Saturday, March 17, 2007

One Year: Adieu

I started blogging about one year ago, and the very first post is right below this one. Since that time, I have struggled to figure out what my blogging voice was supposed to be, what I was supposed to write about, and what I was supposed to read. Of course, I learned that there is no "supposed" when it comes to blogs. The best part of the blogging adventure was reading all of the very talented writers who have managed to create very fine, individualistic, and entertaining voices on this medium that is still experiencing its growing pains.

I have decided, though, that I can't do this any more. I just spent the last hour or so deleting everything in my archives, and I feel a little--no, more than a little--sick about that. I think that I had some pretty decent writing in there, and I think that some of my posts about walking in the woods or discovering a new author displayed some of the best writing I have done. But, for a lot of reasons that I will not bother to get into right now, I can't keep going. I have a newly awakened sympathy for the Romantic writers who, in fits of passion, tossed everything they had ever done into the fireplace. It is a big, stupid gesture, perhaps, but the writing was beginning to cause me unbearable anxiety. I was losing sleep over posts I had written, I was obsessing over comments, and I was twisting myself in knots about everything here. It finally was not worth it.

This blog has turned into something that I can't maintain. I feel like my writing voice has slipped and I find that I was turning into Prufrock, endlessly repeating, "That's not what I meant, at all." The blog was pulling in directions I did not want to go, and the writing was becoming thin, stretched, and frantic. I found myself getting pulled into pointless arguments and disagreements that reflected too much the stupidities of academic life when I wanted this blog to be a refuge from that.

I may open another blog at some point. I have considered starting one in my own real name and keeping it focused on my "serious" writing, with no personal anecdotes or things like that. I think I may have put too much of my personality into this blog, and when things went wrong, the blows were far too painful. A less intimate blog may be the answer, but not right away.

I will continue to read and enjoy the great blogs I have discovered. I hope to keep in touch with my blogging friends in one way or another, either by leaving comments on your blogs or through e-mail.

Before I end this thing for good, I want to thank all of the readers I tempted over the past year to waste a little time read the Hobgoblin. It has been a real pleasure to engage in a dialogue with so many good writers, smart readers, and scintillating personalities.


Fendergal said...

Sorry that you're leaving Blogland. It will be a little less for your absence. I hope it wasn't a decision based on your teaching job. Good luck with the novel; for my part, I have taken away some good ideas for when I eventually do some non-online writing. Learning to silence the copy editor's voice in my head will take some time, though.

Stavanger said...

This is my first time on this blog...too bad I couldn't say the same as your commenter May on your first post. Good luck & goodbye

The Constructivist said...

Yeesh, this is terrible news. (I guess our Emerson-Hawthorne book event is off.) So sorry you feel you need to discard this thing--I enjoyed coming by to read about lit (and comparing your biking stories to Chris Clarke's hiking ones). Good luck with the novel. And feel free to stay in touch--my contact info. is easy to look up.

charlotte said...

I feel sad. I like your blog and things you have to say very much. However, I completely empathise with your feelings and how the blog came to mean too much. I sometimes wonder if I've invested too much in mine and whether that's healthy. Please let me if you decide to reappear in another guise. In the meanwhile, all the best to you, Hobgoblin, in your writing, your riding, your reading and your work.

litlove said...

Oh Bikeprof - I'm immensely sad. You've always been one of my very favourite voices and minds out here in the blogosphere. It's going to be a colder, darker place without you. All I can really say is, please, please keep in touch. I'll miss you.

Emily Barton said...

How very, very sad! I sure will miss you out here in Blogland. You were one of the first blogs I discovered. Oh well, guess it just means we'll have to see more of each other in the real world. And you'll have much more time now to work on your novel (I should take a cue from you. I'm sure I'd be further along if I didn't focus so much time and energy on blogging).

Courtney said...

Count me among the sad ones, as well. This is distressing news. However,I can see how blogging could take over a person like that, and you need to concentrate on other things right now. I'd like to know if you start another blog, as well. All the best, of course.

bloglily said...

Darling Hob, I'll so miss reading what you have to say. I haven't sensed any of the strain you've mentioned, but only the joy that reading and writing are to you.

And yet I can also see quite clearly why you'd want to redirect your considerable writing talent into some other form. Your novel's wonderful, and I am so blown away by how possessed you were by your story. I'll bet there are many more stories like that.

As you say, you're not going anywhere really, and that's some consolation. (Plus, I have your email address and I WILL bug you if I don't see your comments around other blogs every once in a while.)

Much love, Lily

Cam said...

Oh BikeProf, I am so sadden by your decision. Your voice will be missed immensely. Your insightful commentary on literature, cycling, nature walks with Muttboy, and life in general have always been a joy to read.

I was thinking on Saturday about blogging (and my lack thereof recently) and then I started to think about your novel, wondering if you would publish it under your real name or a pseudonym, and the implications of revealing the Hobgoblin as one and the same writer. It made me sad to think that the Hobgoblin might not exist any longer. So how distressing to read this post today.

However, I don't write this to add to your anxiety. I hope you found a sort of freedom in deleting the archives. Don't look back with regrets, even if you decide to start blogging again.

For those of your readers who don't know your name, please post something, or otherwise communicate with us, when your novel is published so that we can rush out to get a copy in our hands to read.

I wish you well Hobgoblin.

Stefanie said...

BikeProf, I'm sorry to see you go. But if blogging isn't fun anymore, it's not worth doing. All the best to you!

LK said...

Adieu, Hob. Your blog will be missed. But here's hoping you will post occasional progress on the novel.

I hear you on the voice...I am unsure about blogging and writing and such.

But there are no hard and fast rules. We just have to make it up as we go along.

Best to you and your writing.

danielle said...

Sorry to hear you are going to stop blogging. Sometimes some of the stuff that goes on in blogland is pretty silly and I can see how it can be tiresome! Hopefully at some point you will want to come back even if you end up changing yor focus! Happy reading and writing to you!

mandarine said...

I understand how you may feel, but please do not scuttle the Hobgoblin entirely. Nobody needs to post every other day -- I can wait for a month or two and still be around for whenever you feel there is something you might want to write about in here.
I wished I'd been there to salvage your posts from the hearth -- who knows, they might have made me famous one day (ever hear of Max Brod?)

Victoria said...

I'm sorry too, but I know about the alienating pressure that comes of blogging. I hope that you feel you want to return some time in the future though. :-)

Until then, you're always welcome at Eve's Alexandria. I hope I see you there.

polaris said...

Hobgoblin, I'm sad to read this. I hadn't visited for many days, so this comes as a shock. Now, I think of all the posts I haven't read and regret not having visited more often.

I hope you will decide to come back.

Anonymous said...

Wow. That's kind of cool. I feel like an internet archaeologist.