Friday, November 03, 2006

Quandary in the Morass







What to do with this beast of a blogsite?


Have you ever started something in life, say a relationship or a project, only to find yourself at a fork in the road. You stop and ponder which way to turn, hesitate, question your dedication, examine your frustration, and generally remain at a loss in the face of these crossroads.


This is where I have been with this blog for a while now.


When I started this monster, it's unique purpose was to improve my writing ability by posting my thoughts on certain subject matter while getting some feedback and insight. Getting caught up in the blogosphere of the day to day NHL goings on somewhat sidetracked my naive goal. While it was enjoyable, it may have sapped the essense away from the initial idea.


A little background on my original intent and destination.


I had garnered some success writing for local papers and it spurred my creativity. It made me want more. The print media is a hairy predicament these days for a multitude of excuses and logic adrift reasons. Two projects I had on the backburner fell through the cracks. If they were to be resussitated at his point in time, I'm not sure it would make any difference to me in how I feel about them. It may simply be that the truth is in the notion thatf when something is a hobby, it's fun, but when it becomes a job, it can be a drag. I'm not sure if all bloggers get to feeling this way, but sometimes you can feel like a slave to something you created yourself, and it leaves you feeling unfulfilled.


As a competitive person, I have observed many other blogs while my own took shape. I was influenced by those I enjoyed most for two main reasons. I won't name names - you know who you are. The first reason, obviously was the content I perused and responded to at a wild pace. Throwing my opinion out there, everywhere, and getting feedback has been a blast of fun. The second is the distant friendships created by a shared common passion. While being inspired I found myself getting caught up in expectations that were not always my own.


I have an ego that inflates like a payday hardon in a strip club. Having said that, I truly believe that every blog I visit is better than mine, in some way. I don't know if that helps to explain where my thoughts lie these days in regards to this site.


Looking back over the content of my blog from the beginning, I sensed the original goal slipping away from my grasp at times. While I am extremely proud of much of what I've written, the task of wanting to expand it to a wider audience is not entirely motivating if I am no longer 100% satisfied with it.


I have mentioned before how I feel burned out from spreading myself thin these days. Last Saturday, I dedicated half of the days hours to Poke Check's hockey team, administrating the team site and following up on game summaries and team activities. I finished my work at 7 in the morning (not unlike my night shift job!), half tanked and drained. Pretty much caught up with what I had to do, I then slept 15 hours until past suppertime that night. I can't blame that on the turn back of the clocks! I tried pretty much in vain, to get myself back to sleep that night, sucking back a few brews and tiring myself out again in order to find some sleep. I got 3 hours, woke up and pulled off a 12 hour shift. I somehow found all the energy I needed to do my work, but once home I pretty much died on the couch within an hour of getting home.

Questions hound me constantly.

Can I continue doing this without going slightly mad? Is it worth it and why?

I want to refocus on whatever it is I do well. Certain comments dropped in regards to the "Siesta" posting have reassured me that parts of me are on the right track - if you can make sense of that. A half dozen e-mails I received surprisingly made mention of music related postings I ramdomly launched through restlessness and boredom. That caught me off guard, to say the least. The audience (using the term loosely) that reads EOTP, it seems, is not one that necessarily drops comments at each post, unfortunately. I wish they did. Using feedback as a gauge of interest on subject matter, I guess can be deceiving!


To the two Bruce Springsteen fanatics who e-mailed me, I could go on about the Boss at length. I would love nothing more, given the proper context within a somewhat semi sports blog.


To Pat and Leslie, who may or may not be female, thanks for your interest in the Alice Cooper bits.Your requests and thoughts on the old rockers we are getting to be did not go unnoticed. Keep checking in, I'll get around to addressing those concerns as I get my shit together.


As a side note to those who may not realize the connection - "Eyes On The Prize" is the title of a Springsteen tune from his latest. One day I was listening to the "Seeger Sessions" while researching and downloading famous shots of Lord Stanley's mug for a newspaper story. I was also in the midst of creating my blog. With my focus subconsiously aimed at a "prize", a blog title was subsequently born. Don't go looking to download the tune in hopes of some left field hockey anthem - try "Right Now" by Van Halen, it works! The Bruce tune is a folksy union battle cry set to biblical references. I dare you to like it!


To make this long story...well O.K., just a snippet longer, I must admit that I am getting in the mood (call it Molsons!) to get back to writing on my own terms. I'm not sure that it will please everyone. I'm not sure that I want the pressure of having to please ANYONE! Possibly that is the key to getting out of this morass ( look the word up for yourself) of a quandary. If that is what it takes, I'm a fool not to give it a try. I will eventually get around to rewriting a mission statement for the blog. Soon as I define it, readers will see it. In the meantime, consider this blog under reconstuction! I will be pointing the compass at what interests me most, Hell be damned.


Warning - it may not always be hockey related. I will strive to make it interesting, fun and funny, lighthearted at times, angry in others when I can't help it, while balancing the relevant with the irreverant. In short, things I've been known for, with a twist!


One item I hope to implement on an almost weekly basis is a column I will title "Butt Ends", an example of which will be forthcoming soon enough. It is actually an effort to find a manner to columnize ( is that a word? ) my thoughts for a local weekly paper that demands I remain near the 500 word limit. Longwinded me is destined to push the envelope on this straightjacket also, but what the fuck!


"Butt Ends" will be unabashedly fashioned in the mode of Sun writer Steve Simmons Sunday columns. While agreeing with Simmons is always a 50/50 proposition at best in those wankings, I have always been a big fan of that type of piece, if you are familiar with it. He says his peace, skips all explanations, logic, and musings, then gets out. It's an idea I am confortable with. Opinions, I'll live with later. Answers and defenses will be aplenty!


For some of you, like it or not, the Habs goings on will be a mainstain of this ramblebuttle. Not to worry, the balance of passion versus perspective will remain in check when it comes to my team. I promise the same to yours, even if at times you find it hard to chew on.


To end this plank walk, let me just say that if I did not respond to each individual comment pertaining to the "Siesta" piece, I appreciated every individual comment. As with the-mails, some of you I may not have recognized as prior readers. Your opinions, thoughts, wishes and suggestions were a boost. They focused me while I gazed blinking rapidly into a warped mirror. I can't say thank you without gushing. So I'll split.


Stay tuned! I am not even sure what is next!

6 comments:

Tapeleg said...

I never seem to know where the comments are going to come from, or for which posts. I always expect to get a few more for the funny stuff, but it rarely happens. kinda sucks, because I got into this for the conversation. When some newspaper guy's blog pointed to the dancing cats post, I got the biggest traffic day of my blogs short little existence, but no comments. I don't get it. Some people don't know how the comments systems work, but even KK doesn't get a lot of comments.

Regardless, we are out here reading, so do what you want. That's the point. As nice as constraints are to creativity, having a medium that doesn't fire you for doing what you want should be liberating. Hell, I posted on the Blue Man Group concert. The only thing it had to do with hockey was where they played (Pepsi Center).

When you have a little time, spin us a yarn.

Wardo said...

I'm not sure why you'd particularly care about putting out content to please anybody but yourself. Pressure? It's just a blog.

Just do it for fun, and if people don't like it, it's their problem, not yours.

If you look at other blogs and think, "gee, that's better than mine..." you're doing it for the wrong reasons.

Tapeleg said...

Wardo, that's a bunch of crap. If you don't care about it being read, then you wouldn't publish it. You could keep your dear diary on your own computer. Me, I love being read, and having the conversation.

Everyone has something they do better than someone else. If that drives you to make yours better, more power to ya. And you can do a blog for any reason you want. Or stop for any reason. It's just a blog, right?

reality check said...

I learn from all blogs better than mine and I'm pleased to come across one when I do. The competition is all with myself. The pressure I referred to was not from producing a quality blog but from being able to find enough time to make it worthwhile posting on a regular enough basis considering how busy things get with me. I have another blog, a girls hockey website, a column to write, Poke Check's hockey team summaries, and my 36 to 48 of work at Kraft on rotating shifts. Add that to my other daughters activities, my wife and family needs and it can all get a little heavy.

When writing is usually the easiest thing that comes to me, and I'm too fried to be inspired to bother, it's a bummer.

But I get over it. They'll be gaps I guess.

Wardo said...

Tapeleg, your point is valid if RC was questioning continuing a lucrative writing career, but his blog (and most people's) don't earn a penny.

If you're writing for the paycheque, there's no doubt at all you're doing it for the cash, the more the better.

But for an online journal of your thoughts, if you're not pleasing yourself first, your audience second, there is no point in doing it.

reality check said...

As far as the lucrative writing career pursuit, I get great compliments!