I started this blog slowly and tentatively, with just a toe in the water. Then, as is my way, I dove right into the deep end, where the water can be coldest. Quite a fitting metaphor, actually, because as I write this, our swimming pool is empty. The water drained out on Wednesday in preparation for re-tiling and re-surfacing, then flowed down a groove in the middle of our alley before hitting the storm drain at the end of the street and disappearing with a loud splash.
My first blog lasted for more than six years. I don't think this one will see six months as currently formatted because my life just isn't interesting enough to sustain it, and because I don't know what I want. Late last summer a restlessness set in and to alleviate it I began to review for Amazon Vine. At the end of 2009 the fate of Publishers Weekly became uncertain, and as December turned into January...then February and March, I panicked. As one reviewer among thousands at Amazon - currently my "new" reviewer rank is 6,071 and my "classic" rank is 5,112, a marked improvement over the past several months - I felt my voice slipping away, even though my reviews for fourteen years at PW have always been anonymous.
It was within this mental framework, then, that I decided to dip my toe back into the online waters in a more tangible fashion. And it satisfied me for a couple of months, particularly my book and work-related posts, but then self-doubt set in. My exposure into the world of retail, while infinitely interesting to me, is likely infinitely interesting only to me. And I began to wonder...should I review this book at Amazon where more people might read it - and buy or stay away from the books reviewed - or here on my blog that nobody reads? The more I asked myself that question, the more depressed I became.
At the start I honestly believed that I could write a blog essentially for myself and that would be enough. But I don't think it is. Then I started to have all these ideas for content to add here, so that I could bring together under one "roof" all sorts of reviews and lists...and then I realized I'd already done that before, at All About Romance. The benefit of blogging for an audience of ten or fifteen is that I can write without feeling a bullseye target on my back, which is how I felt for much of the time I ran AAR. But the flip side is something that becomes more obvious with each passing day: I believe I must be a glory whore, and to write for an audience of fifteen isn't quite the kick I thought it would be.
When I sat down to blog today, I was all set to relate my shift last night at the bookstore, then to search online for a few more reviews to add to my PW reviews page. But as I started to write, I stopped myself. Even though it's been almost a week since I blogged, and taking such a lengthy break in-between is something bloggers are not supposed to do, I need to re-evaluate. If I can find a way to use this "home" online in a meaningful way, I will, but if not, I'll sign on one last time in a day or so and say goodbye to blog number two.