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.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


I have been thinking about starting a blog for some time now. For the past three or four weeks, I have found it very easy to waste time by hitting Blogger's random blog button over and over again...for hours. A bit weird, I know. For some reason, though, I haven't been able to jump in and start my own, as if I'm waiting for some mystical revelatory flash to light up my computer, telling me to BLOG. I have ideas about what I want to say (more on that in a bit), so it's not like I'm waiting for inspiration, but I am worried about a number of things. Here, in no particular order, are my blog worries:
1. I will say completely stupid things. Does this need explanation?
2. I won't be able to come up with a snappy, not to mention profound, title for my blog. I went through at least a dozen possible titles before arriving at "The Hobgoblin of Little Minds." Titles are important, as I'm constantly haranguing my students: "Paper #2" is NOT (not!!!) a title. So I dangled from my own petard for a while as I contemplated various titles and rejected them.
3. I am--and here is a point I will explore ad nauseam, I am sure--an untenured assistant professor in the humanities at a SLAC. No plans are currently brewing in my (little) mind to slander my school or complain about my colleagues, but I can see the possibility. Doing so might anger the tenure gods, and then I'd have to commit a blood sacrifice in expiation, and no one wants that.
4. Writer's block.
5. Logorrhea--I'll have plenty to say here, where it doesn't count towards that tenure packet (see #3), but does cause an inordinate amount of time to get sucked off to wherever minutes go when they die.
Five seems like a good number, for now at least.