Thanks for the memories
The list of things I haven't been able to blog about thanks to this week's terribly annoying and not yet fully resolved cable modem outages is long. I haven't documented Julia's sudden and dramatic descent into misbehavior or my resulting urge to pull all of my hair out and then move on to hers. Her body has been covered with hives all week because of an allergy we haven't yet pinpointed, but I haven't mentioned it. Evan got his first time out and I never wrote about it. Not a word has been recorded about any of the ordinary, yet notably funny or thought provoking things that happened to me this week. I know there were quite a few times in the past few days that I thought "I'd blog about this if only I could get online." But I've already forgotten all of them. A couple of days of not writing things down and they're gone forever.
It's been 9 months since I started this blog, so I guess my "baby" here is full-term by now. It's amazing to look back at the several hundred entries and to realize how much of the past year of my life is captured here. Keeping a blog has been catharctic and energizing for me and has given me perspective and humor at times when I desperately needed them. I feel more like myself when I take the time to write, and I revel in the time spent doing something that comes easily and makes me feel good about myself. All of that being said, you'd think I would have simply written offline this week if I couldn't access my blog. And yet, I didn't write a word.
As much as I love writing and value the work I've done here, I was surprised to realize this week that it didn't seem worth bothering to write if no one was going to see my words but me. I'd love to be able to say that I'm doing this for me as confidently as others have, but I can't. In all honesty, it's the potential that my work might find an audience that keeps me coming back. This is probably not the world's most flattering admission about myself, but the validation -- the steadily increasing stat count numbers and the handful of comments I get -- are a very large part of what really keeps me writing. I've always wanted an audience for my writing, but have never had enough drive to seek it out professionally. I don't need drive to self-publish a blog, though; I just need to write when I find the time and then push a button to publish my thoughts to the world. I can just put things out there and people find them. And surprisingly, it turns out that the part where people find them means just as much to me as the part where I put stuff out there.
Without the immediate gratification of seeing my words in print and maybe even getting some fun feedback, writing suddenly wasn't a priority for me this week. And maybe that's why blogging works -- because in the same way theater actors feed off an audience, writers draw inspiration and encouragement from their readers. So if it makes me narcissistic, so be it, but I'm glad to be back online documenting that narcissism in this blog. Down the road, I'm sure that I'll reap countless benefits from the memories I've stored here for safekeeping. In the meantime, I hope that you folks enjoy what you read here -- apparently, you're a good part of the reason that I keep writing.