Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The Blogger's Dilemma

While I don't particularly agree with the Ralph Waldo Emerson's opinion that "consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds," I find it does come with its own problems. Consistency leads to routine and routine leads to rut and ruts, once having worn a hole in the psyche, are hard to get out of, let alone remove.

I have, for the past several years, committed myself to writing a blog every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And the key word here is "committed," as in "consistency." And, in another A-to-B-to-C pattern, with blogs, "consistency" becomes "obligation."After said several years, it gets a little difficult to find new subjects to talk about. This, according to Blogger, the site on which I post my blogs, is blog number 645(!).

It's not that there aren't thousands of subjects out there I've yet to address; just that the most obvious ones have already been used. And, like every other human being, there are certain areas of life with which I am more familiar/comfortable (or which bother/concern me more) and therefore to which I frequently return. Coupling that with my increasing tendency toward procrastination only compounds the problem. I frequently amaze myself at how creative I can be in coming up with ways to avoid doing what I'm supposed to be doing. Were I to apply that creativity to coming up with something to write a blog about, there would be no problem.

So I sat down at the computer this morning to write a blog for tomorrow. While I can't speak for other bloggers, I suspect that I am not alone in finding that writing a blog is considerably easier if you have some idea of what you're going to write about before approaching the computer. Frequently, as today, I haven't a clue. When this happens, I'll sit staring at the vast expanse of whiteness on the screen in front of me, feeling rather like a motorist approaching a very steep, snow-covered and icy hill in a blizzard. Gunning my mental engine and hoping for the best, I proceed, my mental wheels throwing up sprays of thought. But the further up the hill I get, the more my wheels spin until I come to a dead halt or, worse, start sliding backward.

I am, I freely admit, a word-hoarder. Because I never throw away anything I write, I have a long list of blogs I've started and gotten only a few sentences or a paragraphs into before running either out of steam or into a brick wall. But rather than just pitching them, I file under them away, with the date they were begun and prefaced with a "U," for "unfinished." I currently have exactly 50 of these (I just counted), dating back to July, 2009. Will I ever use them? Probably not. Ah, but I might.

Between the above paragraph and this one, I wandered off to play a couple games of solitaire, which necessitated my guilty conscience applying a mental whip and chair to drive me back to work.

Bloggers ignore at their risk the elemental prescript that a blog must hold some degree of interest not only for the blogger but for whomever reads it. This is not always easy, and I realize that I frequently teeter on the edge with this one. Everyone accumulates, over the years, something of a steamer trunk of favorite topics, most of which center around themselves and their prejudices, both positive and negative. Because they come from the blogger's own life and experiences, they are obviously important to him/her. All well and good, except that it is not axiomatic that what is interesting to the blogger will be interesting to the reader. So it behooves the blogger to be aware of this fact and try to make it interesting.

As I've frequently said, I write my blogs based on the unproven assumption that you, as the reader, will understand and hopefully somehow relate what I say in terms of your own life and experience.

How well I succeed in relating to you is still up in the air. Feel free to drop me a note at to let me know.

Dorien's blogs are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please take a moment to check out his website ( and, if you enjoy these blogs, you might want to check out Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs ( ).


Diana said...

I, for one, very much enjoy reading your blogs whether they are profound or silly I find them interesting. I hope you continue writing them because I just recently found you and I'm not willing to let you go.
You're lucky the things you hoard in case you can use them someday are words on paper filed under U. You should see my closets. LOL. Please keep posting your words of wisdom, which I appreciate, and I'll keep reading them.

Dorien/Roger said...

Thank you, Diana! Do you know where I might find another 5,000 or so like you?

I hope you might check out my website sometime and take a look at my books.

Kage Alan said...

When in doubt, always discuss naked men, or men you'd like to see naked, or how men want to you see you naked. It always works. Mostly. Well, some of the time.

Dorien/Roger said...

Excellent suggestions, Kage! The first two would take forever, and the last one would elicit the shortest blog in history.