Recently on Creature Comforts, Ez wrote “Things I’m Afraid to Tell You,” a discussion about life behind the blogging curtain. Leave yourself some time, if you want to hop over there and read. One salient quote:
“However as time has gone on, and with the ever-expanding roster of blogs that are out there showcasing pretty thing after pretty thing, I’ve come to realize that all this beauty can actually have the opposite effect. The always-nice that we see on constant display everywhere we look (from blogs to magazines, etc) becomes frustrating because it doesn’t really look like how our life looks, right? Instead of visiting a blog and feeling inspired, we quite often leave feeling less than, and like our life can never really match up to what we see.
“As a long-time contributor to this trend of pretty-everything I should know better, but even I get sucked up in feeling like other bloggers are more successful, have better wardrobes, perfectly behaved children, gourmet meals pre-made weeks in advance…they host fabulous parties with every last detail glittered and festooned to perfection, take lavish vacations, sign book deals in their sleep and pose for photo shoots in their immaculately clean designer-decorated homes. Please can I at least get a raised hand if you’re feeling me on this.”
I’ve heard too many blogging friends say that they recently have come to a point where they hate blogging, that they just want to sew and walk away from the other part of having to put up photos and commentary on what they do at the sewing machine.
I graduated with an MFA in Writing, and this idea, that our private selves–or what we do when we create and spend time thinking about while move around our bits of cloth–can be in opposition to our public self, is not a new one. Cezanne was famous for this, often packing up his paints and easel and leaving if he thought someone was watching him. But even he participated in gallery shows, presenting his work for his audiences when he was finished with it. The difference between us and Cezanne, is that blogs are DAILY (or at least WEEKLY) and are giant content sucking machines. And usually that content comes from us.
And we all know you have to have generate content to blog. And if you don’t have content, you have nothing to write. And if you don’t write, then you don’t have a blog, which many quilters use as a tool to decrease the isolation as well as foster a conversation of sharing.
Bridging this innate tension between wanting to create privately, with sharing what you are doing with the public, is a constant.
I have one more post about this.