Not In The Past

Looking forward from 30

Announcement regarding my blogging future

Whoa, so much for getting into the habit of posting everyday with that #365poems exercise.  I still see the value of doing it, but when you go two weeks without a post because of the backlog of poems needed to catch up, and not wanting to come up with a separate post until I did, that just spells trouble.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of my blogging.  These days, I can’t really say it’s been the biggest priority for me anymore.  I’ve been maintaining blogs for over 12 years now; an ever-growing chunk of my life has been documented across multiple platforms and usernames.  I’ve been reading blogs for a while longer.  I’ve connected with a number of awesome people through blogging: writing is how I communicate best and feel I can reveal my true self that gets lost in the awkwardness of face-to-face interactions.  I haven’t really bothered reading blogs in a little while, though, or keeping up with my RSS readers.  Maybe this is due to the pervasiveness and ease of social media, or maybe this is just annoyance at scripts not responding in my browser.

I have three blogs on WordPress right now.  One is an “official site” under my full name that hasn’t been updated in a month.  Another is a sporadically updated “pop culture” blog that’s mostly SNL.  And then there’s this one, which has been sort of a clearinghouse of whatever came to mind.  I also maintain a few Tumblrs but those aren’t so much about the words.  With all these blogs, no wonder my focus is so divided.

I think my blogging is also dividing my focus from getting my writing to a point where I want it to be.  To be honest, I’m not entirely sure I should be posting as much of my work online before I get a chance to really fine-tune it.  I also feel like writing for the public at large has become a crutch for me, and an excuse to no longer write personal correspondence aside from cursory, business-like missives.  It’s not that I don’t like blogging; it’s just that I want to be more confident in the direction my writing takes.

I’m going to take a break from blogging online for the next little while.  I also think it’s time to close Not In The Past.

I feel like I’ve hit a wall with my writing online, and painted myself into a corner.  I’m debating whether to delete everything here, make everything private, or allow it to gather dust and spam comments.

I’ll be posting similar messages on the other blogs; I don’t think I’ll delete the other two, especially if one is supposed to be my main footprint online and the other is my most popular site, but I think a break is due.  I haven’t decided what I’ll do once I decide I’m ready to rejoin the blogosphere; I may try to get the blog rolling on my “professional page” or just open a site that I don’t put my name on or publicize (not even in comments).

I’m not disappearing from the internet completely, though.  I’ll still be on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc. If you don’t know my username, send me a message), and you can still e-mail me directly.  I just have a bit of blog fatigue at the moment.

Until we meet again,
Ben

7/365: Consequence of Choice

Every single decision we made
killed a possible version of ourselves,
each aborted by paths chosen or rejected,
and through a whole lifetime,
cities of hypothetical identities were razed
through compromise or force of will.

#365poems at Schmutzie.com

6/365: Robbery

My mind and spirits are sustained
While my body starves and withers.

To give you what I have
Means giving you
A mere painting or photograph
Standing in for the object.

Sometimes, that will do,
and sometimes, that’s robbery.

#365poems at Schmutzie.com

5/365: Pedestal

My memories distort over time
and make you impossible.

Exaggerated ideals
flatten out the essence
That draws me.

#365poems at Schmutzie.com

4/365: Meta

In it for the purpose of breaking through
the mental strain, cramming every last thought
out onto the keyboard.

Typing hesitantly.
Straining thoughts and images out
as if they were constipation stools.

Overthought,
eroding all sense of flow.
Starts and stops like a jammed cassette.

#365poems at Schmutzie.com

3/365: Pathology

You don’t want respect, only pity
The empty gesture that asks
that you change nothing in return

Respect is such an alien thing to you
that you accept the malnourishing substitute
slowly letting your insides fester

My desire for the opposite
makes this seem especially toxic

#365poems at Schmutzie.com

2/365: Mindscrew

The thoughts
that pollute my head
When I want to rest
Obscure my perception
and insulate me
From experience

The vivid life comes
Before the day begins
Stops making sense
Long before it dissolves
Leaving strands to translate

#365poems at Schmutzie.com

1/365: Sappy 08

I did not plan to see this small-town spectacle
That drew bohemians and musicians.

The magic secret had been suddenly publicized
and was no longer a rare memory for a select few.

The quirks and legends are now
an annual destination.

I stepped outside my life,
and paid for conversation, music, comfort and company
with a thorough drenching and a sleepless night.

Yet I felt more part of it all that night
before I found myself
conspicuously attempting to revive the past.

#365poems at Schmutzie.com

Ten Goals for 2013

As I mentioned in my last post, there are a few things I’m hoping to work on for the coming year.  I have a feeling the list will grow and evolve as the year goes on, but for now here are ten things I want to focus on:

  1. Write every day.  One thing I’m going to do to acheive this goal is to participate in #365poems, where I write a poem every day for a whole year.  They probably will not be great works of art, but the point is to discipline myself into producing every day.
  2. Submit work for publication.  Keep doing it until I get published, which may not happen this year.
  3. Get a new wardrobe.  I really feel like my clothing doesn’t really “fit” me in several different meanings of the word, and I want to get a few more nicer outfits for job interviews or more formal occasions. 
  4. Try a new bar or restaurant every month this year.
  5. Finally get my passport.  I put it by the wayside when I was unemployed and looking to finally get out of Miramichi, but now that I’m here in Halifax, it’s time to finally get it.
  6. Go to New York City.  My sisters are already planning a trip and they want me to come.
  7. Start doing volunteer work with a local organization.
  8. Cook two new dishes per month.
  9. Sell one of my photographs.
  10. Begin to make significant progress on reducing my personal debt.

I have a number of sillier, more trivial goals that aren’t really tied into what I want out of life, but I figure I wouldn’t include any of those as they would be a distraction.

2013

I’ve been terrible about blogging lately, and to be honest, I’ve hit another block of dissatisfaction when it comes to this and the other blogs I keep in my name.  I’m wondering if this is too much of a diversion from keeping an “official” web presence under my real name, but I realize doing that has implications on my professional image.  I like having the potential for wider audience than a friends-only Livejournal post, but don’t feel as free to write about more negative emotional states or sexuality here than I would there.  This space is supposed to keep me writing, but I find the block is coming at me again when I’m here.

I was glad to see 2012 off: there were a few highlights, and an important life change, but I also had another bout of illness (whooping cough in August/September), my parents’ dog died in Novemberand the whole spell of unemployment I went through until I did get work took its toll on me.  It really did not help that I was living at home in an atmosphere that seemed to enable pessimism and reclusiveness, and the combination of it all brought me the biggest crisis in self-confidence I suffered in about 7 years.  I’m glad to be in my own space again, and working at a steady job for now (even if it is a term position that may not last too much longer): I feel a bit more in control of my life and my destiny, and that helps.

But what of the new year? Where do I want to be at years’ end?  Grand pronouncements that a year is going to be better than the last tend to blow up in the face of the person that make them, as do promises of lofty goals.  I tried doing 30 before 30 last year.  Didn’t exactly get everything done, but it was worth a try.  I thought I would try to get another list of goals posted sometime by the end of the week, which I’m still trying to winnow down.

I think it’s time to think about what I really want out of life again, though.  I’m so used to practicality and trying to be satisfied with the low-hanging fruit, and I really need a little more inspiration this time around.  If you have a suggestion for something to get out of this year, I would really love to hear it.

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