Tuesday, November 16, 2004

So I know I've been a little quiet.

Part of this is busy-ness: friend staying from Jersey, movies (Finding Neverland and The Corporation), friends over for dinner, new batch of Thai green curry paste, work-work-work, writing, Limmud stuff, catching up on my sleep. Doing a few CVs for people (one of my many sidelines) You know the kind of thing.

But part of this is that I've been thinking about why I blog. People often ask me, why do you spend so much time on it (answer: I don't), what's it for (answer: I like writing), why (answer: because I can) in general.

But I guess there's another reason.

I like the open-sourceness of blogging. I like it that I'm the number one search for people who want to find out about pointless British Gas three star contracts. I like it that if you have a Goodman's DVD and want the region one hack, you can find it here. I like it that if you are interested in Lady Windemere's Syndrome you come here, even if I don't know what it is either, I just once reviewed Lady Windemere's Fan.

While I like to say that I write for no-one but me, clearly that's not 100% accurate. Let's face it: like most bloggers (people?) I like an audience. The iterative nature of the conversation, the comments, the emails, the nutters who get in touch. It's all part of a dialogue that I'm excited, and to some degree honoured, to be part of.

So maybe this is the deal: I talk, you listen. I write, you respond. But it's predicated on my having the mental space and energy to want to keep doing it, and in January I'll have been doing it for three years, and I've written about 500,000 words.

I know, if it was a book, I'd be on the Prisoner of Azkaban.

And I think part of the reason I like doing it is some kind of generosity of spirit, or something like that. So I like finding interesting links that make people come back, and writing about things that engage people, as much as I like doing the stuff for myself.

But something happened to me recently that has made me review my general approach to life. My general approach can be summed up as "everyone is my friend." So I know a lot of people, and people often say to me "god, you know everyone," and I never know if it's a good thing.

And whereas some people find large circles of friends and acquaintanceship difficult, I thrive on it. Loose ties, sociologists call it. I like being connected to a vague web of people from vastly different backgrounds, and ocassionally even hooking up people who would never meet. I like it that a few hundred people came to my party, and I didn't even know some of them. Let's face it: I like it that people say I throw good parties.

But the downside of being broadly good-natured and generous, coupled with having a large circle of acquaintances, is that sometimes people can take the piss. And it's a numbers game: I know more people, more people take the piss.

So I'm not going to write up the details here, as (a) I don't particularly want to think about it, denial therapy being my modus operandi here, and (b) it wouldn't be particularly fair, but something happened that made me think that I had done something basically on a favour basis to help someone out, and it ended up backfiring on me in a really nasty way.

And I'm left feeling that I give a lot, and I'm not sure I always get stuff back. Not that everything is a trade. I mean, clearly it's not. But my trust in the benign reality of the world has been broken. Let's face it: not everyone is your friend. The world is not always nice. Shit happens. A lot, to some people. You don't always want what you get or get what you want.

I think this is a very long winded way of saying I may or may not want to take a break from this for a while. Because I need to feel a little appreciated, and sometimes blogging feels like giving and giving and you don't get anything back. Although sometimes it's just nice to write whatever you want.

And of course I reserve the right to change my mind about all of this in the morning. I should never have had that fourteenth Baileys.

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