Monday, September 10, 2012

Why I stopped blogging

If you check this site regularly -- or scroll down a few inches -- you will have noticed I haven't written anything in a while. As much for myself as for everyone out there, I feel I should give a few reasons for why this has happened. Many of them are typical why-I-stopped-blogging excuses, but I present them nonetheless.

It became a comparison game. Once I decided to take my blog beyond the family readership zone, I discovered sites with multimedia outlets, daily posts, scrolling banners, avatars... I couldn't compete. Search engines are amazing resources for learning about HTML and other computer codes, but hours of trial and error still left me with a basic home page and endless frustration. Nail-biting, stomach-churtling frustration. In the end, not worth the anxiety.

I wasn't capturing the experience. I started this blog because I wanted to share my journey. It worked for a while (a blip, really), then doubt smothered my honesty. I often skirted around my impressions in the interest of diplomacy and the pretense of positivity. Instead, I adapted a snapshot-and-comment formula, creating more of an extended tourism advert for the UK than a fresh personal account of my experiences. If I had, you would have discovered that I had very little money to travel -- compromising the whole travel blog idea from the first -- and was more interested in discovering how it feels to be a minority and answering questions like, "What makes me happy?"

Self-promotion makes me queasy. From early on it was clear that successful bloggers spend rather obscene amounts spearing their awesomeness across as many Twitter, Facebook, YouTube feeds as possible. Really, we all do this on our own virtual walls (OMG, check out this ah-mah-zing spaghetti I made myself tonight!), but out of necessity, they take it to a new level. It takes up the majority of the working day and I am not comfortable spending that much time selling myself. This means I will never be a successful writer, but apparently that is okay with me.

I stopped seeing. Going on Sunday walks became compulsory; I had to go out to find the next story. I scuttled through ancient forests and along geological phenomenons mentally composing a list of quips for my next post rather than looking around. Memories were made through my camera lens, edited and uploaded to my Flickr account. Experiences lost all their integrity because I was too busy deciphering how to sell them. It was no longer genuine, so, true to form, I lost interest altogether.

I don't like that you who checked my blog often were left with nothing for such a long time. Your interest in my life and writing gave me a different kind of confidence than I have had before; I thank you for it. But to preserve my sanity and integrity as a teller of life-stories -- and yours, as readers -- I resume my silence until I discover a new approach.

2 comments:

  1. Your candor is what will propel the progressive movement of your story. Inspired really...everything I see you do is absolutely inspired, honest, and captivating! BRAVO, my love.

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  2. When I spent a semester in London in college, during one of the cultural adjustment session they gave us in the beginning, they frankly told us to be weary of what we sent home as far as anecdotes. They said that sometimes it was challenging to keep up the facade of positivity. They mentioned (and I then experienced this firsthand) that sometimes family/friends back home will often latch onto bad stories. Stories expressing hardship and negativity were more often talked about and even surrounded by unending optimism, it was the negative people would remember and talk about.

    Since starting my China blog, it has been an interesting struggle. I cannot help but worry about the positivity and diplomacy undertones in what I write. Even with my Peace Corps-required disclaimer, I can't help but fret that every word will be scrutinized. I can totally relate to that feeling. I recently had a friend email me and ask me the one of the toughest questions I've received since getting here: "Will you tell me something you wouldn't publish on your blog?"

    The reason for this rambling, I guess, is because since getting that question, it is a topic I've put a tremendous amount of thought into. When I read this, it spoke to me. Obviously, this medium isn't the greatest to work issues like this out in... If you'd be interested in starting a dialogue, feel free to email me; I'd love to hear from you!

    As a fellow blogger and traveller, I completely relate and empathize with your struggle. Take all the time you need. Your readership will be waiting, Kelsey.

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