Stu wrote a post yesterday, which he has since taken down, with the following words: “As much as I like web and have met some great people part me hates it information overload and sometimes I just want a simple life I can’t remember last time I brought a cd and listen to it with out i pod then listening or read a book with think I ll have to blog this…”
It totally resonated with me. I hope that he’s not offended I’ve repeated his thoughts here because they reiterate a thought I often experience. Am I controlling the information I have access to, or is it controlling me?
Third grade is the year that most children in America are taught to write in cursive. If they’re taught at all. “Boys and girls,” I said last week. “There are two opinions on this. One is that you will never need cursive as you will only be texting with your two thumbs or word processing with both hands. The other opinion is mine: there’s nothing like a personal letter written in one’s own handwriting. It’s a lost skill, one you’re not going to leave my classroom without knowing. You don’t have to use it. But, you do have to know it so that you can make the choice if you want to use it in your own life.”
How much I love finding the notes from my grandfather, written in a fountain pen, in a leather bound notebook, to my grandmother. How much I love the cards from my own father, mother, husband and son which express their thoughts in their writing.
But, I digress. Cursive is only one tiny piece of the conundrum.
Blogging has enriched my life in a thousand ways. It’s brought literature to me that I would never have read, let alone heard of, had someone I respect not suggested it to me. Not written about it an engaging way that makes me find the book as soon as possible. At the same time, it’s also somewhat of a compulsion. I check my blog frequently for comments so that I can see how what I’ve written is being received. I thrill at an email from an author or publisher requesting a review. I rework my template a thousand times a year to get it just right. (Whatever that means. 😉
When Stu said he can’t remember the last time he read a book without thinking he’d have to blog about it, this is what I thought: “!” Can I read anymore for the simple sake of reading? Can I just enjoy what the author is showing me without needing to mark a page or make a note or compose a draft as I read? Ummmm, no. I’ve lost some of that spontaneity for what is bordering on compulsion.
This is not an “I’m quitting blogging” post. Nor is it an “I’m not posting for a few weeks” post. It is a “Let’s assess the situation” post to see if I can’t achieve a greater balance between what is my pleasure and what is my compulsion.
Because nothing’s worse than turning one’s joy into a job.