Sunday, 19 February 2012

Uphill Struggle.



Here are my son and daughter-in-law this morning, a glorious morning, plodding steadily up one of the many hills in the beautiful place where I live.
I sat in the sunshine, watching them, realising how closely their efforts resembled my own in recent weeks.
It's been a long, hard and infinitely tiresome plod to get back on line, and I have no intention of adding to the boredom factor by writing about it. I will just say that those 'change your provider with one click' adverts are a little misleading.

So, no blogging since mid-January, because I could only access my neighbour's broadband signal by crouching up against my bedroom window - which is all right for the odd emergency e-mail, but for nothing else.
After several weeks of not blogging I have turned to other writings, revisiting some old, unpublished works which appeared to me new and fresh, almost unremembered. I have become immersed in lengthier writing, and I have a new journal form as well. So I have to think, as all of us do at some stage, why write the blog?

The blog reaches parts that other writings do not; in particular, people whom I have come to regard as friends in cyberland. You know who you are, and I'm really sorry if you thought I had deserted you.
The blog is the most direct form of writing I have used. There are journals which are entirely my own, but over many years there has also been a surpring amount of published work. This has always had an editor between me and any readers, so that I have felt, and still feel at least one step removed from it.
The blog feels permanent, while other published work, even in book form, is essentially ephemeral. Unless the whole system collapses, or someone else manages to wipe out Relatively Retiring it will stay there, perhaps accessible to future grandchildren as yet unthought of (as far as I know).
The blog is intensely personal, and sometimes it is therapeutic. It is probably the one form of public writing which can be carried out in total freedom, although I, like many of us, have attracted trolls, or at least one particularly malicious troll who stopped me in my tracks for a while.

Having stopped, because of trolls or technology, it's not easy to get going again, but like my young folk here today, I will plod on. The pull seems irresistible.

15 comments:

Mouse said...

oh my goodness, trolls, technology, cyber-criminals...

Like old friends our ties are strong enough to cope with the occasional absence, we welcome you back with a "Hi, happy you are here again hanging out with us in cyberspace"

and you should tell your troll that in cyberspace no-one can remain undetected and untraced for long, we all leave virtual footprints which, unlike those in the sand, never totally vanish...

trolls risk being publicly unmasked
and called to account...

pohanginapete said...

Glad to see you back and writing, RR. I agree entirely with your thoughts on what makes blogging — at least, this kind — different from other forms of writing. This form of blogging is both an act of creation and the leaving of a legacy.

However, I would point out that even if the whole system doesn't collapse, a blog can still be destroyed or damaged in other ways, including injudicious tweaking by the blog's author ;^( Therefore, backing it up from time to time is well worth while (go to "Settings"/"Other" and click on "Export blog").

The usual advice about trolls is "don't feed them" — ignore them, in other words. Probably good advice in most cases, but harmful in others — not all trolls are motivated by spite and malice; however, it's usually impossible to know or even guess a troll's true motivation, so moderating comments and not taking them to heart (admittedly difficult) is probably the best approach.

Sorry I have nothing more profound to say. But it's good to hear you.

Zhoen said...

Good to see you again. I simply figured you were off traveling the world, and would be back when you got home. Sorry it was nothing so much fun.

And, well, I've lost track of time a bit, being a little preoccupied.

I find I use the blog to check my own history, a kind of ancillary memory, that I would not write were it not for friendly eyes reading it.

gz said...

Good to see you back.

The Elephant's Child said...

You have had a time of it.

I hope that your troll has the sense to leave you alone and retreat back under his/her bridge.

And it is a beautiful spot where you live.

Molly said...

So glad you're back and all is well. I would be sad if you stopped blogging.....

Molly said...

So glad you're back and all is well. I would be sad if you stopped blogging.....

Relatively Retiring said...

Thank you all for the kind comments and the welcome back. The very persistant troll who caused me to stop was actually a couple of years ago - the problems this time were all technological.
An enforced break makes for thought clarification, which is always a good thing in my case!
Especial thanks to P.Pete for the 'export' advice. I did it straight away.

Jane said...

Thought you might be away as I've called round a couple of times but not caught you in. Will keep trying, glad you're back.

Joan said...

Three cheers, you're back! Thank you.

Frances said...

So good to see you back, RR: your gentle and interesting posts were much missed.

Isabelle said...

Welcome back, RR. You were missed.

(But argh, that word verification!!!)

Leslee said...

Glad things got sorted out. I actually find it easier to follow bloggers who aren't quite so prolific as others, I just can't keep up! But I do keep coming back - to my blog friends and to my own blog, sometimes in fits and starts, but always returning. There is something irresistible, isn't there.

Sevenfoural said...

Very well said xxx

Relatively Retiring said...

Thank you for more kind comments, which I really appreciate.
Leslee: I agree that it's hard to identify the lure of blogging, but I think P.Pete puts it well in his comment above - it's both creative and a way of leaving a footprint.
Sevenfoural: Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment.