In Conclusion

Four years ago to the day, I started this blog.  It seems only fitting that I end it now on the very same day.  Something about symmetry, I think.

Before you ask, no, I’m not moving to a new hosting system.  

I’m going to stop blogging entirely, for the foreseeable future.

When I first floated this decision to myself, some weeks back, it was hard to escape the feeling of liberation.  I felt as if a great weight might be removed from me, and I could move.  To be honest, I felt the same way when, in the waning days of October, I decided to forego NaNoWriMo this year.

I have spent entirely too much time and energy trying to become a denizen of this unreal online world.  And the real world–the one outside the window, just beyond the front door–has been entirely too neglected.  I need to be back out there.  I need to feel that what I accomplish is real, something I can hold in my hand and weigh, rather than moving photons on a screen that, at any moment, will switch to Power Save mode and turn to black.  I am tired of being on a stage, straining to listen for signs of an audience.  I want to be my own audience, my own judge and jury over my work, and my life.  

Now, it should not seem as if this decision comes entirely unexpected.  When I started this blog, I would sometimes do three or more updates a day in my enthusiasm.  Now, it seems like a pressing obligation to do one a month, just to keep blood pumping through the system.  

The word “obligation” above seems apt.  Blogging was fun, then it became something akin to a duty.  Then it became work.  I’d worry and fret about whether I was having ideas worth writing about, and if I wasn’t, why wasn’t I?  What’s wrong with my creativity? 

To be honest, a lot of my creativity has been expended in being clever and creative in blogging, rather than cleverness and creativity themselves.  I was using what little talent I have not to produce interesting work, exactly, but to be clever about the presentation.  That sounds terribly wrong to me.   It’s true that the paintblogs, at first, set me on a painting schedule, and produced some interesting work.  But the blogging bit started to become first and foremost.  If I did some painting, and didn’t photograph it, I’d think, oh no, I’ve done it all wrong.  The work was secondary.  Presenting it on the blog was primary. 

That’s wrong.  While I’m grateful to the blogging experience for making me put brush to canvas, the display of such on the internet must not be the be all and end all of the experience.  The work must stand apart on its own.

So this is my final entry here.  Over four years, I’ve posted a few entries of which I remain quite proud, as well as others that were at least decent.  I’ve met a number of wonderful people, made a mark on the internet, and perhaps learned a bit about what I can and cannot do.  There were things I planned to post here in these waning days, works that I had spent a great deal of time and thought upon–my long essay on humor, thoughts on Noir and Neo Ranga, an essay on cats and dogs.  All of these are close to final draft.  And when I thought, “Should I post those before I retire?” the loudest voice saying “I wouldn’t care” was…my own.  

So, thank you for your patronage over these four years.  I love you, one and all, and wish you every success.  

As for me, well, one day, I may be back.  Yes, I may be back.  Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties.  Just go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me that I was not mistaken in mine.