Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Help!

It's been 13 days since my last confession blog entry, and I've been anxious about it for the last seven of those days. I don't want to disappoint people, I don't want to lose readers, and I don't want to get kicked off of Ronni Bennett's blog list for not posting at least once a week.

So many writers whose work I admire have written about the fact that writing was something they've always done, about the satisfaction of putting their words on paper, and about their almost burning desire to write for at least a portion of every day. That's how I know I'm not a "real writer." Sometimes I'd rather be poked in the eye than have to sit down, organize my thoughts, and write them down in any kind of logical sequence.

That's how I've been for at least the last week. There's plenty to write about (back-to-back hurricanes have provided a lot of blog fodder), but for some reason all I've wanted to do after getting home from work is sleep. I don't think I'm sick, and, although I've felt really tired, I've had so much rest that fatigue couldn't possibly be the problem.

Blogging isn't the only thing I've let slide. I have e-mails to answer and phone calls to return. There are dishes in the sink that only need to be moved to the dishwasher. There's laundry to be done, but I'm not out of towels or underwear, so it can wait. There are bills to pay. They aren't late yet, but if I don't get down to business by tomorrow, some of them will be. I haven't wanted to read, and if the TV has been turned on, I've dozed in front of it. Whatever the cause of this malaise, I know I'm coming out of it, or I wouldn't be writing even this much.

This blog is important to me. I love the idea of having a place to record my thoughts so my children and grandchildren will have something left of me after I'm gone. I love the friends I've made online, and I love reading what the rest of you write, stories and essays that demonstrate the common experiences of humankind. For all those reasons, I have a strong desire to nurture this blog, but I haven't done that lately.

My first question to you, then, is am I the only one who has a love/hate relationship with his or her blog? Does writing blog posts always come easily to you, or do you, once in a while, think of your blog as a big, hulking thing that's demanding to be fed immediately or else it will (a) roll over and die, or (b) devour you?

If you ever feel the way I've just described -- or maybe if you're just a rational, reasonable person who sometimes gets too busy to post for a few days -- what do you do to keep your blog alive until you're ready to write again? Photos? Reruns? What?

The guilt is killing me, people. If you have some suggestions, I'd sure like to hear them.

25 comments:

  1. Here's the REAL reason Velvet is so tired........her sister and her family (6 adults, 2 teenagers, a 5 yr. old, 2 yr. old, 11 mo. old and 3 dogs of various sizes)evacuated to her house while running from Hurricane Ike. We took over her TV and watched it 24/7 for 4 days frantically looking for any information we could find about our homes.

    You should all know what a sweet and giving person Velvet is. (I must note, however, that this wasn't the case while we were growing up so it may be that there is some guilt involved here.) At any rate, not only doesn't she complain about all the racket and the wall to wall people, but she goes to great lenghts to make us all feel so welcome.

    I know how much she thinks of you guys and I just wanted you all to know what a truly wonderful person she is. I love her with all my heart and I can't think of anyone I'd feel more safe or comfortable with than my sister.

    So thanks again, Sis, for giving us shelter in the storm. Seems like you've been doing that for me all my life. I love you more than words can say!

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  2. Rest assured there are others -- well, at least me that understand just how you feel. And I think your sister has explained the situation quite well. It's always good to be able to do for others particularly those of our family. But as much as I love writing, sometimes it's hard when I don't know how to say in a nice way just how I feel about the politics of the day. I frequently -- like today, fall back on photos because the beauty of the places they take me too in my mind is so beautiful and peaceful. Then I recover and am ready to write again. And you will, too. And we'll be delighted to have you back.

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  3. I go back and forth all the time about blogging, Velvet. I have no idea why I turn something every day. I do give myself breaks sometimes by publishing blogs or guest posts from readers.

    Most of the time I've got more to say that time to write it. It's always been that way. When I was kid, one of the things I remember my mother saying often at the dinner table was, "Ronni, let your little brother talk."

    Laughed my head off at your sister's explanation of what's been going on at your place. I doubt anybody would be writing in those circumstances.

    And you're not getting kicked off the Elderbloggers list. The only people I've ever removed have been after there hasn't been a post for more than a year.

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  4. I too have more to say then time to say it. I try to blog very day...sometimes more then once

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  5. Velvet, I do feel overwhelmed by my blog at times. Photos do seem to be the best quick post. Or short stories I've written ages ago. And yes, I feel like an idiot now that I have two!

    Velvet's sis, I've been lucky enough to meet Velvet and simply couldn't agree with you more! She's simply wonderful and I feel blessed to know her just a little!

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  6. Oh, you're not the only one, Velvet! I've been overwhelmed lately and have been wracked with guilt (or is it "racked"?-I don't really care, I'm tired!) over my lack of blog posts. And worried that my blog friends have abandoned me. *sniff* But besides being busy and too tired to think in complete sentences, I think that fall fever is here. I just don't wanna do anything!

    so, let that blog fend for itself for a few days. Maybe if you just posted a one-sentence post letting us know everything's OK, you're just taking a break, that would be enough. Hmm, maybe I should take my own advice!

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  7. Sis (a/k/a anonymous), the whole evacuation thing was a lot harder on all of you than it was on me. You're the ones who had to do all the packing and driving, not to mention you left my house cleaner than you found it.

    The truth is, I think "depressed" would be a better word for what's been wrong with me than "tired." I'm glad your homes weren't damaged and you could go home sooner than expected, but I was also sad that we didn't get to visit more. It seemed like all the grown-ups' energy was consumed by keeping track of kids and dogs, negotiating bathroom time, and trying not to step on anybody.

    It makes me feel really, really good that you know you're all welcome here. I love you, too, and I'm so glad we had the chance to be together for a few days. Next time maybe we can do it without all the wind and water.

    I do plan to write about some of my observations during this experience, so stay tuned.

    *****

    Sylvia, I think you do a fine job of expressing yourself, politically and otherwise.

    And I agree, pictures would probably be a good choice.

    *****

    Ronni, thanks for chiming in -- and for not kicking me off.

    I think a lot of us start worrying when you get discouraged about blogging. You're more than an excellent (and entertaining) writer; you've become a valuable source of pertinent information for your readers. How's that for pressure? ;)

    *****

    Margie, people who blog every day have my utmost admiration. I look forward to checking out your blog.

    *****

    Creekhiker, I guess I've had my head in the sand. I didn't realize until I read your comment that you've started a second blog. Popped over for just a quick peek and scrolled the first page. Beautiful beads!

    Speaking of our delightful meeting last year, are you coming back this way for Christmas?

    *****

    Janet, considering all you've had to deal with, you can be proud of posting as often as you have lately. With pictures, no less.

    I've considered posting that I'm taking a break, but it feels like cheating to take a break without a good excuse. Maybe I could fake a note from my mother.

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  8. I know that feeling that the blog is something to feed. Often (and very often recently) I get that "I need to blog something already!" feeling. Sometimes a lack of ideas stop me, other times it's a lack of time.

    Sometimes I write even when I don't have an idea and just hope that something pops out that pleases me. It usually doesn't, but occasionally I surprise myself.

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  9. Photos with brief captions are good as quick fillers but don't discount yourself as a writer.

    Any professional writer will tell you it is just like any other art: you only produce good work when you FEEL it...can't really force it or it's not coming from the heart.

    You write from the heart and articulate really well. Your articulation and humor are what I enjoy most.

    I would love to come up with an entry per WEEK, let alone per day, so don't make such a big deal out of blogging more often.

    Trust me, those of us who want to read your blog keep coming back until the next one is written...and so on and so forth.

    We'll be back!

    And yes, your description of how you feel and what you've let go for the time being definitely sounds like depression. You don't have to feel horrible to be depressed...that's probably why it took you a while to even realize what it is.

    Now, I've often read the first sign of a person losing their mind is unkempt hair: so if you feel you want to stop washing and grooming it, then you ARE in trouble....

    keep an eye on Velvet's hair...you...sis out there...keep an eye on it for us! LOL

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  10. I fuss about my absences. But sometimes I have to get out and live more to have anything to say on the blog. My gosh, how could you even have even got to your computer with all those guests?

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  11. All I ask is....Velvet...don't give in to those feelings as we would never hear from you again. Don't give up. Every week or so I come by here to see what you have to say...and if you have nothing to say, I will be very sad. Remember a Peacock does not crow. He screams. Hang in there.

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  12. My site is a monster that sits on my shoulders and demands from my head that I think about it. It's a puppy that insists on being fed. It's not something that I can ignore even when I try to do so. It's funny how much I think about it. For reasons you are aware, it served an unexpected cathartic purpose for me over the past several years and now I'm not sure what to do with it. I don't feed it enough but am slowly learning to accept that. I don't always have something to say or to work through anymore. When I do though, I know where to go. That's how I've come to terms with it, or, to be honest, am working on coming to terms. All that said, photos are wonderful!

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  13. I can sympathize with it all. and by the way my hair has been unkempt all week.

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  14. our desire or need to write ebbs and flows like the waves of the ocean. sometimes we want to but cannot find the words or think to ourselves no one cares what we think anyway or about what is going on in our life.
    sometimes we are just too down and other times we are at the computer right after our yoga ready to go and somedays we write more than one blog, it all depends on so many factors, at least for us.

    peace and blessings

    keepers

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  15. OH DEAR! If unkempt hair means you're going over the edge, I'm pretty far gone! That's my big worry about going back to work..."You mean, I CAN'T show up in pajamas with my hair in a nest?"

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  16. Its scary how much alike we are! I know I've said this to you at least twice before. Your post is a description of me. I only had 5 posts in the entire month of Sept. I had 900 emails in my mailbox to go through. I just got that done. I don't know what's wrong with me either....maybe the season change.
    But I have to confess that I do go through creative periods. If I'm depressed I can be very creative, both verbally as well as artistically. I've learned to write extra posts to use for emergencies...the times when I just can't think of one thing to write about. But...alas...I've even used all those up!
    So I guess I'll just have to wait this out and hope all of you who read me, will keep checking back. And me being one who tends to get lost in books doesn't help any either.
    Velvet...we need ghost writers for our blogs. LOLOLOLOLOL

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  17. Mike, thanks for sharing that you understand what I'm talking about. I've tried a couple of times to just sit down and write something to "prime the pump," but I just ended up playing Mah Jongg for two hours.

    Rockerjewlz, thanks for delurking and for your thoughtful, encouraging comment. I must admit that the tip about the hair worried me a little bit, though. It made me think there's a possibility I've been depressed for the last 20 years. ;)

    Kat, as much as I'd like to blame my absence on my houseguests, they were only here for four days, and they provided plenty of blog fodder during that time. Can't blame my absence on anything other than personal laziness -- and too much political coverage on TV, maybe.

    Sister-Three, I'm not giving up. It's just that I've been feeling more like a moaning chicken than a screaming peacock.

    Duly Inspired, your comment about not being able to ignore your blog even when you want to sums up how I feel exactly. It's as if the blog is a live thing that nags me when I'm not in the mood to write. (Kind of like the cookies in my pantry that whisper "eat me" as I pass through the kitchen.)
    I've learned that if I don't turn the computer on at all, I feel less guilty about not blogging. How bizarre is that?

    Nan16, thanks for the empathy. Do you think the Red Hat Society might have been started by women with messy hair?

    Keepers, I liked your comparison of your desire to write to "the ebbs and flows of the ocean." I hope that the next time my tide comes in, it'll wash ashore some bloggable nuggets.

    CreekHiker, that hair thing? I'll meet you at the nuthouse.

    Val, I agree, we have a whole lot in common. Your idea of writing extra posts during creative periods is a good one. Now all I have to do read a good book while I wait for one of those creative periods.

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  18. Okay, I posted, even though it was a weak one, so now you don't have an excuse to put yours off! ;-)

    How's Butch's backside, and how is Sister Mary Katherine?

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  19. Please come back Velvet! I've missed you so! I check everyday hoping for a new post. Life in LA sounds so much richer than here in Idaho. We don't have wild peacocks or green lizards or hurricanes!

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  20. Hi!
    I've been following your blog awhile, and I really like it! I'd like to invite you to join us at www.womenetcetera.com, a website for women who are 50+, who believe in embracing transitions and change and making the most of our individualities and our lives. Do check us out!

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  21. Just checking on you, Velvet, and hoping that everything is OK. A lot of the blogs I read have taken a bit of a rest here and there during this past month or so. I do suspect that it has to do with not only weather changes but also stress ...thinking about the state our nation is in and knowing down deep that no matter who is elected...it isn't something that can be fixed right away. Its going to take a long time to set things right...or as right as they can be.
    So...here's hoping that you are physically OK and to tell you that I miss you. Be well. Val

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  22. Hi, I'm finally de-lurking to say PLEASE COME BACK SOON. I so miss your sense of humor, your writing style and your views on life.

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  23. Velvet, It's been a month!!!! I'm so worried about you!!! Please come back soon!!!!

    I miss your humor so much!

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  24. Janet, I've sat down to write so many times and ended up playing computer games or something else I could do mindlessly.

    TamiC, I haven't seen many critters around here lately, either, but I've seen so much B.S. on TV that I know there must be bulls close by.

    Val, I think you've correctly identified the cause of my discontent. I've been watching politics from the time I get home until bedtime, and a lot of what I've seen has put me in a really bad mood.

    Teri, thanks for letting me know you're out there. Honestly, I miss my sense of humor, too, and hope to find it again soon.

    Creekhiker, thanks, but there's nothing wrong with me that can't be cured by a few years or psychotherapy -- or perhaps an end to this political season.

    Patsy, thanks, but I'm OK.

    I appreciate your concern, everybody, and apologize for causing it. It's just that my grandmother taught me not to say anything at all if I couldn't say something nice, and for the past few weeks I've been so spittin' mad I couldn't think of anything nice to say. I'm working really hard to turn my attitude around, and I'll be back soon.

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