Should I Stay or Should I Go?

posted in: Uncategorized | 19

As many of you have probably noticed I haven’t been around on the blog much for quite some time. To tell the truth I’ve been wrestling with whether to continue or not. Part of me has come to a lot of the same conclusions as Denny: I want to concentrate on my book writing (I’ve already finished one travel book a while ago but have yet to find a publisher, and I’m working on a fantasy novel, an illustrated children’s story, and a novel set in Japan, plus have a whole list of other books I want to get to), which is more important to me than almost any other activity I’ve set my mind to. Writing in the blog and reading and commenting in other blogs takes a lot of time that I just don’t have. I also more and more want to spend time outdoors in the real world of nature, not in front of a computer screen. I keep asking myself how I would feel, when I’m finally dying, about the time spent with the blog compared with time spent out walking in the mountains or watching birds or studying insects, which I would hold most dear, and the time outdoors wins every time.

However, I’ve developed some close and important relationships with a few people through the blog, some of whom have grown into genuine friends whom I would not hesitate to visit if the chance presented itself. I do not want to lose the connections I have made and also would like to continue exploring a lot of the ideas and discussions that have been going on for more than a year now.

So how to proceed. Perhaps I’ve just got to learn a little more discipline and keep the blog posts to a certain time frame. I’m thinking of changing the format a little and posting more on my daily walks and from my cell phone (something you can’t live without in Japan, or no one would ever call you… it’s a whole subculture here, far beyond any other place in the world). That way I could use my train commuting time more constructively and at the same time allow for my book writing at home. I’m also thinking of migrating from Movable Type to WordPress, the set up of which I’ve already more or less finished. I just need to work on the CSS, part of which will either incorporate a new page design or utilize a user controllable rotating CSS interface.

It would be a pity to toss aside something I worked so hard on for such a long time. But only as long as it doesn’t interfere with the things that are most important to me. Just takes a little time management.

So, in keeping with the new rules, I had better sign off here and get outside. See you again later.

19 Responses

  1. I certainly hope you don’t give it up; but I have to confess that my motivation for saying so is entirely selfish. I really love reading you. You always offer a fresh insight on things.

    I’ve been posting less than I used to myself. I no longer feel the compulsion to post every day. Sometimes I just post a photo.

  2. We all have other commitments, and time spent on the blog seems to eat away at time for other things. If writing other things are becoming more important — the novels and travel books and all that — then you should follow your heart and pursue those. At any rate, all I’m saying is, “do what your heart tells you to do.”

    I’ve been going through a similar spell, mostly because blogging time is eating into time I might spend learning more about the law, exploring Sydney’s cafes in search of the perfect coffee, walking around looking at buildings and snapping pictures of them for my little architecture photo collection… I’ve also become more reluctant to comment in other blogs — although I still read them in FeedDemon — precisely because of the time commitment.

    There’s so much more to life, and I guess that it’s time we start realizing it… And living life, instead of blogging about it. :-)

  3. Oh Miguel, I do hope you’ll stay! Maybe you can allot a couple hours a week on just one day a week to blog, and promise yourself not to touch it otherwise? For me it would be like reading a postcard from a friend who has gone traveling so I can’t talk to him every day, but I’ll be so thrilled to get that postcard of where he is, what he’s up to, what he’s thinking. You should do what you feel is right and don’t feel responsible to us – but I do hope you’ll stay on here, or at least keep us posted periodically.

  4. As much as I would miss your frequent posts, I think it’s a good idea to take a break and just post when you have the time.

    Moblogging during your ‘walkabouts’ seems like a great alternative, and it might even inspire us to spend more time outdoors!

  5. Laughing Knees, if it would disappear, would really leave a black hole in the blog-universe. But I agree it is good to ask oneself how much time maintaining it (the blog and the blogreading) costs, and whether it can be spent in a more satisfying way. I am not going to stop you if you want to leave entirely, but I must confess I am glad you are considering alternative solutions. Time-management.. yes.
    I strongly hope you will stay around… but don’t let yourself be influenced by all of us.

  6. You’ve created an excellent weblog read by an intelligent and nice gang of people from what I can make out. It would be an absolute shame if you stopped. Time expands and the weblog (for me anyway) is what happens when I am making other plans. We can always do more than we think we can. Do the books, go outdoors, and keep writing the weblog. And while we’re at it, there’s also the matter of that hiking book.

  7. I too would be sorry to see your thoughts and lovely images disappear. But I wonder if there is a natural progression in the life of a blog, from the excitement of creating it, to the satisfaction of presenting your ideas to the world and exchanging comments with others, to eventual staleness and ceasing. I discovered the blog world only about 6 months ago, and recently several of my favorites have signed off, for reasons similar to yours. Perhaps we readers should expect and accept that. Perhaps other new blogs full of youthful energy will spring up to take the place of the old ones, for a time. Perhaps creating a Weblog is good to do for a while, but also good to move on from.

    I recently discovered a blog that simply posts a new photo each day – and it has become one of my three favorites to check daily. Would you be interested in simply posting photos and drawings? Would that use less time?

  8. First of all, genuine friendships endure with a little effort by both parties. If you want that, it will happen with or without the blog.

    I keep wondering why people keep saying “other work” is more important, in effect putting down blogging as a less valuable activity. Maybe ts because I’ve spent a lot fo time thinkin and writing about spirituality and different concepts of “ministry”, but it is quite clear to me that what many of us are doing IS important, perhaps vitally important, by providing a mroe or less daily lifeline of conversation about meaningful topics, or a quiet place of reflection, or a sense of kinship across time and space to other individuals. The fact that we cannot see or feel or measure the true impact we may be having on one another’s lives heightens my belief that this IS the sort of selflessness that really matters in our world. I could collect my blog posts and compile a book, or I could finish the one I am supposedly writing – and I hope someday I will do those things. But I don’t see them as any more satisfying or worthwhile than writing here. What that would do is gratify my ego, possibly help or interest some other people, and maybe – this is a very long shot – make me some money. But the big thing is that I coould “see” the accomplishment, show it, talk about it. I am suspicious of these motives, frankly, but perhaps that is just that I’ve been on this spiritual materialism kick for a long time and it makes me examine my desires relentlessly.

    To put it another way – I hope you’ll keep writing here, at least sporadically, because I would miss it, and your presence and voice are unique in this medium, and have come to matter to me a great deal.

  9. I think it is really important to create freedoms for oneself. Re-gig things every now and then. Like Beth, I think weblogging can be a good outlet / forum for one’s creativity – no more or less than commissioned or bought writings. Your weblog is an island in a great ocean of many islands but here you find a true and loyal readership, people who want to visit and who are engaged and charmed by your abilities, your ways of seeing and telling.

    I love the idea of you blogging on the move. That could create a more Haiku’d and spontaneous set of entries and free you a little. I have also been through times when I feel an obligation to my weblog. And I am more frequently reviewing what it is I am wanting to do with it. Can it change or do we become subservient to the form we have created?! Whatever you go on to do, I hope it involves the freedom to experiment.

  10. When I was a kid in school,I used to have an English teacher who claimed that no matter how you only had 24 hours a day like the rest of the world, you could always find the time for whatever was of vital interest to you. So, it’s always a good thing to take a look to make sure you are doing what you want to do. On the other hand, there is no such thing as wasting time, because there is no such thing as time really, it’s not objective, it’s subjective. Notice how five minues expand to an hour when you are impatiently awaiting the arrival of someone you love at the airport, or how an evening of several hours with good friends flies by when you are enjoying yourself.

    When I wonder about the phenomenon of blogging, I think it is a little like a sketchbook to record ideas, or sometimes like an old envelopes on the back of which one jots down ideas as one is waiting for the train on a station platform. It has occurred to me, for myself, that the times I consider stopping blogging, paradoxically, are when it appears as if I have developed an acquaintance with a reader, when the blog stops being a personal thing and becomes something shared. It certainly is paradoxical because I am the first to say how grateful I am to be reading other peoples’ blogs, how much I look forward to linking to see what they have posted. It is not the same as reading a book, or an essay in a magazine, but it’s a priviledged communication that often brings me joy.

    I would definitely love to read your book when written, and I certainly understand it if you feel you have to sacrifice your notebook, but I would hope you could continue to use the old envelope idea when you are enjoying your nature walks. I wish you all the best, whatever you decide.

  11. It is good to know that a lot of the people with whom I’ve gotten quite close here find the blog means that much to them. When I started the blog I wasn’t really quite sure what I was doing, or even exactly what I expected. I remember it was a little frightening to be posting personal opinions out in the public eye and that my posts tended to be more cloudy anecdotes of tiny daily events and numb reactions to what was happening in Iraq than any kind of thoughtful writing, which it gradually developed into. Over the year and more that I’ve kept this blog it gradually matured into its own expression that really has, as some people suggest, grown out of my own need to explore ideas that cannot be explored any other way. It is like thoughtful gossip in one way, and like informed prayer in another. I’ve been so reluctant to give up the blog mainly because the community that has grown around my one node in the web consists of some really wonderful people whom I would never have met any other way. For me the blog is much more than an intellectual exercise; I genuinely feel affection for a number of friends of this blogging fellowship (at times I feel I could fall in love with some of the people here!… but don’t worry I’m not going to stalk any of you!) and the daily writing, while at times volatile and full of fire, comes to me more as Beth’s often repeated analogy of sitting at a dinner table conversing. I’ve now gotten to the point of meeting and arranging to meet two people in real life after initially discovering one another through blogging, so it is just not true insisting that blogging is purely virtual. And I hope to actually meet quite a number of others who visit here or whom I visit daily. Beth, Susan, Basha, Chris, Pica and Numenius, Coup de Vent, Setsunai, Steve, Anne, and Denny are just a few of those whom I’ve communted quite a lot with and whom I would love to meet and talk with or even go for a hike with.

    My life needs a lot of reshuffling and effort at discipline right now. I need to pare away the extraneous and simplify a lot of things. But perhaps the temptation to release blog comes out of not getting enough time with other things that I’ve neglected too long, such as hiking and writing my books, and that if I would do them more diligently, and with the energy that Setsunai insists we have more of than we give ourselves credit for, then perhaps I would be terminating the blog for the wrong reasons. Maybe this is a wake up call. To make what I do lean and clean, but with heart. Certainly, as Beth states, blogging can be made to reflect the best of your life if that is what you aim for.

    I’ve got to reflect on all this and see what I can work up.

  12. I can tell you this isn’t any easy choice to make, and I wish you well with it. The main thing is to be clear about what’s most important to you, and focus your energy on that, whatever that may be. I must say, my brother, that discontinuing a blog is a hard thing to do.

  13. Miguel,
    I can only say that I respect any decision you make, any changes that come from an increase in your personal happiness can only be of benefit to all of us who care about you as a person.

    I have times when I have no energy to spare to the blog but still carry around the people here in my heart and mind, and times when I seem to have no energy for anything but the blog or I blog to reenergize for the rest of my world. I think it mirrors the constant rebalancing that goes on with the revolving door of people and events of our lives which are largely outside our control.

    Anyway, I look forward to your increased happiness however you choose to pursue it, even if it’s at my loss as a devoted reader and fan. I wonder if it isn’t a bit like a parent who reluctantly lets go of their child as they grow away and create their own full lives, knowing that what’s best for them is also going to create an empty spot in our day to day time we spend together.

  14. I guess I could be balanced and fair and talk about how you should only do what you feel and what’s best for you and blogging shouldn’t be an obligation and if the thrill is gone, then, well, maybe it’s time to stop. And all of that is true.
    But, honestly, I feel like begging. Please don’t go!!!

  15. I wish I had some words of wisdom for you Miguel. I can empathise as I’ve been going through similar thoughts myself, albeit in a more muddled, less purposeful way. For what it’s worth, I think Denny hits the nail on the head – know what’s important to you and focus on that. The difficulty of course comes when too many things seem important and conflicts arise between them. It’s so easy (for me at any rate) to get trapped into an either/or way of thinking instead of both/and. I like that phrase of yours “To make what I do lean and clean, but with heart”. Maybe that’s a way out of either/or?

  16. You have come to a crossroad in your life…..I first linked to you through my sister, Basha, and am always in awe of your writings and your beautiful pictures………your writings are thought provoking and makes one wonder what one’s purpose in life truly is…….your pictures are wonderful and, as an amateur photographer, I often say to myself “I wish I could take photos as beautiful as Laughing Knees”…………Whatever decision you make I wish you well, but I must say if you choose to discontinue your blog I will miss you as your blog is one of the better ones out there in the current blogosphere…………

  17. Blog is suppose to be like a dairy… a place where you can write down all your thoughts, sorrows, happiness… and your feelings… its just like a journal.. you dont have to spend alot of time blogging.. just blog whenever you want to… if you think that blogging eat up too much of your time.. just blog once in a while… when you come back from exploring of mountains, watching of birds, studying of insects… I believe many people will like you to share with them… including me… =)

  18. I hear what you say, and trust you will make the decision that is best for you in the long run. Listen to your heart, and focus on what will nurture your soul. You have such an astounding eye for beauty, as well as with the words you use to take the reader on a journey, and although your words would be missed, a simplified version may offer a solution. If you decide that leaving the blog behind is the better way to go, then let me take this opportunity to thank you for the many times you’ve expanded my perspective on something or another. I don’t get around to blogs so much myself anymore, yet I’ve always eventually found my way back here. Wishing you nothing but the best, miguel.

Leave a Reply