The big empty space

Ahhh yes, it’s that time again. Time of the month, or maybe week, hell it might even just be down to the time of day, regardless I find myself staring at the screen, staring at this big empty box. I have Blogger’s period.

Hmmm that’s not the best mental image with which to start a post.

The box on the screen is precisely 791 pixels wide by 285 pixels high. It has a black border. It’s very much just a box, a rectangle, a space on the screen. I’ve seen this box, and others like it, many many times before (now there’s a thought, in seven years of blogging, how many post entry boxes have I seen? Over 5,000 I reckon… ) and it shouldn’t really be a daunting experience. More to the point it most certainly shouldn’t be compelling, inviting, demanding to be used. It should be at MY whim, used when I see fit and not a constant reminder that I have a blog, and I should be posting.

Yet here I sit while the box on the screen quietly mocks me, goading and empty.

It’s not like there isn’t anything happening in my life. My father-in-law is back in Scotland for a couple of weeks, I’ve got a new wireless router, I’ve just finished reading A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby (quite good), and … well OK, that’s about it. Maybe it’s the lack of distinct events, or the absence of anything remotely interesting that is causing my brain to seize. If that’s the case then I’ll do what I always do, fall back on the true and trusted method of just starting to write and seeing what spews forth.

Hmmm, again with the distinctly yeuch mental imagery…

Of course just “starting to write” means that all I end up doing is feeling that I’m blogging for the sake of blogging, and that what I’m writing has little to no value. I mean it’s not like I haven’t discussed this before, and lord knows you lot must be a tad bored of this topic by now. Yes I don’t NEED to post, no I’m not even considering stopping or pausing or anything like that but.. sheesh.. I want to post, I’ve just got nothing to post about!

So let us turn to that which drives us, the compulsion to post. Has mine changed? Do I really only do it for the interaction, the validation, the “community” of it? And if so, is that a bad thing? OK, maybe the validation reason isn’t too great but I do enjoy the comments.

This is my hobby, and with that admission comes the realisation that the compulsion (addiction?) to post is an intrinsic part, as is the continual self-censorship, the details I omit. And maybe that’s the problem, the things I’m omitting are the things which are taking more and more focus in my life. They are not all positive things, and my knowledge of my readership stays my hand when I begin to type.

Even that last sentence has an air of foreboding around it, so let me quickly assure you that there is nothing life-threatening hanging over my head (or that of anyone else). At least, not that I know of… wouldn’t it just be the way if I were to get knocked down right after I post this? But then, maybe I shouldn’t be typing on my laptop whilst crossing the road, that’s just asking for trouble.

And now I’ve reached another problem. If you don’t start with a topic in mind you end up rambling on and on and on, and finding a place to stop can be tricky.

Or not.

Written By

Long time blogger, Father of Jack, geek of many things, random photographer and writer of nonsense.

Doing my best to find a balance.

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