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Creek Running North

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November 28, 2005

Gratitude

Thanks to everyone who has gotten in touch with wholly unnecessary, but very much appreciated good wishes.

I am rethinking what I'm doing here at Creek Running North, but there's a lot of distance between "business as usual" and ending the blog.

For a time at least, this blog will be a lower priority in my life. I may decide to get rid of some of its functionality. I'm not sure. Things like Site Meter and Technorati are a potential sink of time and obsession, but they also provide ways for readers to find my work... and I am not so independent an artist that I don't want new readers.

Not that y'all aren't perfectly good readers yourselves, of course.

Posts will be less frequent. Posts written in anger will probably cease to exist. Thus, there will likely be less politics here. It's an obsession for me, but I'm not saying anything that 30,000 other people in the parrotsphere aren't already saying. It's obvious I will not be able to write about natural history, or culture, or my life story without writing about politics. But the simply political, the mindless partisanship and circular firing squads and reflexive vented spleen have sufficient venues.

I spent a little time over the past couple days looking at some of the first posts from the first few weeks of this blog. Look at June 2003, for instance. There is a clarity to those posts that I find compelling. Compelling, and largely absent from my recent thrashing.

I want to get back to that. And I want to shrink this blog down to its rightful size in my life, and get the off-line work done that will last beyond my ISP's next system crash.

So fewer posts, and better-written, and of course I will have something on Thursday for Blog Against Racism Day, and some follow-up posts and pointers to other folks' BARD offerings. (I did make a commitment to you guys, after all.) And I expect The Irascible Gardener to be ready real soon now. Honestly.

And thanks again.

Posted by Chris Clarke at November 28, 2005 03:57 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.faultline.org/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/1459

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Comments

It's very good to know you won't be leaving us entirely. Finding the right balance is incredibly important, and I'm looking forward to seeing where your writing takes you, and us.

Posted by: nina at November 28, 2005 05:15 PM
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I'm glad you're not decamping, and I know where you're coming from about re-thinking your blog: I'm planning to reconsider mine over the winter break, myself.

Posted by: Ancrene Wiseass at November 28, 2005 05:22 PM
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Oh good, glad to know you'll still be around. Fewer but better-written posts sounds like a good thing to me (not that I don't enjoy the quickly fired off rants). And looks like re-thinking blogs is an unofficial blog meme! GZombie has declared he's ending in March, Wiseass just said she's rethinking hers, and I've still yet to figure out what mine's for and really need to do that!

Must be something in the air or the water or something.

But about this: And I want to shrink this blog down to its rightful size in my life

...just as long as you don't drown it in a bathtub. :)

Posted by: Dr. Virago of Quod She at November 28, 2005 06:38 PM
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Whew! Now I can go back to lurking and shaking my head over the absurdity of tearing up over a dog I don't know... and old boots.

Also, I am going to try and do something for Blog Against Racism Day... will trackback.

Posted by: Nanette at November 28, 2005 07:00 PM
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End-of-year is a good time for rethinking these things; assiduous of you to get started on your New Years Presolution so soon. Yours is among the sharpest there is, of course, and can't wait to see what happens when posts are more refined, thoughtful, ad inf.

Posted by: termagaunt at November 28, 2005 07:02 PM
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Have you considered turning your blog (or "best of...") into a book you could sell. Lulu.com does it cheaply (and well, I know some bloggers who did it and are very satisfied with the service, speed and quality) and you can even enter it for the Blooker Prize ($2000, $1000 or $1000). Your writing is one of the best in the blogosphere, why not cash in on it if you can? I don't have the correct links handy but they are somewhere on my blog (as of this writing still on the front page, I believe but you have to scroll down).

Many people are apologetic about checking Sitemeter and Technorati, but those two are essential tools in the conversation. You have to pretty good, big, and popular to have more than 1% of visitors actually leave a comment. Most of the conversation is not within a blog (post-to-comments) but between blogs (post-to-post). Without Sitemeter and Technorati you are standing on the soapbox and yelling into the wilderness. Your blog is your mouth. Sitemeter and Technorati are your ears - without them you cannot hear the responses.

Posted by: coturnix at November 28, 2005 07:03 PM
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I agree about keeping it in perspective. Good luck with that.

But I wonder:

If a tree falls and no one blogs about it, does it make a sound?

Posted by: KathyF at November 29, 2005 02:16 AM
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Whew! This was my first stop this morning. Glad it was to read good news. First about Carl jumping into the abyss and then about you continuing to wander around it. I'm looking forward to the journey.

Posted by: eRobin at November 29, 2005 04:05 AM
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for me blogging is first of all ... sharing.
and like in a big pot-luck, everybody brings what is in their possibilities (of time, skill, compentence, knowledge, ingredients ...)
Some dishes are better ... some do not really come out the way we wanted ... but it should be a big feast.
On one side everybody can try to "cook" up something, on the other side you can serve yourself at such an enormous buffet...! What a choice! Sometimes you stick with the cooks you know, the dishes you know ... and sometimes you try something new: maybe you like it maybe you don't ... and maybe it gives you new ideas for your own "cuisine" ...
But like in real cooking, when you don't feel like ... then the dishes do not come out well ... so ... take your time and to everybody: bon appetit!

Posted by: Yubi at November 29, 2005 05:23 AM
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Sounds healthy and wise. I'm glad you're still going to be around; I was a little worried there at first.

Posted by: Stephanie at November 29, 2005 07:42 AM
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I'm very glad to know I'll still be able to read your writing. I looked at some of the earlier writing to which you linked and liked it very much. We can get more than enough political rants from eschaton.

Posted by: Charles at November 29, 2005 11:08 AM
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I think this is about the right balance. When I first switched some of my static web content to a blog format, I was coming out of a lengthy involvement in a closed virtual community that was like a mini-blogosphere. I decided I didn't like what it was doing to my writing and thinking: I was always anticipating what people would say next, stuck in a rut, writing within ongoing conversations. I decided I would write blog entries only when I wanted to, with little concern for what anyone would think of them, and with a determination to not just parrot others. It's actually a hard determination to stick with, because it's not what most people do with blogs. You start to feel that sense of guilt: "Oh, my, I need to put something up", and the response to that sense is usually an entry that feels forced and echoes things already said. So I think it's right to take stock every once in a while and say, "How can I make this something that is about the kind of writing I want to do, for me, to develop themes and interests that are distinctive to me?"

Posted by: Timothy Burke at November 29, 2005 12:59 PM
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I so enjoy your writing on this site (so if you stopped I'd miss it) but I also appreciate the occasions for wonderful comments like these. I'm learning a lot.

Posted by: Joanna at November 29, 2005 02:36 PM
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Chris, I'm glad to read this followup for a pair of selfish reasons. One, because you're among my favorite writers in the blogosphere, as I hope I've said before. And two, because I too have become irksomely dissatisfied with my blog, not so much on the Sitemeter-Technorati end but more because I've read it over and am dismayed at how little of it is worth reading a few weeks or months later. I think the format has serious drawbacks that are masked by the thrill of immediate feedback (which has its charms quite apart from immediacy), and I'm wondering about how to keep going without feeling pressured to keep going.

Posted by: Michael Bérubé at November 29, 2005 07:52 PM
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Insert "cheerleading" comment here. *Wink*

Posted by: Roxanne at November 29, 2005 08:37 PM
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I do understand - the time this all takes is enormous. I too write beyond the confines of my blog, and that writing has been getting short shrift lately. You see, I enjoy being an essayist as well as working on the characters I create in my novels. There is a tug-of-war going on betwixt the two, and I'm not sure of the outcome - not yet. So I really do understand your need to re-purpose this blog. As another who enjoys your writing, I am glad you will keep it up. No need to feed the beast daily - just when the hunger moves you.

Posted by: The Fat Lady Sings at November 29, 2005 10:27 PM
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Do what you need to do. I'm glad you'll still be writing, albeit less frequently.

Posted by: Sheelzebub at November 30, 2005 06:43 AM
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As a lurker here, and one who frequently puzzles over the question of why I blog, I was reluctant to comment on your doubts. I look forward to reading whatever you choose to write in this space.

Posted by: Kimberly at November 30, 2005 09:24 AM
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I'm glad you're thinking about re-focusing on the more thoughtful stuff. This is one of the first blogs I click on every day and i'd hate to see it disappear. And while I won't miss the bursts of righteous anger, I do hope you'll still allow periodic outlets for displays of wit and lighter stuff generally, and not get all Sigurd Olseny on us.

Posted by: Dave at December 1, 2005 06:28 PM
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