I was talking to my brother yesterday, who was the first one in our family to blog, and who was also the first one in our family to abandon blogging. He reminded me of why it took me so long to commit to this pastime. Over a year ago, two people whom I really respect encouraged me to blog. One of them has his own blog, and it’s obvious he enjoys it very much. The other is someone who has been encouraging me to write and whom, I suppose, thought it would be a good discipline, because I’d be forced to write on a regular basis.
So, I went out there and started a blog that lasted about three days. Then, I began exploring the blogosphere, sticking to my own neighborhood, which always seems the safest thing to do when one moves into a new area and sets off on an expedition (I won’t reveal which one here, but it wasn’t blogger). What did I find? People who post images of their own self-mutilation. People who want you to believe the earth is flat. People I thought were humorously referring to themselves as being paranoid, until I discovered they had about 150 posts detailing how and why their phone lines were tapped. I found myself thinking, “Is this really the company I want to be keeping?” If I’d gone to a party and had been confronted with these people, I would have left within ten minutes and gone home to take a bath, hoping to wash off any parts of them that might have found a resting place with me. I did just that. I left the party (didn't need to bathe, though).
I’ve been extremely disappointed that my brother, whose blog wasn’t quite as short-lived as my first one, but almost, never continued. I can’t blame him, though, after yesterday’s conversation and finding out why. It seems he was also cruising his own neighborhood when he discovered one person who had evidence that unicorns really do exist. He clicked on the next blog to read about its author’s little trip with the Hobbits. His thought, not too dissimilar from mine, was, “Oh my God! I’ve become one of these people!” I suppose it was like someone who’s smoked a little pot in his life coming across the desperate heroin addict in an alley and swearing off all drugs forever. If he kept up his humorous musings on life and scanning in some papers he’d written and finding old photographs to scan, would he eventually become someone who was describing his daily conversations with Dostoevsky’s ghost? His blog ended that day.
My other fear when I used to consider the idea of blogging was that my compulsive nature would take reign over my life, keeping me from ever missing a few days of writing and making me constantly check for comments (ever fearful that someone like “Unicorn Woman” was going to tell me I sucked or question my sanity or something). Luckily, in those days, I didn’t know there was such a thing as site tracker, which I’m pretty sure has an advisory board on which Compulsive Nature serves.
Well, after nearly three months of this, I can’t say I was wrong about The Reign of Compulsion, but I’ve discovered it’s a little less dictatorial than I’d assumed. For instance, I’m allowed to go a few days without posting. Also, it’s kind of nice to have it distracted by blogs and blogging rather than some of the other interests it’s shown in the past (like insisting I listen to every single CD we own in alphabetical order just once, before I go back to listening to the same old favorites over and over again. If you’d ever seen our CD collection, you’d know that was an awfully tall order). Will I start believing in unicorns or posting videos of myself engaging in compulsive behavior? I’m not sure, but if the party I’m attending now is any indication, I doubt it. I’m going to party all night long and maybe well into tomorrow, too.