I’m writing here tonight to try and break through some blog panic, which has gone on all week. This year I started a new blog as part of a personal project. I want to write, and I want to learn, and I want to remember the places – emotionally, physically, intellectually – that I visited in my twenties. As I come in on thirty, I want to feel like it’s been worth it, and that I have something to contribute.
And I think I’m getting somewhere! I have started a new blog, Define Well-Being, that I hope will be a platform for me to integrate and explore. I signed up for twitter (@definewellbeing), and generally got plugged in with history and health communities. I haven’t generally been that excited for social media – including blogs – in the past, but now that I have a niche, I’m loving it. Suddenly I see how I can create an e-world that caters to me, and there are tools out there to help me store and organize sources and thoughts (most important in this venture: Chrome. Amazing). I have been loving it.
Having centered this project in a broader web, however, of learning and questioning and endless inputs, right now I’m just spinning my wheels. I thought blogging might be a good way for me to nudge myself through my tendencies of endless rumination, a way to get me writing every day and engaging with ideas that interest me. Instead I’m just seeing the vast expanses of things I don’t know. Last night I considered blogging about Syria, as I’d been hearing conversations on NPR all day with Syrians huddled indoors as their homes and neighbors are attacked. Honestly, I hadn’t been paying attention before. But I got online and fell into this internet rabbit hole that started with what I know about Syria (answer: nothing), touched the current conflict, wound through the development indicators of the country and others in the region, before leaping to the American Revolution and back again to World War II (did you know about 4% of the world’s population died in association with that morass?). In the end I was trolling Wikipedia lists of human tragedies and learning about serial killers and mass murderers. I can’t wait for the FBI to come knocking. The point, anyway, is that I see emotional and academic connections in these things, but to draw them together in any way that makes sense would take more than the few hours a week I was thinking to devote to this.
Meanwhile, without these tools, I’m nervous that I don’t know anything. I’m no expert in, well, any field; moreover, I’m not good at having opinions. I frankly don’t see that we all need to have them about everything. But with neither fact or brashness on my side, what could I possibly create that is worthwhile? At current count I am following 159 people on twitter, and I feel fairly certain that all of them know more than I do. They’re paid to, or they’re studying to. Or..what? There must be a third option. I suppose that’s the one I’m looking for.
So, now that that’s out there, I should start soon…with something less complicated, I suppose. I’m not even going to revise this before posting. You’ve been warned.