Blogging is harder than I thought

Blogging is less rewarding and more difficult than I imagined it would be, more time-consuming and demanding, requiring more patience than I have available for it at the moment. I’m not sure I have anything at all to say to the world — or if I have the wish to say it in this form, even if I did.

I think my time might be better spent working to complete the Great American Novel I’ve been editing — still on chapter one — for the last half century, since age 10.

My plot line has changed a lot since then, at least in my mind, from a Houston adolescent girl’s idea of gothic English suspense (though I may keep the big barbecue jamboree outside the handsome village lord’s manner for another day). Now I lean toward writing Stuff I Actually Know Something About, which is journalism.

Maybe, instead of a novel, I’ll write a couple of short stories about life as a community news reporter, or jobs and life plans that have ended suddenly, such as Black Tuesday, the Houston Chronicle layoffs of March 24-25.

Or perhaps I’ll do what I should be doing — obtaining freelance contracts during days already nearly filled with e-mailing and snail-mailing resumes like little notes in bottles cast upon the sea.

With about, I think, as much chance of netting enthusiastic responses from addressees. (Being laid off at age 60 — despite it “not reflecting on the excellent quality of your work,” they said — doesn’t place me in the most sought-after bracket for editors).

My top day’s number of visitors so far on this blog has been about 35 since I began it about a week ago. That’s a great many less than read stories I wrote at Charles Milby High School in the Class of ’67.

I think I must revisit this whole idea of blogging, who should — and why they should — and who should not, and why.

In case I ultimately do decide to finally end this blog and this self-searching/analysis torture, I apologize in advance to my friend, an excellent blogger, photographer and friend who worked so hard to create this page for me, who shot this photo of me and who tried to inspire me to write and inform, educate, illuminate, entertain or perhaps inspire others.

But I am very much afraid that I’m in the latter “should not blog” category.

I am less than one month from my great shock at being dismissed in that great roundup at the Houston Chronicle, my job I loved in Neighborhood News abruptly gone after 35 years of covering “local” community news.

I am left with only profound dread for my future in particular, and for all of print journalism in general.

I’ve been steeped in objectivity too long. I have absolutely no “opinions” to share. I know how to report the news, not “star” in the news or provide my opinions about it.

When I try to write this blog, nothing important or witty or interesting comes to mind, not anything that I think would be of remote interest to anyone else on the planet.

I do not care if anyone finds my scribblings or reads my prose, likes or dislikes it, or as I do at the moment, hates it with the intensity of a zillion burning white-hot suns.

I cannot become part of the “new journalism.” I am still in mourning for the end of the old journalism.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, print journalism has long been pronounced all but dead.

Let’s say a requiem mass for the slow, nonpersonal mass media.

Long, I think, will live the Age of the Blogger. For a while, at least. Until something else comes along.

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One response to “Blogging is harder than I thought

  1. Keep working at it, Betty. At the very least, it can be good therapy to get the thoughts out. At the most, it may inspire and educate others who could stumble across your blog, especially if the word spreads about its availability. You’ll have your down days, but keep remembering you have something to offer and never lose faith in yourself or your abilities.

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