Year-end is sometimes for stock-taking. Dr. D does so in a painfully honest way, and decides to break from blogging for a couple of months for reasons that are heart-rending. (Read the post for the why.) This is what struck me, however:
I love this blog, but it takes a lot of my time. I spend a lot of time thinking on the questions you write me, and writing, re-writing, checking, and formatting a post takes about 6 hours for me. Yeah, I’m that slow!
Going faster would make me put out rambling, useless junk, and I wouldn’t do that to my readers.
So posting every week takes a significant chunk of my free time. So for the next few months I’ve decided to allot more time to my friends and family who are still breathing.
Each point (I think) applies to me and every other blogger I read regularly, and I still put out “rambling, useless” shit frequently. Writing is hard work. It takes commitment. And there is no cure for it. I’m getting a little faster, but still, producing a longish piece, say in the range of 750 – 100 words, still consumes four or five hours — which is why you, dear readers, only see them maybe weekly. I’m frankly in awe of the bloggers who deliver each day long, well-written, 1500-word pieces with the alacrity of Thomas the Tank Engine moving cargo on the Isle of Sodor. I couldn’t do it. My brain would implode into a space-time singularity leaving an empty husk of a charge nurse robotically telling wandering family members over and over, “These are the ambulance doors, sir. Please use the main entrance.”
Is it worth it? Mostly. There are negatives, yes, in terms of time spent on the computer, and doing annoying crap unrelated to writing but related to blogging (if you can see the difference.) Sometimes writing feels like just another job, but with no pay. Yet I don’t believe my social life has suffered — much — I usually write in the early hours of the morning, when most people are cozied in bed. More positively, my writing and this blog has improved immeasurably, but also I’ve sharpened up my capacity for critical thinking and made some amazing contacts. The discipline of producing something on a nearly daily basis has been tremendous. I don’t watch television anymore — it’s amazing how much time and creative energy the idiot box consumes — and a good thing this is, too.
But I think the ever-growing list of Rigor Mortis blogs on the right-hand blogroll ultimately decided otherwise. It’s tough, making everything balance, and in the Grand Scheme of Things, our little scribblings here don’t count for much. Life, to use a cliché, gets in the way. So Dr. D, I understand. Completely. So good luck, rest up, do what you have to do, and we’ll see you in February.