.

An Honest Query

People ask me every now and again when or if I’ll ever get going since it’s only been, oh, forever. The domain actually expires next year and I’m quite doubtful I’ll renew it. This is mostly because I’m still not sure what exactly it should be as a site. I know what it could be, but I don’t really have a good plan for how to start it to grow into that. And because of that I’ve more or less lost interest in the idea. I also am not as confident there is enough interest as a whole on other people’s part to justify the work I would put into it.

Assistance Dog Blog Carnival (#TheADBC)Then there’s the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival, which over the last year seems to have run out of steam. I have a few theories as to why that is, but I quite honestly am not sure what the problem is. When I hosted in May I extended the submission period twice because there were almost no participants and this current edition seems to be suffering from a similar issue.1

I’m aware that there are many people who used to regularly participate in the Carnival and haven’t in several rounds and that includes myself. Of course, I’m just one person amongst an entire community of participants and my issue is not specific to the Carnival itself and has been a lack of desire and inspiration to blog in general.

When Brooke and I took over handling the Carnival it was in part to help it grow again and we’ve brainstormed a few things that we hope will accomplish this. However, we could certainly use your input. We really want to know what we can do to make the ADBC a success. We want people to be interested in participating and we want to know that news is being spread about the current calls for submissions and/or editions.

Thoughts? Comments? Crickets?

  1. Presently, there isn’t a single submission.

DQ Series Playthrough

I’m still sans a computer. It is sad times.

Nevertheless, I said I would strive to be more consistent with updating and so I’ve given a lot of thought as to how best to approach this. In the past I’ve done posting challenges to force myself to accomplish such things. If you only count actually completing the challenge when determining success, then I’ve managed that perfectly. However, I would hardly agree. True, I always start off well and have gone entire months before hitting a roadblock. Usually it’s that I can’t think of something interesting to write or share, but sometimes life gets in the way and I end up with a backlog of posts to churn out. In any case, the result is the same: I feel forced to blog.

It’s far more natural to me to just blog when I feel like it. I’m not dreading the task or finding it burdensome. At the very least I don’t end up casting about randomly for something, anything to post. Of course, the drawback is that many times over the dozen plus years this blog has existed in its various forms, it has gone dormant for weeks, even months, at a time. Oops.

All that said, I am debating on undertaking a project that will likely end up being mentioned here at least occasionally. Recently I stumbled across Robyn Plays Final Fantasy, which is a Tumblr devoted to a full playthrough of the main Final Fantasy games. It immediately had me thinking about doing a similar thing for Dragon Quest. I mentioned I’ve been playing DQIX. I picked it up at a yard sale awhile back along with a handful of other DS cartridges. I never bothered with the Nintendo DS for a bunch of reasons so this is my first opportunity to play all the DQ titles that were released on it. So, I’m definitely going to be playing all of those at some point and I’m giving serious thought to playing the entire series straight through even though it would be a gargantuan task that will take a very long time.

On the other hand:

  1. I have never played V and VI;
  2. I have a fan translation patch for the Super Famicon1 remakes of I-III that I have been meaning to check out, and;
  3. Evidence suggests that it would provide ideas for future content here.

So, we’ll see . . . At any rate, I’m brainstorming some other things I could do to facilitate future blog content. It is highly possible these things will involve pictures. Also, food.

  1. Japanese SNES.

Is This Thing On?

Once upon a time there was a girl who used to blog all the time. On nearly a daily basis, in fact. And for some reason that completely eluded her, people read the blog and presumably enjoyed it.

Um, and then some stuff happened . . . and . . . erm, well . . . uhh . . . there should probably be a segue here . . . ahem. . . .

Okay, that’s just sad. I’m a writer for goodness sake. I should certainly be able to come up with something more epic than “stuff happened,” right? Except the sad thing is that “stuff” is pretty accurate since none of it was especially interesting and mostly it just seems like a lot of time has gone by with nothing encompassing it. So, in essence the lack of content is pretty accurate to my life as late. So, in fact, I’ve saved you all a lot of boring reading. You should thank me!

“But Bleu,” you say because even though no one really calls me that any more I still associate that handle with my presence online, “we miss you when you’re gone!” Aww, how sweet of you to say that.1 I miss you all, too!

“So, what’s with the disappearing act every now and again?” you query, leaving me feeling decidedly sheepish.

True there are those times I just need some space from the intarwebs. But generally the radio silence can’t be helped. Unfortunately, the reasons for this latest bout into whatever the written equivalent to static are the same ones I reported before. I had relapse of mono that knocked me on my ass for a few weeks and then I literally knocked myself on my ass when I fell down my basement steps. I ended up with a broken coccyx, which makes for a third time that has happened and sadly the second time in a row wherein basement steps have been involved. Then, just as I was finally able to sit at my computer without keeling over in exhaustion or pain, my hard drive bit the dust.

Well, to be fair that happened several weeks later. First my computer just started acting all crazy like it had taken my hiatus to mean it could go off on a vacation of its own that I’m guessing included lots of drugs and alcohol. At any rate, I clearly returned to the keyboard before it had sobered up and the hangover proved too much for it to handle. The straw that toppled it over was a power outage that fried my external hard drive.

Before I can lose myself in this woebegone tale, you interject once more: “What about all your other wifi-enabled devices?” Oh, you are an astute bunch, gentle readers! This is a true enough fact and if I were less witty and more cunning I’d weave a yarn about the whys and hows. But the truth is I’m lazy and also easily distracted. Weeks of being all but bedridden left me with quite a lot of time to read books and play video games. Both things that I can and do with those tech toys of mine. Especially the PS3 stationed perfectly within line of the sofas in my living room. It even has the word “play” right in its name, like it’s daring me to do anything but with it. Which by the by seems to be the majority of what I post over on Tumblr. When I actually do post on Tumblr, that is.

Anyway, all that aside, I shall do my very best to rid the virtual dust that has settled upon this blog. Not that I’ll be shooting myself in the literal foot by promising daily posts or anything so grandiose. Especially as my computer is still in the midst of repairs. However, I’ll at least work at being more consistent with updates lest virtual vermin take up residence here. Oh, also, I’ll probably natter on about the dog sometime in the near future because somehow I managed to prattle on with only but this one mention of her!

  1. I’m blushing. Yes, really, I am.

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

The problem with blogging more consistently after a long stretch of inactivity and/or sporadic updates is that often everyone has moved on and it feels a lot like you’re talking to yourself. It’s like starting over from the very beginning with gathering readers. It’s harder now, too, because personal blogs have become almost obsolete in the wake of social media and so if you aren’t maintaining an active and very specific blog you’re just not interesting enough to people. Of course, I’ve never put much stock into booming stats or having tons of comments so it’s not all that different for me. Still, it does feel a bit lonely here sometimes. Maybe I should spruce up the design or something.

Anyway, aside from the brief mention of my major depression I haven’t yet gone into detail about my decline in posting. Of particular note to many is that there haven’t been any new photos here in months, which goes in direct contradiction to my proposed plans for getting more serious about my photography. In fact, you might have noticed that it’s been over a year since I had portraits taken, too. Why? Follow the jump or scroll on to find out, but fair warning to those with weak stomachs.

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