Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Which Way Forward?

Madcap Mum has put her finger on the knotted ache in my living and dreaming these days. As I see it (which is none too clearly at the moment), my writing here has grown cramped and clotted, with fits of angry self-pity and bursts of pure diversionary fluff punctuating long stretches of total shutdown. There are unfinished drafts lurking, but even the activity of writing is getting shut down before it starts, as I sense the bleak and harsh thoughts rising, and decide to keep them to myself. Or just go blank. Look for something to do, something to eat.

I wonder if I need to take a break from news and research and the reading of the blogs. That idea feels like selfishness, like refusing to face the evil of these times just because it is depressing. And yet the alternative seems to be, as Madcap puts it, to "cripple myself with despair."

There is a glimmer of light that beckoned me into writing this morning; a hint of direction for my next small step. I will ask myself, when I sit down to read: What are you looking for? Once you learn this, what will you do with it?

2 comments:

I_Wonder said...

I use my blog to maintain my attitude. I try to write about negative things but I try to offset the negative with positive things and some fluff. I don't see it as selfishness but as one of the prime laws of nature - self preservation, rest and recreation (re-creation). I've learned that focusing on the problems drags me down. Finding a balance works for me. I hope you find your way forward -- a way that works for you. Best wishes.

Laura said...

Thanks for those thoughts.

I've been wondering if some of us bloggers (myself sometimes included) use our blogs as outlets for the negative, while keeping a more positive balanced outlook in our day-to-day face-to-face interactions. That strategy could be healthy for the blogger but hazardous to those who read. It could also create a distorted impression of us bloggers as tremendously negative people, whose ideas and views are best avoided lest the reader become negative as well. This is a distortion because the people are not actually that negative (for example: a friend argued with me the other day, insisting that I am amazingly persistently positive, even when facing a very negative group of people), and the ideas and views do not automatically lead to negativity either; it's all in the balance.