I Seem to Have Lost My Place, Temporarily

When I began blogging in 2006 it was enough to have a voice. A voice that went beyond my journal’s pages or my husband’s ear. And not only did I have a voice, I had something viable to talk about: books.

You can’t imagine the pleasure there was in simply writing my thoughts about the literature I was reading, only to find someone responding with their thoughts. It was like a book club without having to dust, or prepare a dessert, or even agree on the same book to which everyone was obligated to read.

When I began the Japanese Literature Challenge eight years ago, over one hundred people signed up, and suddenly my reading world opened even wider. I was reading authors whose names had previously looked like a string of consonants all strung together, names which I now type without even needing to double check. Names which were gifts from fellow participants.

My evenings consisted of blogging. Writing posts. Redesigning my template. (Remember?!) Visiting old friends and making new. Finding a new comment on a post I’d written was thrilling, finding new friends with which to converse was better than talking to many of the friends I had in real life; they never seem to read much of anything but current best sellers.

The years passed…

I bought an iPad mini which gradually replaced my laptop. Only it doesn’t work as efficiently as a laptop, in terms of affording me ease with which to word process. I am fast with my thumbs, but not as fast as with all ten of my fingers. Leaving comments became arduous. Reading posts took time from reading books. Some of my favorite bloggers ceased blogging. New to me bloggers were so erudite I became intimidated. And slowly, I found myself withdrawing from a world which had become important to me.

Now I hardly know where I am. I tiptoe in and out of the blogging world, sometimes leaving a comment, most times not, and often feeling that I’ve lost my place. It’s been so very tempting, for the past six months, to give up blogging altogether.

But today I went through my blog list, reading posts and leaving many comments as I used to do, and in so doing I realized that I don’t want to abandon blogging about books. Not yet, anyway. I’d rather renew my place amidst this world, commenting with my laptop, carving out an hour each night from my reading time.

In fact, if there’s anything I’ll easily abandon, it’s my iPad.

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35 thoughts on “I Seem to Have Lost My Place, Temporarily”

  1. Lovely. I’ve gone through many of the same feelings lately, but I mostly have given up blogging in favor of reading. Glad to hear you are going to try a different balance.

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  2. I struggle with commenting using my iPad as well so I don’t comment as much as I used to. I am glad to hear that you are continuing to blog though as I have always enjoyed your blog! There aren’t many blogs that I have been reading since when I first started 🙂

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  3. Bellezza,

    It would be so difficult for me to use my iPad mini for blogging. I need my computer (I don”t even use a laptop). Blogging does subtract from reading time, but I still enjoy it. And I think you do, too. Your blog is always a pleasure to visit. It’s a work of art.

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  4. I’m glad you’ve decided to keep your place. I know the feeling. Some days I just feel like I’m – as the Good Book says – running aimlessly and boxing into the air. But after each post, I tell myself, there, you’ve done your writing exercise. So even if nobody reads it, I’ve at least written something down that is part of me. Keep up the fine work you’ve been doing on this blog, Bellezza.

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  5. The iPad tried its trick with me too. I found it so much of a hassle to comment and post that I had a very lack lustre year of writing. But then I realised how much I missed the camaraderie in the blogosphere. So I ditched the iPad and got back to my trusted laptop.
    Some bloggers do intimidate me so I quietly move on to my kind of bloggers 🙂
    So, please do not give up. Continue writing and we’ll keep commenting 🙂

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  6. DB, isn’t sad that the speed of technology changing and the changing nature of social media is impacting on us like this. I am so glad you’re going to keep on blogging … I value your contribution to the book reviewing world. You have taught me alot, and I am sure you’re a role model to many. I haven’t moved to the iPad/Tablet world. I still drag my laptop around with me. I use my mini tab as my eReading platform , and it’s good for that and playing games and music. But my laptop is like an extension of me. I dread the day this little golden Sony Vaio starts having problems…

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  7. I too use my laptop for blogging/reading blogs/commenting and even Tweeting. (Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t really use my smartphone for anything except checking weather and phoning). It’s handy for reading from the sofa, though, while I have to retire to my study (with the door open to living room though) and have my family complaining: ‘You’re on your computer YET AGAIN!’
    I’m so glad you’re not giving up blogging completely. I like your reviews and comments far too much to be deprived of them! Hopefully you can find a schedule that works for you, isn’t too laborious.

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  8. Ciao Bellezza, you already know my views on this subject, so all I will ads is that my preferred style is notepad with ideas thoughts & then my laptops. As to commenting after a year off I think the habit/tradition of commenting on fellow bloggers posts seem to be becoming a past ideal.

    Definition of Regret

    They say that sounds never die but travel
    like invisible dust around the earth.
    So, the words regretted by us,
    forgotten with or without our consent,
    become painfully eternal.
    So, when we said yes
    and when we said no
    we said in fact always,
    we said in fact never,
    even if we didn’t mean to say that.
    So space ships could collide with a forgotten cry
    and return to us
    with an inexplicable scar.
    And if it is true that sound never die,
    Your departing steps lit by the snows
    will be eternally leaving
    even after we have gone.

    Octavian Paler

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  9. I’m glad you’re not thinking of giving up blogging, Bellezza. Sometimes it’s just a question of finding the right balance and it sounds as if you’re getting there. Like Marina, I value your reviews and comments very much. x

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  10. I started doing most of my blog reading on my iphone while I’m out and most sites won’t even let me comment from it. So, I also had to make a conscious effort to save posts that I wanted to comment on and spend some time in the evening on the laptop. After months of almost zero commenting, I’m starting to feel like I’m part of the community again. I hope you have the same results!

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  11. I hear what you are saying. Coming back to blogging and reading blogs, I tried my iPad. But…commenting is arduous and quite annoying. Like you, I do OK with my thumbs, but am much better with all my fingers. So, I’m on my desktop computer (I know, I am a dinosaur). I’m completely enjoying jumping back into the give and take of commenting and sharing thoughts. I don’t think I know another way to do it. Good luck as you try to find your balance again. I love when people comment, but I know that the world is very fast paced these days and many have moved on to quicker venues. And I do remember when you used to change up your blog often. One never knew what one might find here. LOL

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  12. I love my iPad for reading my eBooks and reading blogs, but post and comments are always done from the laptop.

    I’d hate to see your blogging days come to an end.

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  13. You had me really worried, right up to the end. I for one value your blog and your comments on my own blog, quite a bit. I know that we’ll all move on from this one day, but I’m glad to hear that it’s not going to be today.

    I almost left blogging last year, but decided instead to just pursue it in a much more casual way. While I’m not around as much as I used to be and don’t have the readership I once had, I still enjoy the time I spend on-line reading about books..

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  14. It isn’t the same but maybe we should not expect it to be? Maybe we just need to periodically reinvent our blogging selves (a fantastic skill of yours!) while retaining the things that matter most to us. I’m slowly returning with a view of collecting my own thoughts and sometimes sharing some of them. I would like to meet new folks too though. That part seems a bit trickier.

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  15. Glad you’re sticking around 🙂 And – I pretty much gave my iPad to my children…I rarely use it and absolutely never do blog stuff on it. It’s just not for me…I’ll stick to the laptop and Kindle combo!

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  16. I’m so glad you plan to continue blogging. I have had lots of ups and downs but I can’t say good bye to blogging yet. Oh and I’m right there with you on finding it hard to blog on my iPad. I don’t. I have to do it at the computer. Hope you find exactly what works for you!

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  17. Keep up the spirit! You have a very good blog and it is always interesting to read you posts. I think we all go through what you are going through. Sometimes we feel we have nothing to say, nothing to comment upon. But I think it goes up and down and we can afford to not post so much or comment so much when we do not feel like it. The next day it does feel good again.Don’t give up, give it a rest and come back with lots of energy later on!

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  18. Oh, Meredith how I understand you…I am still sitting on the fence, should I re-open a blog or not. I feel it takes time out of my reading…yet years ago I started these yahoo groups, I started two and made friends which are still my friends today.
    I am not sure what the connection might be, it seems since I rarely use my laptop and have several tablets coincides with my giving up book blogging….It is a fact, blogging on my tablet seems time consuming…

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  19. It has been harder for me to follow and comment on other blogs since Google Reader closed down. I have tried other readers but they are not as good. Directly from your blog about six years ago I read my first ever Japanese novel. Now I have read 100s and I chat about them with Japanese professors. . I also got an ipad about three years ago and I use it for almost everything. It was a learning curve to blog on it and I concede using a laptop would be better.

    Blogging and reading are now tied together for me. I am very isolated from other readers physically but blogging keeps me connected.

    Don’t give up blogging. I think for many “blogging blues” are a symptom of a deeper mailise

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  20. M, sometimes I can’t believe how like minded we are at times. I’ve felt the same way lately regarding blogging. I feel tired at the idea of writing a post; my commenting has gone to the dogs; and I just can’t keep up with all the new book blogs or even some of the ones I follow. I just feel disconnected from it at times. But then I’ll read a book or a blog post and get pulled back into the wonderful world of book blogs. I suppose it happens to us all.

    I’m so happy that you’ve decided to continue blogging. I love to read about the books you’ve enjoyed and also get updates on you 🙂 I value your friendship that I’ve gained via book blogging. So, dip in and out of blogging as much as you like, but just keep blogging 🙂 XOXO

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  21. I share many of the same feelings. The blogging community isn’t the same as it was before. Most of my favourite bloggers have disappeared and the majority of new blogs that replace them don’t have the same warm fuzzy feeling about them. I still think of you as one of the pillars of my blogging world. Every time I see a Japanese book I think of you. I hope you decide to continue, but I wouldn’t blame you for drifting away – I think about doing it all the time 😦

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  22. Phew! I was getting worried that you were planning to say goodbye to blogging. I know exactly what you mean about trying to comment on blogs with your iPad. I finally had to give up on that and now use my laptop (which serves as my desktop) exclusively. I’ve even stopped relying on Bloglovin’ (too easy to forget to check it for 2-3 days) and have all my favorite bloggers’ posts sent to my email box. Much easier to stay on top of my blog-hopping/commenting this way. Of course, as you say, it is time away from reading, but I’d rather keep in touch with my blogmates and read 50 books a year rather than drop off the face of the blogosphere and read 100!

    If you need to switch things around, maybe go back to blogging about your daily life and give the book reviews a rest. I know I love to hear about what’s going on with you and your students or your weather or your neighborhood. It doesn’t have to be all about books, right?

    Please don’t leave us. 😦

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  23. Whew! Thank goodness. I thought for a minute there you were going to be the 4th blogger I know to quit blogging, this week — 3 have quit in the past 2 days. Hope you’ll be around for a long time. The blogging world has definitely changed a great deal and a lot of our old friends have left for good but plenty are still hanging in there. I personally am much happier since I’ve returned to think of blogging as something more akin to a hobby or a journal, as it was in the beginning. Sometimes I don’t show up for a couple of weeks but I’m happier, it works. You’ve adapted well, over the years. Hope you’ll continue for a long time.

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  24. Have a glass of wine. Watch the snowflakes fall. Keep your iPad it has certain uses that the laptop doesn’t have. David Hockney, the British artist uses the iPad for videos of the 4 seasons and for watercolors.
    Ciao.

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  25. I echo the sigh of relief that you aren’t giving up blogging and commenting! I’d miss you and your lovely reviews. You inspired me to read some Japanese literature, and I’m always thinking of reading more – though yet to get to it…

    If people are commenting less, then that is a shame because that is the great joy of blogging and its advantage over print media. But it isn’t easy to write a comment, at least I don’t thing so. I oscillate between writing comments on every post I read, because I know how much pleasure that brings to the blogger, and writing nothing at all because actually I have nothing of any interest to bring to the conversation. Times of year and workload can affect it too.

    Whatever balance you find, I hope it brings you joy. 🙂

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  26. I just found my way over here from Letters from a Hill Farm. It’s so hard to keep up with everyone, so I’m glad you’re not giving it up. I’ve had a MacBook Air for over a year, now and I love it! It’s portable enough to carry easily from room to room, and SO much easier to type on than a phone or iPad! (I drive a 1997 car to make up for the luxury cost!)

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  27. Good choice, M! 🙂 We all have our wandering moments, we may even find ourselves too sick to read or write anything, but eventually, I still think writing about books from time to time can be so rewarding 🙂 Wishing you lots of free, relaxing time 🙂

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  28. Please stay blogging! I pretty much only manage a monthly post now what with work, family etc, but its always a pleasure to write about books I love and see what others are reading. I think the book blogging community is one of the most positive places on the internet and I do like your blog.

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  29. I can definitely relate to what you are writing in this blog post although I am quite new to blogging. Probably most of us book bloggers have moments where we have the feeling to have lost our place, but fortunately it is only temporary in most cases. I wish I had more time to read and leave comments on the many other interesting lit blogs, but it is not always possible. We all have a job, a private life, other interests, and we need a lot of time to read the books we want to review. Or to work (like in my case) on some book related projects. What I want to say: don’t stop blogging, it is just too interesting and rewarding. And be assured, a lot of readers enjoy and follow your reviews, and start to read good books that they would have otherwise never known about if it were not for you. Isn’t that the best part beside the new friends you can make by blogging?

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