Blogging is, of course, different for every blogger. I’m sure for me the chief reason to blog is to talk to myself in a way that my normal thoughts don’t measure up to. When on song, I feel urgent and connected each and every day, and that’s exactly what I seek. But the last month has been silent. Why?
Self-doubt must be the main factor. The last month has contained sunny joy – a week in a beach villa with all three children and spouses plus five grandchildren – but existential terror also loomed. I asked myself the question a few weeks back: isn’t it time I retired? Two decades on, the second career of writing isn’t exactly paved with gold. I’ve often written about the albatross of my history project and during one insomniac night, it suddenly occurred to me that I could die without completing it, leaving the mythical book, in the eyes of the few whose judgement I covet, as a useless folly. If I can’t make myself complete the project, wouldn’t it be better to slake the flesh, drift along, sleep … you know, all the non-activities that arouse envy in me when I see everyone else enjoying them.
A few weeks in, I can’t say I’ve answered the existential question. It’s still a live question, still festering like a burrowing maggot. But I sought counsel from wonderful family and friends, and have settled into a vague commitment to try and bring part of the project to fruition (i.e. a published book) by the end of this year or early into next year. Just shifting that far has energized me and today I finished a draft of a chapter, kicked off another, and felt a jot of hope. Grasping at that hope, let me know recommence chiding and testing myself with Slow Glow posts. Onwards.