I've not posted on my blog for over a month. Kind of lost my nerve. And the longer I leave it, the harder it's become to post again.
I have been on the verge of abandoning the blog altogether. Questioning what the point of it is. Why don't I just keep my journal? What benefit is there to putting my thoughts out there on the web?
When I started this blog it was partly about seeking connection and community. This may or may not be a good motivation. I was inspired partly by coming across Micro.blog. While I like the ethos behind Micro.blog, I'm not sure I'm quite the right fit for it, but that's for another day.
I don't know if it's possible to write a blog without seeking some sort of validation, even if it's just a tiny element of why you do it. I struggle with this. I would like to be able to say that I really don't care if no one ever reads my blog, but I don't think could.
Another factor in publishing to the web is that maybe someone will come across my posts about my mental health issues. It really helps me when I find the posts of others who have similar issues. Feeling isolated and alone is a real problem when dealing with these things and just knowing that someone else knows what it's like, even if they never know you have read their posts, or that you are going through the same sort of things, it's a comfort, a connection and a sense of community and belonging.
With all of this churning around in my mind over the last few weeks it was quite the the thing to see a post from Colin Walker pop up in my feed on this very topic. Much of what he writes rings true for me, right now.
It's a difficult choice — knowing when to persist and when to walk away. Sometimes walking away is the only thing you can do, you need to allow yourself the space to recover and regroup. I've written in the past about the need to do so for fear of having everything crash down around you.
A few sentences later:
As time passes, a sense of guilt wells up inside you. You know that you should be posting but, for whatever reason, can't bring yourself to do so.
Yup, what he said.
My own particular angle is that there is always a tension in anything I do. Between my desire to do the thing, and my desire to not do the thing because of a lack of self belief and having to look that lack of self belief in the eye. One cancels the other out and so often the default is that the thing doesn't get done.
Colin's post is in reference to a post from Nicky, who is wrestling with similar issues, the first time I've come across his blog.
A post from Bix which also popped up in my feed, talks about both Colin's and Nicky's posts, among others.:
All of these things are interconnected, even if barely any part of it is in direct response to any other part of it. Even when not talking about blogging, specifically, all of these people are talking about the same things.
In a very real way, even if none of them ever see the others’ posts, they’re also talking to each other.
These posts all speak to me in various ways. And give me the courage to carry on blogging.