Omphaloskepsis

I cannot just write for myself

It’s a conundrum.

I love to write, but, somehow, I consistently seem to lack the motivation to write exclusively for myself.

My Mama (and Papa too – when he was alive) is an incredibly private person. As a girl, she kept a diary for herself, but she would never, ever write publicly about her personal life (that’s very much against her nature)… and, for that matter, neither would my younger brother, nor would my wife. Thinking back to a time not so long ago, I also remember one of my close friends (a woman in her seventies) asking me with befuddlement, “Why are you sharing so much publicly?”

Maybe blogging makes me feel somehow more significant; or maybe it makes me feel that my existence is being affirmed by others. Perhaps I’m simply needy for attention.

So I blog.


On striving to maintain an appealing blog

Writing is an activity that sucks me in. If left to my druthers, I would be content to sit at the keyboard and write personal reflections and poems all day long. The words come to me more easily than the world does, if you catch my drift.

On the other hand, I don’t want to inundate online friends and potential readers with too many blog posts. (writing my recent series on blogging tips has helped me concretize my blogging strategy in my own mind.)

So here’s an irony: on the one hand, I may find myself inspired to write a short poem (think: haiku), which comes more quickly than a piece of prose or deeply reflective blog post, but then I start to feel that I may be posting too often… and while I may very much want to expound at length upon weighty matters close to my heart, I too often end up pushing those off for later – even though what I want to do (exclusively for myself, that is) is to keep on writing and publishing.

In way of example, I shared a recent limerick of mine 19 hours ago, and then I uploaded a new haiku some 8 hours ago, which reflected my mood at that moment… and now I find myself sitting and fretting about when to publish this blog post. “Am I blogging too often?” I ask myself. “Am I being annoying?”


My expertise

The other thing is – what do I actually feel comfortable blogging about?

I’m so tired of all the noise online. I’m so tired of people opining on things that they know so little about. Sure, I have thoughts about what happened recently in Israel and what is happening here even now, but who am I, exactly? I’m certainly no expert, nor pundit, and I won’t pretend to be.

On the other hand, I’m a fairly informed consumer of the news in Israel (and the USA); and, gosh darn it, I am deeply invested in the politics of the day. Despite my hesitancy, I may soon give in and share a few simple reflections upon the political fallout from the recent hostilities between Hamas in Gaza and the State of Israel… because my country’s endless political quagmire is nothing short of flabbergasting to me. Who would have thought that we could very well be moving towards our 5th round of nationwide elections in three years⁉️

Still, what I’m really an expert on, and perhaps the only thing that I’m an expert on, is my feelings… and how much navel-gazing should I subject my readers to? I ask myself: How much omphaloskepsis would I want to read from other bloggers? After all, if somebody else’s behavior irritates me, I aim not to replicate it.

*sigh*

I suppose that posting poetry remains the safest bet, in terms of its universal appeal… but, occasionally, other words do leak out upon the screen.

74 thoughts on “Omphaloskepsis”

  1. I enjoy your blog and the variety of posts, David. Sharing oneself genuinely with the world is a good thing. πŸ™‚

      1. Because in my mind I’m a unique writer but in reality only a handful of people actually read what I write. It’s been the same on every outlet I’ve ever shared on. That causes you to start to wonder if maybe you just like the sound of your own voice.

        1. Well, for better or worse, there’s a game we have to play if we want to be noticed and read… we have to network with other writers. In terms of blogging, that’s 49% of what brings in more subscribers. πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ (they’ll stay for the quality of your content, but you have to get them to look at your blog in the first place, right?)

          ❀
          David

                1. well, to be fair, I do feel that I have formed mutually respectful relationships with other poets via d’Verse.

                  and, for me, the prompts really get my creative juices flowing so they don’t feel forced or fake.

                  Shabbat shalom,
                  David

  2. I think any time you write words intended for someone else in addition to yourself, you’re going to have that tension of “do I write what I want to write, or what my readers want to read”.
    I think about this too with my blog. On my blog, poems get consistently more views and responses than other posts. Which makes sense because there are a lot more people on WordPress interested in reading poetry than some stranger’s incredibly self-centered life updates. But while I enjoy using some of the prompts for poetic inspiration, I don’t want my blog to be primarily poetry. So I feel this tension as well.

    1. It just depends upon what our goals are – it’s okay to blog for ourselves… why not? But we should be realistic about what others might find interesting if we’re concerned about growing an audience. Also… I think… perhaps our audiences would be more willing to read our “self-centered” stuff (as you put it) if it’s spread out among posts that the audience is more naturally attracted to. πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

  3. I completely understand your dilemna. I too am a private person; shy even and struggle when it comes to speaking publicly or reading my writings/poetry aloud. But in blogging, I find an outlet for my musings; reflections & poems along with a community who appreciate it and looks forward to my next blog! All minus the dread and fear of getting up in front of folk. Keep sharing and keep leaking out your thoughts and material. I look forward to it! 😁

  4. It is a constant decision – do I post now or later? Do I write daily or weekly? I’ve decided to write when the spirit moves me but post as a scheduled event. That means that my posts continue even if I’m uninspired to write or too busy with other commitments. I’m planning a vacation and will likely not have internet in the wilderness of the Midwest yet my blog posts will appear and when I have connectivity I’ll respond. This makes it so much easier. Of course it also allows for endless edits… If you are concerned about posting too often just analyze the metrics and see if there is a trend with decreases in readership based on post intervals. It is a lot of mathematics but it is likely something you can do… As for attention seeking posts – those are very obvious but I don’t see them on your blog.

  5. Good post, David. I often wonder the same things. For me, blogging is something that keeps me excited and, I feel, moving in a good direction. I get sick of it and take breaks sometimes – kind of like little mini-digital detoxes.

    It’s funny because I, too, bemoan the fact that our cultures are so inundated with media. There does seem to be oversaturation. Yet, I contribute to that saturation by sharing my own stuff! So, who am I to say? I enjoy the community on WP, though.

    I’m sure if I looked closely enough, there is some ego-stroking that comes with all this for me. But none of us are saints. And as long as we’re posting fun and creative stuff, that’s a heck of a lot better than some of the stuff posted online these days!

  6. That’s a new word! Thank you for sharing it with us! It’s your blog, so feel free to blog as you wish! It’s your way of expression. So be it! β€οΈπŸ€—

  7. Hello. I think you should blog as often as you like and about whatever you like. When you think how many words we speak every day a blog is the all that ‘everything’ distilled into a post. Happy blogging Ben πŸ˜€

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