Thursday, August 27, 2009

On temptation

I’ve been tempted for a long time. Temptation works like that. You walk around it, sniff it slightly, ponder whether you should stay strong or whether you should let yourself fall. Even if common sense wins, the tricky thing with temptation is that it rarely goes away. The only end to the continuous self-restriction is to allow yourself to indulge in whatever it is you have been unwilling to grant yourself.
As with all kinds of temptation, I’ve been telling myself the extremely good reasons to avoid this one. It’s too time-consuming. You already have plenty of projects to steal time, energy and attention away from the things you have to do (and should be doing right now, I might add). It doesn’t make it the right thing for you just because your friends enjoy it. And last, but far from least, you’d never be able to follow-through.

Attentive readers will by now have figured out that the temptation I am talking about is jogging (Ha! Got you!). No, it is blogging. I have for the longest time told myself that starting a blog would be a very bad idea. Even if I aimed at posting only once a week, it would still take time I don’t have (and cannot afford to spare) to write it. More importantly, it would take time I definitely don’t have to spare to log in – say, a million times a day – hoping there are comments. (Wipe that blank look off your face – you know what I mean.)

My second very good reason to stay away from blogging is that I’ve recently experienced something of a blogger-boom among my friends. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing – on the contrary I quite enjoy their blogs. However, I don’t want to fall into a familiar trap: I see others starting blogs, so I want to start one too. I don’t have a problem doing what “everyone” else does, as long as I have a valid reason to do so. That means a reason that does not include the words “everyone else is doing it”.

The lack of such a reason would inevitably lead to a situation that represents another very, very good reason to stay far away from blogging. If I don’t have a sufficient reason to keep blogging, chances are I won’t stick with it. The really good blogs are often those that have a “mission”, a special purpose or intention (“My butterfly collection from day to day”; “One year in Timbuktu”; “The journey of a pregnant elephant”). Otherwise it’s easy to run out of things to say, and eventually stop updating. This is probably what bothers me the most, and why I so far have been able to resist the temptation. I don’t want to be a quitter (which, rhymes with “Twitter, no pun intended). Part of the trick of not being a quitter is not to start things you cannot complete. I’m generally quite good at that.

Except when it comes to one thing. (Yes, we are getting to the core of this now.)

What I really, really, really want, more than anything else in the world (it’s the thing I always wish for after “world peace” when I see a shooting star or catch a falling eyelash), is to be a writer. To write books. Only this seems to be the one thing I am incapable of allowing myself the chance to succeed in. How stupid is that?

I tend to quit writing (am I a quitter after all?) I’ve written uncompleted diaries, fairytales, novels, poems, fanfiction, songs, short stories, and blogs. Yes, you read correctly. Of course I’ve had a blog. Did I keep writing it? No, I didn’t.

Before I get all wrapped up in the deeper psychological reasons for why I refuse to fulfill my own dream, let me cut to the case: all things set aside there are no excuses for not writing my book. Blogging, like all the other things I procrastinate with, will only delay the process.

It seems I have no choice. I cannot possibly justify starting a blog with all these things in mind.



And yet, here I sit, ironically enough trying to reason with myself in a blog. I fell for the temptation. I will give it a try. I always knew I would. Because in the end, what makes me trying new things over and over again, is my never-failing belief in change (“Yes we can!” – having an office four blocks from the White House must have a stronger effect on me than I thought…). I always remain optimistic for tomorrow. “Tomorrow I will change. Tomorrow I will start working out, clean my room, work intensely on my thesis. Tomorrow I will be able to schedule my day successfully, so that I will have the time and energy and motivation for all these things, AND write my book.”

Besides, everyone else is doing it.

7 comments:

Watery Tart said...

YAY! I'm so glad you've given into the temptations, largely because I find your digressions more interesting than just about anything--you amuse, but in a thoughtful way.

I'm glad you have decided to begin. And look at it this way--it IS writing practice, even if it's not your one of your books, specifically...

Rayna M. said...

I agree with Tami.

More than anything else, blogging imposes a bit of discipline on you. Rather than aim to blog whenever you feel like, you should try and impose a schedule on yourself - not once a week, but every Wednesday.

It is not as much of a time sink as you think it may be, and (as Tami says), we just love your digressions.

All the best.

hopelessbratt said...

Because everyone else is doing it IS a good enough reason, and it helps keep your priorities straight, so I am glad you have started a blog.

Temptation attacks me in the other way, reading too many blogs and never taking time to write my own stuff.

Cruella Collett said...

Tami - I always knew I would. I've been trying to write blog-like pieces on a semi-regular basis for a while, and I find that I quite like the format. It was only a matter of feeling prepared enough to share. Still not sure how prepared I am, but at least now I felt confident enough to share a little... (It does make me a little edgy to know that theoretically, anyone - say Obama - could be snickering at my typos now...

Rayna (as much as I like the name, it's going to take some getting used to, methinks) - you're right, of course, it is a test of how structured one can be in ones writing. And every Wednesday (or any such fixed time) sounds good. In the beginning I might update more often, since the novelty is there, but eventually I guess that is a plan (memo to self: every Wednesday!)..

Maria - I tend to do that too (reading too many blogs). And the more I read the less I am sure that my own will stand out in a crowd (hence the wait). But then I figured I wanted to give it a go anyway... Oh well - glad you all like it (the support means the world to me!) :)

Rayna M. said...

You can all me Natasha all you like. I just had to remove my name from my blog because I did not want random people from work stumbling upon my rants about them.
There was this really nasty piece of business that I blogged about, but he was a potential funder, and when he suddenly turned really cool towards me, I wondered if he had put two and two together and figured the man I wrote about was infact him!

And yeah for more blog posts from you.

Powdered Toast Man said...

Blogging is an addiction that I can't shake. I waste so much time blogging but I love it so much. I put more effort into blogging than I do my real job.

I like your first post. We both started around the same time. I started my blog in early August of 2009.

Cruella Collett said...

PTM - I feel very flattered and slightly scared that you bothered finding my numero uno post and comment on it! Flattered - well, that's obvious (though it might have had something to do with that nifty little thingie I installed - "you might also like", no?). Scared - because I spend too much time pondering how this blog has evolved, but I would assume that my early posts were different than my current ones (or so I hope). So to have someone check out the beginning is a little terrifying...

Anyway, I am addicted to blogging too, and I spend a lot of time on it (even if I feel that I probably shouldn't spend as much - I can't really see myself as a "professional" blogger). There are occasions when I just want to walk away from it, though (shhh.. don't tell anyone!), but whenever I try to take a break I miss the blogiverse. So I guess I'm stuck ;)

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