I’m afraid if I start, I won’t be able to stop

And having stopped, I’ll not want to start.

I’ve been holding a lot back lately. Which makes for a shitty online journal, granted. But it’s also given me a chance to breathe a bit, take a vacation and remain 100% offline the whole time, and exit my head once in awhile.

The trouble is that once I break the habit of writing and begin holding back, I feel like I can’t ever quit doing so. Doubt swoops in and wallops me upside the head. Repeatedly. I make excuses and something vital shrivels up. I still think in terms of stuff I want to write about — I even write about it in great galumphing bursts of private emails I send myself — but I get less and less comfortable with the idea of making it known.

Basically, I’m struggling with whether to keep doing this out in the open or rein it back in and keep it private. (Or throw the whole endeavor on the rubbish heap and wash my hands of it, good riddance.) I’ve never felt like publishing this website was important or anything beyond a personal ass-kick to practice writing, even when I didn’t feel like doing so. At its best, it’s helped me stay close with people dear to but far from me. At its worst, the whole endeavor embarrasses me and turns my stomach.

5 Responses to “I’m afraid if I start, I won’t be able to stop”

  1. 2fs says:

    Visit 2fs

    Well, I’d say normally to do whatever makes you feel comfortable…but that seems to be the question! But I’m not sure what might embarrass you about it - unless you mean specific posts or thoughts (none of which occur to me - but then, what embarrasses one person may not strike others as being embarrassing at all). And if that’s the case, I suppose you could write stuff, hang on to it, reread it, then decide whether to post it. Or post it, then decide to delete it (assuming Word Press allows that).

    Cuz otherwise, I’ll have to go on embarrassing myself for the both of us, and no one would want that, would they?

  2. Ezra says:

    Visit Ezra

    I went through a slow patch with the blogging recently, and, while I didn’t get to the point where I wanted to give it up, I couldn’t imagine doing so much of it ever again, and I did finally understand why some friends have given it up.

    I switched to offline, bought a couple of moleskines, bringing my total of offline journals to like 4 or 5, all for different purposes or locations, and stopped thinking of the blog as my primary outlet.

    Of course, since then, the urge to blog has come back, somewhat. It’s just, you know, not everything is bloggable. I’m thinking of changing my tagline to “the tao that can be blogged is not the eternal tao.” But there are still things that I want to mention and have my usual audience read.

  3. Paula says:

    Visit Paula

    I think all good writing requires some peeling back of the surface and letting your slip show. But, fwiw, you’ve never written anything here that made me uncomfortable to read, or feel that I was being inundated with “too much info.” I really enjoy reading about the small “holy” details of your life in Boston.

  4. Terri says:

    Visit Terri

    If you stopped blogging I can’t say I wouldn’t miss your words, but I would understand and respect your decision. If you’re saying that you might stop writing entirely–well, I have to discourage that!! It would be a shame if you were to give up writing. Even if you are the only person who ever sees your words, they are worth expressing.

  5. sweetney says:

    Visit sweetney

    you have to do what you feel comfortable with (sorry, stating the obvious). i’ve thought of chucking the whole thing several times… there’s a lot to consider, both good and bad. i so understand.

    so…i’d miss having you around, but i’d also SO get it.

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