April 30, 2005

The Blogfast

I went on a blogfast yesterday. Early in the morning I posted something I'd had in reserve for a while, and then I didn't read a single blog all day.

Why? Partly it was that I myself didn't have that much to say -- I was on the down side of one of those cycles that many of us must ride through, the creative thought cycle. My batteries need charging. I need to go outside, walk around, talk to people, eavesdrop, exercise my body, in order to find the next story, the next observation.

Perhaps even more, I've been spending so much time blogging lately -- not just writing my own posts, but reading others', commenting on their blogs, reading and responding to the comments on mine -- that I felt I was in danger of throwing away half of every work day, squeezing out the time when I needed to be taking the kids to soccer practice, attending International Fest at their school, making dinner, talking to my wife -- not to mention earning my living, which I do through the same physical process that I blog. (Every dollar I've earned as an adult has come from writing, except for one semester of teaching fiction writing at the University of Wisconsin and one mid-four-figure government grant. I mean not from being a writer -- no reading fees, no honoraria -- but from physically writing words or, at a few fortunate moments, earning royalties from books published.)

So, what was the result of my fast? Did it cleanse me, make me feel renewed and reawakened as fasts are supposed to?

Not on your life. I felt disconnected, out of touch, and a day behind the times. I missed you all.

And for some reason, some of the best personal bloggers I know chose that day -- or the previous day or two, when perhaps I'd been looking elsewhere in my reading rotation -- to write some of their best posts, going long and deep.

Tamar has been writing about the importance of strangers in boosting her through bad times, and about the importance of writing in her life -- and just today, coincidentally, about what to write on a "Nothing to Say Day."

True Ancestor has been writing about an uncle who died before he was born, and who remains eternally in his family's memory.

Danny Miller has been writing about coming to terms with his apparent need to feel bad in order to psyche himself up to do well -- in Jungian terms, it's about his struggle to incorporate his shadow into his psyche. Something I identify with and have also struggled with, as has True Ancestor, appparently.

All of it profoundly human, psychologically resonant, intelligently written.

And course, there's the usual catching-up I need to do with Dancing on Fly Ash and Ecks. Microscifi, micromacabre, microsurrealism, sometimes even microrealism -- entertaining, skillful, meaningful, new.

Not to mention the political blogs, the newsy blogs, the diaristic blogs, the scientific blogs, the legal blogs, the artsy blogs, the poetic blogs, and all the blogs I haven't discovered yet.

How could I have wanted to miss it? I'm so glad it's all -- you're all -- here.

I want to grow blogfat.