Is what we do in service of our true desires? When and how do we reassess?

Why do we blog?

I remember thinking last year that I would announce that my blog was going on strike, I was so irritated that I could persuade effectively zero readers to either buy or download for free my ebook, much less to grant me the sorely needed help of reviewing my work.

While there were other factors to it, as a matter of practice I posted only once from late September to mid January. I never made a final decision to stop and announced no strike. The irritation and feeling of what’s the point does take it’s toll.

Blogging has both been a huge contributor to my becoming a ‘real writer’ in my own mind, and also at some point became an activity that made me feel I’m doing something meaningful, yet obstructed or distracted me from activities that are required for me to become a ‘real writer’ with any real credits, publications, or revenues, etcetera to put on a bio, CV, byline, or whatever.

Anyway, I’m not announcing a ‘strike’ here, and I appreciate the supportive noise I’ve gotten here over the years. And perhaps I simply lack enough followers, or followers plugged in to the platform tightly enough. But I would offer, despite what a million posts and newsletters and whatnot might suggest, that blogging often is not somehow magically conducive to success for most people on most topics. Without large numbers of followers, advertising, or boosts from popular figures or sites, it just will not help much. And advertising can be unsuccessful for artists, too.

On the other hand, it may be just that poetry is far harder to get people to read, with a much smaller regular readership, idiosyncratic tastes, blah blah blah. But for those of you out there who harbor larger ambitions for your work, I’d suggest considering if your energies are being spent in a way that is rationally designed to support and advance your ambitions. Approval, readership, and interaction on social and blog platforms can have some values, but on the whole can give false reward signals for professional and career progress, rather than mere entertainment.

The minutes in a day and days in a decade we each have to spend are implacably limited. To turn vague dreams into a manageable sum of defined objectives, and then into victorious milestones fulfilled requires clear & conscious valuation of things, and a determined, rational exclusion of many extraneous distractions and entertainments. Of all we could do in the infinite sweep of life’s possibilities, we will only be able to complete and experience a tiny sliver. Choose with care, correct information, and self-knowledge.

‘Til next time,

Lost in Mist

PS: since I don’t believe I announced it here, I’ve made the first section of the book, “Lunatic Fringes, Stand and Mobilize” available as a no strings one click download at . There are two sizes of PDF linked there, one for printing or large screens, and one for small screens mainly. And the NoiseTrade download page has been inactivated.

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