Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Void

I can't help but feel that blogging is an arrogant thing to do. Aside from a very special set of people, nobody asks us to blog, nobody pays us to blog, and nobody suggests that we set up a regular blog schedule. Since this isn't a personal, journal-type blog, it isn't written just for me; that is, whenever I write a post, I make the assumption that someone cares what I have to say. It's a silly assumption. The Internet is a vast void into which opinions and information, true and false, are sent from all sides, all the time, to be judged or ignored by people all over the globe. I feel meek in the face of my task, my self-assigned task: write a blog entry, send it into the void, and know that few people will read it and some will hate it.

It takes a certain level of confidence to blog. I did not realize when I began blogging how unqualified I am, then, as I am fond of second-guessing myself. Have I edited enough? Researched enough? Said something worth saying? Said something worth hearing? It is actually amazing that I ever get a blog entry out.

Some days are more difficult than others, when I am feeling especially meek or especially lazy or especially cynical about the usefulness of blogging. I bang my head against the Blogger's Wall while I remain shackled to my computer and its blinking cursor. I get up and give up for a little while, and I come back and fight with myself about the validity of my circumstances and opinions. "How vain it is," said Thoreau, "to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live." How vain it is to sit down to blog, when you are young and inexperienced at life and talk a lot but have done so little. How vain it is, when your life experiences are not unique except in the "unconditional positive regard," of-course-your-life-is-special sense. How vain it is, when your opinions come from the singular perspective of a life made easy by various blessings like good parents with a good income. I stop myself paragraphs in sometimes, deciding I am too uninformed, or too preachy, or too thoughtless, or too personal, and start over with something else, with rather less passion as my allotted blogging fuel is spent. I often wonder what authority I have to put words out there as I do.

I wouldn't still be blogging if I didn't have a few reasons for doing so. For one thing, I know that some people do like my blog. For another, despite all my difficulty, I do enjoy writing the blog, and getting the writing practice. I also know that with every blog entry I post, I become a little less timid and a little more surefooted as I navigate my place in the void.

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