Should I keep blogging?

Posted November 13, 2016 by Lory in discussions / 52 Comments

DiscussionNEW

Once again, events in the outer world make me question the very existence of this blog. My small thoughts and interests seem trivial in comparison. Can I justify continuing to write about books and reading, about my personal pleasures and achievements, when there would seem to be so many other, more important battles to be fought?

Big battles are important, but so are small battles. We can only fight the hatred, ignorance, and intolerance in the outer world by fighting it in ourselves. There’s no way I can call myself morally perfect, intellectually infallible, or invariably kind and compassionate. I know I have a long, long way to go.

For me, reading is THE major light on this journey. That means everything from the great wisdom texts of world religion, to folklore and mythology, to novels, plays, and poetry, to biography, memoir, and nonfiction. It means the books that wake me up and open my eyes, and the ones that comfort me with cheerfulness and beauty.

To be able to read, you have to open yourself to another person’s point of view. You learn new words. You reconsider old opinions. You hear someone’s story and they become real to you. You make small steps toward becoming bigger than you were.

It’s possible to take in words with our eyes or ears and have none of this happen, of course. We may find ourselves rejecting unfamiliar voices, only tolerating words that confirm our own opinions or reinforce unsavory sides of ourselves. No one is immune from this — people on every ray of the political spectrum can be intolerant and hateful.

But I’m going to define “reading” as meaning something more. To me it means reaching for the true potential of the human spirit — which I do believe in, no matter how polluted and obscured it may become. That is the meaning behind everything I may write here, even if it seems to be about something else. That is my reason for reading. That is my reason for living.

And that’s why, for the time being, I’m going to continue to blog in the same way I always have. I don’t know how long it will last … this is an unknown world we are entering. But for now, I have to hold on to something that has meant so much to me. And if you are still here to share it with me, I am grateful. Thank you.

Tags:

Divider

52 responses to “Should I keep blogging?

  1. Yes! Please do! You state the reasons so eloquently yourself. Reading and reflecting, in a spirit of both humility and hope, are evident in the ideal you express so beautifully. Keep on! Mother Theresa’s advice to us all–to “do small things with great love”–comes to mind.

  2. It seems to me the state of the world right now gives us even more reason to continue doing what we love and connecting with others. So that’s what I intend to do, and I’m happy to hear you will, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Our thoughts are very much in sync.

    As you know I have asked myself the same question. I plan to continue. Recent events may influence the nature of my posts. With that, I have not been able to hold enough concentration to read anything over the last several days. That will need to change in order for me to continue.

    I hope that you continue blogging Lory. Tour blog is generally wonderful. In general, we must keep the bright light of culture alive.

  4. Big question. Given that it just took me 3 days to get through a 200 pg book that I normally would have read in an afternoon, i’m wondering when I’ll even be able to absorb words again. Beyond that, I ponder the relevance of my book blog right now. Shouldn’t my time be spent volunteering, getting involved in activist organizations, etc? I’m taking the easy way out by holing up in my house and reading and what does it even matter?

    A lot of questions swirling in a lot of minds, I guess.

    • If I may say, yes to volunteering and giving some of your time to others. But you need to ‘recharge your batteries’ to give meaning time and content to others. I believe reading books can help you do that. But I know that reaching a healthy balance is always a challenge

  5. I think a lot of us have been wrestling with feelings of helplessness and powerlessness these past few days. I know I’ve been wondering if I’m doing enough. But writers have incredible power. Whether you try to read more inclusively, spread positivity or foster connections between people by encouraging discussions, you’re doing your part. It may not always feel like enough, but we all have to start somewhere!

    • If enough of us would do even a little bit more to change the world, what a difference we could make. Starting with something small is so much better than nothing.

  6. Please yes, keep reading and blogging about books. Hatred and ignorance can only be fought by opening ourselves to other horizons, by developing our critical sense (that is, getting the tools to analyze facts and data, not just blindly swallow whatever the media present to us without questioning that articles, pictures, and videos may be all fakes), by growing into compassion. Books are excellent tools to do so.

    • I do agree, Emma, and I think it’s more important than ever for us to cultivate and try to spread both out critical thinking skills and our capacity for compassion.

  7. I’m feeling really down and uninspired myself, but I hope you keep blogging! I plan to, but I’m taking time to process and refocus as well.

  8. Why would you stop blogging because negative things are happening in the world? Then they win. You do what is right for you because you can’t do for anyone else if its not right for you first. The world will always have chaos, beauty, greed, death, new life, vision, surprises. Keep change in perspective to the whole world with so much that occurs, good and bad, and dont just focus on your world or community. Of course you continue to blog, to learn, to interact with others, new and familiar. Enjoy, stay motivated.

    • I think my question came from the feeling that my blog is mainly preoccupied with my own thoughts and feelings, which seems selfish now. The answer would be to look outward more, to “learn and interact with others,” as you say. Then it can truly be a gift and a tool for change.

  9. You tapped into what many are feeling, Lory. The drama that is playing out in the larger world is playing out in my family and I have wondered if I should reframe my blog into something ‘more relevant.’

    But classic literature is my balm, my escape. I really need it. And I was reminded how the useful the classics can be to our modern world when talking to a cousin this morning who is trying to make sense of the new political landscape by reading Brecht! So that’s good enough for me ๐Ÿ™‚

    And in fact, maybe now more than ever we need the voices of writers, both past and present, to ease our hearts, to strengthen our hearts and to show us how to share our hearts.

  10. My heart is so heavy with worry that blogging has become difficult for me as well. Although, as friends and bloggers have reminded me, we are in it together. Also, I found blogging and reading to be an escapism that is desperately needed. We cannot always focus on the dark and books can help with that, whether it be learning a new topic or attending Hogwarts. I vote to keep blogging as like every vote, your thoughts and feelings matter so much.

  11. I think doing things you love gives you strength to fight bigger battles. And not giving up on something that brings joy into your life, is one way of fighting back. So much is done out of hate in the world, that I feel doing something out of love is step in the right direction. Being kind, standing up for what’s right and finding joy in little things are never anything to feel bad about.

  12. I will definitely be making more of an effort to diversify my reading and to make more of it educational but also making an effort to choose books that bring me happiness and to share them in the chance that it can bring others happiness as well. If one thing is true, it’s that we are going to need to be there for each other through the dark days that are inevitably ahead. I’m happy to know I will have such a wonderful community to rely on!

  13. I have this conversation with myself regularly. In fact, I stopped blogging in 2014 because I couldn’t justify blogging. It isn’t anything that leaves a lasting impression on the world, or my family, it isn’t something that supports our household income, etc. I have just come to the conclusion that sometimes in life, it has to be good enough that I enjoy what I’m doing, while connecting with like minded people.

    • It’s good to know others are struggling with this question. I am sure I shall continue for those same reasons, while also hoping to do more that does affect the outer world in a positive direction.

      • I have made more of an effort to read and review books that make a difference, and am working on a list of blogs who do the same. Reading is escapism for most, and that is a wonderful enough reason to read, but to escape into a world that leaves you changed is glorious.

  14. I feel you SO much. I really had trouble starting again. I questioned if I SHOULD be doing it- if it was even okay, you know? Like, when there is so much to be done, I guess. But then, the more I thought about it, I came to a few conclusions, for myself anyway. First, like you said, books have the ability to open people’s minds, and that importance cannot be overlooked. Second, I feel like giving up ALL the things that we love about our lives is handing over even MORE power to this piece of garbage, and I won’t do that. Plus, for me, books and blogging are something I do for myself, a self-care really. I think it is important to remember that we need to take care of ourselves too- maybe more than ever, because we’re so much more likely to put our own interests aside. Not saying to not fight, to not do every single thing we can to overcome this mess, but take some time for yourself, too. BIg hugs, I hope you’re doing okay. โ™ฅ

    • Yes, I have also thought in these days about how the forces we are confronting want to kill our joy, sap our enthusiasm and distract us from our true work. Whatever helps us to keep that inner fire alive shall not be done in vain.

  15. Thank you, Lory, for an eloquent post which brought tears of recognition to my eyes. You were saying, with such clarity, what so many of us, judging by the comments, are feeling.

    With terrible, hate-filled, lacking in human tenderness and compassion people coming to power, it is essential that those of us who value connection, empathy and wanting a kinder community, to avoid the despair and sense of futility which can overwhelm us. Where have many of us learned nuance and empathy from – its from the words and thoughts and ideas of others, and some of it comes from long ago and from all over the world. Literature helps us feel into, think into, others. And though blogging about books is so very personal, about how this book speaks to ME, how we truly connect with each other IS by the one-by-one. I can only really understand the sufferings of millions if I can hear that ‘the million’ are in the end individual, precious, unique voices.

    • That is the mystery – how the common good depends on each of us becoming true individuals and honoring that essence in one another, “I” to “I.” We have to hold onto that in a world that would define us by group characteristics.

  16. You know I’ve been having a hard time shifting back into blogging as well, but I think you eloquently describe exactly why we continue on. I love when you say, “Iโ€™m going to define โ€œreadingโ€ as meaning something more. To me it means reaching for the true potential of the human spirit โ€” which I do believe in, no matter how polluted and obscured it may become.”

    Beautiful sentiment.

  17. Naomi captured pretty well what I wanted to say. I definitely think blogging is as worthwhile as ever, although I have to admit, I think the chances of reaching anyone who disagrees with my politics via the internet seems slim to me. For that reason, I’m also feeling a bit of what Catherine mentioned about wanting to devote more of my time to activism. I’m optimistic I can do that and still maintain my blog though ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I agree with the comments above. Reading leads to learning. Learning defies ignorance. Ignorance begets hatred. And once you’ve learned, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it with others. Spread the learning and defy hatred. Pay it forward. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve had a bad case of the political doldrums lately too, and have recently decided to read the 6 Books to Help Understand Trump’s Win (from the New York Times article) as a project next year. I think learning about the populism movement and why it appeals to people might decrease my bias towards thinking everyone out there is a hater. Because deep down I know they’re not. I’ll also pay more attention to the social justice book club hosted at Entomology of a Bookworm.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.