Sometimes I like to talk about the history of my blog like it's been around forever. But mostly I realize that I'm just some upstart who hasn't been doing anything for very long and who doesn't do anything with enough consistency to talk about the history of this blog. So if I stumble into talking that kind of nonsense, please ignore me. You probably already were.
So in my vast blogging experience, I've learned that the process of starting and maintaining a blog is not as simple as registering a blogger account and spouting off a few opinions (later I'm going to devote a paragraph or seven to the whole "opinion" thing). For me, the decision to blog is primarily very personal. I need an outlet. I've got lots of thoughts in my head. Better out than in, I (and Shrek) always say. I have this tendency to narrate my life, probably because I'm a fiction reader, and when things around me are moving slowly, I edit the previously narrated bits. And it's not just straight narration, which is not the sort of thing that would carry over into a blog anyway . . . It's exposition about thoughts I'm having or experiences or memories. Long before I started posting here, I was writing something in my head. I can't believe I just admitted that. Freak flag: check.
So a lot of the stuff that goes on here is really just for me--to get it out of my head or to give me a place for some true editing of all these words. That's why I have so many drafts of posts that never actually show up for public consumption. Some things don't pan out, but so far, I'm keeping them in case they grow up to be something better later. But if all I was looking for was an outlet, I could keep a journal. That does appeal to me in some ways because I love physically writing things. Add a mild handwriting obsession to the crazy that is me. And journaling vs. blogging would give me more freedom to let out all my thoughts. Because no matter how real I keep it or how transparent I claim to be, this blog o'mine is far from the unvarnished truth. There's a ton of censoring that goes into everyday communication, and that's true of what goes on here as well. Quite a lot is going unsaid because it's better or safer or something. And really, no one would want to read me unfiltered. Potentially, I can see that an open forum for my every rant isn't necessarily what's best for me anyway. Better out than in, yes, but often better to not give anger and negativity such a foothold that a rant is necessary.
Clearly, I've made my point that I'm neurotic and self-centered, so before this turns into a love song to Ellen, let me tell you that blogging is also about you, imaginary reader. Because I didn't choose to keep a journal . . . I chose to write to you. Now I'll be honest and tell you that part of that is conceit, assuming that anything I want to say is worth reading to other people, and part of it is the voyeuristic nature of society. But having an audience, imaginary or otherwise, takes blogging out of my head. I have someone to consider, which streamlines my rambling occasionally and directs my thoughts often. I'm writing for me, but I want you to be here too. And I want to do something that will bring you back. My Google Analytics addiction is proof enough that I care that you're here and what you're doing here.
The point I'm belaboring here is that blogging is a thumbs-up kind of experience for me. I get to write, and I feel like I'm providing an occasional amusing diversion to the teeming masses. Go me(at)! But (and you know there was a but coming, right?) sometimes the pressure of blogging is really more than I bargained for. Stupid, self-inflicted pressure, but pretty real, nonetheless. Yesterday I realized that I'd only done ten posts in March, and a couple of those were short little duds anyway. I felt guilty about that. I haven't done a project 4:4 post all month (primarily because I haven't read my dailies all month). I can't decide if I should feel more guilty about being so behind on the Bible or the fact that my behind-ness deprives my loyal fans here of some blog-fodder. I'm not reading books and continuing the "year in books" series, but I've already expressed enough guilt over that. And my slow trickle of other ideas is fairly dry. I'm feeling like a failure. Whoever had three and a half months in the pool should collect. I'm not saying that this is the end of the opinions. But at this point, it's feeling much more like an obligation than a joy. And that stinks for all of us.
And since I mentioned "opinions" again, let me tell you that I hate the name of this blog. Why did I pick it? It sounds like I'm some know-it-all jerk who's going to choose a topic that doesn't really concern me in the real world and tell you all what to think about it. Well, I am a know-it-all jerk, but I tend to stay away from hot topics or telling people what to think about things that matter. On the other hand, I do have a lot of opinions and ideas and rules about silly stuff, things that don't matter, and I feel like this blog is chock-full of those ridiculous opinions. So maybe it's appropriate.
Any direction that this post had was lost long ago. Apologies, imaginary readers. Let me sum up for those still searching through the mire of my thoughts for a point: today blogging gives me a frowny face. But I have hope in my own narcissism, and so should you.
*****Uncertain blog author's dilemma: Should I have called this post "blobligations" instead of "blogligations." Is it even clear what I'm trying to say? I want to be cool and confident enough to let it stand and have you get it or feel inadequate because you don't get it, but my inadequacies rule the day.*****