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Someone Else's Discussion


Blogging is like any other habit. It's dismayingly easy to fall out of the habit if you let yourself. The past month and change threw so much at me and so fast that all thoughts of discussing my work, or mining insights from various goings-on, or anything at all, really, were shoved straight off the table and into the other room. And — if I may torture this metaphor a little further — I haven't even gone into the other room and picked everything up off the floor yet.

But I also know the longer I stay out of the habit, the harder it will be to get back into it. Not just because any habit once broken is difficult to resume, but because the mindset that once sustained that habit now feels like it belongs to a different person.

These days, when I come across something that seems worth talking about — e.g., the way Ready Player One seems far more suited to being a movie than it ever did a book — my first reaction isn't "How do I talk about this?" (that is, how do I structure the discussion; what is the mechanical approach to such a thing). It's more "Why talk about this when it seems everyone else in the known universe has gone there already?"

If you let yourself, it feels like everything worth talking about has already been talked about by someone else. It's dispiriting, because it reinforces the feeling that all this is a zero-sum game. There's only so much out there to read, only so much time to devote to such things, both as a reader and a writer, so it's all the harder to stand out or be taken seriously, and all that guff.

My point in listing all of these things is to try and drive out the demons they embody. For one, audiences are as much personalized as they are global. I know full well I'm not actually competing for traffic or mindshare. Blogging is essentially public diarizing. Everyone finds their own way to be interesting on their own merits. Or, failing that, you have a record of your own evolution of thought on things, and you can see how the position you hold today changed from the one you had a year ago. This is about more than just finding trailmarkers of progress; this is about documenting how the evolution took place at all. (What ideas were thrown out? Which ones came in? How easy was it to say yes to something that didn't seem correct before. Etc.)

And yet, the feelings persist, because they're feelings and not something you think yourself into. So perhaps the way to counter feelings of apathy and inadequacy is just to cultivate other feelings, feelings of accomplishment and confidence, in whatever garden you can find for them to take root. What's needed isn't a better counter-argument against the feeling it isn't worth it, just the reaffirmation that the habit you had before, the process, was its own justification and its own reward.

Anyway, long story short: I fell out of the habit, but I can fall back in again. And I don't really need a reason to do it. That's just something I tell myself.


Tags: blogging 


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This page contains a single entry by Serdar Yegulalp in the category Uncategorized / General, published on 2018/01/04 17:00.

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