I have been experiencing blogger guilt.
I have a few blogs I like to read and so I check them each day to see if a new post has been put up. Maybe daily is a bit excessive (obsessive) or maybe I have more time on my hands than I feel like I do but the truth is I check them daily. I am always disappointed when there is not a new post. If the author goes several days without a new entry I get bummed out and after a week I get annoyed. I think to myself, "Don't they consider the readers? Don't they understand that some of us are quietly waiting for a new instalment of their witty quips and sparkling clarity? Why have a blog if you are not going to post for ages at a time?"
These are selfish thoughts that do not take into consideration that people have lives away from the keyboard. These thoughts disregard the notion that sometimes people are stumped for something to say to the great silent void of the internet. These nattering voices ignore the fact that someone might feel that even if they have thought of something to say there may be self-doubt about whether anyone would really want to hear it anyway. I know, as a reader and appreciator of these blogs, that whatever they say I have, do and will enjoy. Why else would I come back, almost manically?
That said, I know the reasons why one might not write because I experience them myself. Every time I count back to the last time I blogged (hate that term by the way, such an inelegant word-blog, all derivatives of it only become more awkward and unappealing) I think "I should write something...but what?" and then I move on to more pressing matters like homework, snack making, answering the phone and surfing other people's blogs. The longer it goes the harder it is to write anything. It is as if a widening chasm stands between me and my journal every time I step away from it. The guilt is all the more pronounced because I declared, in writing right here, that I would write at least once a week and I don't.
In truth I have a lot to say and very little time, day to day, to say it in. I don't know if anyone wants to hear what I say but I don't mind that so much. I like placing a concept or feeling in front of me to see and examine. I don't mind so much if others look too or not at all. That was something I struggled with at first with having a blog. This act is a public expression of aspects of myself which I have no overt desire to make public and yet wish to express, simply to have them outside of myself. Convoluted, I know. The act of writing things here is not an ego trip for me but I see blogging as an innately narcissistic action (I am talking about personal journal blogs and not informational blogs). So am I being a narcissist for doing this or is this self-exploration? I used to have the same problem with distinguishing between selfishness and caring for one's self. In that area I came to the conclusion that people accuse others of being selfish only when they are not getting what they want from the one they are accusing. But I am getting off topic. When it comes to online journaling I am still ambiguous about whether my intention is narcissistic or not. It is all about intention after all. And yet, I guilt myself for not writing as if I have neglected a chore. If this was just linguistic wanking I think there would be no guilt.
I wonder if all online journal writers go through this? Even the ones with big readerships and oodles of comments every entry. I wonder if I am just chasing my own tail? One word of advice I can suggests to other bloggers out there experiencing "Entry Guilt", don't apologize. None of this is really real anyway. If you have real things to do out in the real world and you are not going to loose a job, your health or a friendship over a late entry or two..or ten then don't worry about it. If you feel the need to apologize to anyone make it yourself because what are you writing it for anyway? The pleasure of it, I hope. And for sure don't take to heart my little voice's selfish nattering about wanting a fresh entry every day. Even I don't listen to that voice, neither should anyone else.