Thursday, March 09, 2006

Blogaholics Anonymous?

Or simply blogger boredom?

Sometimes I get bored of blogging, but I keep going because basically, more or less, I kinda like it. I like having the outlet. I like being about to organize and analyze my thoughts in this manner. And I like having the record, especially of my yoga practice. I suppose I could write in a journal, the old-fashioned way. Or I could type on this here laptop and save my entries to my hard drive. But whenever I write without an audience (whether real or imagined) in mind, my writing is sloppy - utterly lacking in grammar, flow, even capital letters. So I keep blogging.

Seems like a number of my favorite bloggers have stopped blogging or have seriously curtailed their blogging. And I am just wondering....why? What's so bad about the blog? Have those who have stopped blogging simply lost interest in blogging? Or are they quitting the blog the way someone quits smoking or drinking...maybe they still like it, but they realize that it would just be better not to...?

YC

4 comments:

Vanessa said...

I can only speak from my own experience, and I'm not even sure I'm included in the group you mention, but anyway, I stopped blogging for a bunch of reasons.

The first one was visibility. I never blogged expecting to be read. I am aware it might sound facetious, but it is the truth. I started blogging when I first went to Mysore and I sent the link to a few friends and my family. And I didn't expect anyone else to read it, because I honestly couldn't imagine anyone else being interested in what I wrote.

Then I put my blog in ashtangi.net because I thought that maybe someone planning a trip to Mysore could benefit from it, the same way I gathered encouragement for my first trip by reading Alan Little and others' blogs.

Lately, I found that too many people that I actually see and talk to read my blog. A few people at Hamish's, some people at work...and that made me reconsider. I've been pretty honest and open about my feelings in my blog, and then suddenly I wondered if I wanted that loss of privacy. And I guess the answer is no.

Also, there is only so much one can talk about asana, and these days I feel like I'd rather keep the details of my practice to myself. For the last month or so I've been feeling very introverted, practice-wise.

And lastly, I felt that my blog was reducing me to a uni-dimensional character. It first dawned on me when someone met me in Mysore and was surprised at "how different I am from what I write in my blog". My blog hasn't documented all my life, there are many other aspects of myself that I've kept offline, and sometimes I felt like a bit of a cartoon character in my blog. By having people read me regularly, it was inevitable that they started forming opinions about me, and I am not interested in that. Take as an example what Idoru wrote on his blog about the way Kathy and I closed our blogs down. I felt judged by him, and to be honest, I didn't like it. "If you don't want to be judged, don't put yourself out there", people will answer, and I guess they are right and that is what I'm doing...facing inward now (hi Julie).

Hope this makes some sense. I think blogging is great and there is nothing inherently wrong with it. It's just that for me, it's time to move on and focus on other things. Which is the way life usually goes, isn't it.

yoga chickie said...

I actually was referring to you as a favorite blogger...

Thanks for explaining that. I do hear you about the privacy thing. All my chiropracter had to do was to thank me for mentioning her on my blog, and my face turned beet red!

I don't even tell my friends about my blog. Most of them don't even know what blogging is. The only people who read me, besides a couple of family members, are people who found my blog by accident, either by googling my name or from linking from my primary (nearly defunct) website.

I can imagine that there will be many asanas now (other than Supta K) that just don't inspire me to write too much. The Marichyasanas were huge for me and fairly complicated poses. Now, for the next year or so (or longer), most of the poses I will be working on will be poses that I am already able to get into fairly competently. So, what will there be to say?

Of course, no promises...I may have a lot to say...we shall see.

I will miss your blog. I hope one day you are inspired to continue it!

Lauren

yoga chickie said...

Oh yeah...Ashtangi.net! More than half of my readers come from there!! Sorry, Julie! I feel like Reese Witherspoon now!

Lauren

idoru said...

Yah know, i really do regret what I wrote about "leaving quietly". People really should say goodbye if they intend to leave. At the very least it keeps people from wondering "where is so and so.." I guess the problem with using a blog as a personal journal is the injury you can cause by "thinking out loud". I see Vanessa's point about being too visible. There were so many times where I started writing something and had to stop because I realized that the blog is too much of a public space to record what I was thinking. Perhaps my comment about KJS and Vanessa was one of those instances.

A part of this yoga practice is seeing clearly all of our thoughts, and acting (or not acting) on those thoughts with clarity and intention. But the act of blogging is sometimes uninhibited and unconscious. It's like publicly displaying your personal stream of thought without discriminating what should or should not be made public. And to me that seems opposite of what we try to cultivate with yoga. Killing a blog is a way to cultivate that inward facing journey. But I also recognize that avoiding it altogether is also to avoid cultivating discrimination in thoughts and action. Its like throwing a blanket over a candle instead of using a lens to focus where you want the light to go. Does that make sense? In yoga we are trying to find some sense of equanimity in all of our doings. And this applies to blogging. One day we see the purpose of sharing our light. The next day we feel vulnerable about letting that light being visible for all to see. So the choice is very personal. Is your choice based on intention? Or is it based on aversion? BTW, These questions aren't directed to anyone specifically.

Copyright 2005-2007 Lauren Cahn, all rights reserved. Photos appearing on this blog may be subject to third party copyright ownership. You are free to link to this blog and portions hereof, but the use of any direct content requires the prior written consent of the author.

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.

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