So, I've been mostly taking a break from blogging this month. Counting this post, it'll be six posts total in January.
Blogging really stresses me out.
There are things I love about blogging- I enjoy engaging with people. I enjoy reading what other people have to say. I enjoy having a place to say what I'm thinking and find out what other people have to say in response. I've learned a lot of things because of blogging- not just from people blogging about current events (which is also great), but from people correcting or analyzing the things that are written. When blogging is like a conversation, it can be a really interesting and exciting process.
But, there are a lot of things that I really hate about blogging. I hate how easy it is to read one thing that someone has written, and see that as the sum-total of that person's opinions and experiences. I hate how easy it is to misread or misinterpret what people are saying when they blog. I hate how easy it is to miss tone, or misunderstand sarcasm, or misread humor. I hate how quickly conversations escalate into arguments into flaming. I hate how easy it is to forget that bloggers are real people who have real feelings who have real experiences outside of the web who have complex opinions about issues that don't always come through in every post. I hate how easy it is to forget or ignore or simply not know about a person's many other good works and history of thought and action and activism when you read something that they've said that you disagree with or don't like. And on, and on.
And, no, it's not that all of those things happen to me (although, yeah, I absolutely hate it when they do)- it's also that I end up doing those things, too.
And I also hate not knowing if any of this is actually doing any good. I hate that I can spend a week researching and writing and rewriting something- hours and hours spent thinking about writing and working on a post, and I put it out there, and I have no idea whether it actually helps the cause. I hate feeling like I've put my heart and soul into something and feeling like the only people who are going to read it are:
1. People who already agree with what I'm saying.
2. People who are 100% against what I'm saying and only reading it to tear it apart.
And, it is hard writing. Writing is work. It's good work- it feels good to find the right words, to really bite into a tough subject, or to realize that you've just found exactly the right way of saying something so that it clicks in your head in a way that it hadn't before. But, it's still work. It's hard. It's hard, in part, because of constraints I put on myself.
And I'm having all of these feelings, and then I go to the doctor, and I find out that I have a stress related chronic condition. The more stressed I get, the worse the condition gets. Which is a vicious circle, because the worse the condition gets, the more I stress out, but whatever.
So, I'm not sure what to do. Blogging is hurting me, and I'm not really convinced that it's actually doing good, but not blogging is actually starting to stress me out a little too, and I miss it, and I miss the sense of community that I felt when I first started.
I haven't yet figured out how this all works. I'm unhappy with the way things were going, but I'm not ready to throw in the towel, either. I'm thinking that I need to change my idea of what this blog should be, but I'm not really sure what it looks like or what it ought to be, either.