existential blogging crisis.

I hesitated writing this because it speaks of my insecurities as a writer/blogger. Plus, I realize and am fully aware that I am currently incredibly stressed out and overwhelmed with schoolwork and Real Life happenings, hence I am very likely not myself at the moment … but this has been on my mind for the past week that I think I need to write it out, for my sanity’s sake if nothing else.

When I started writing and chugging out drama-related entries, I’d thought that the blogsphere lacked casual voices – outside of the holy grails of The Playground and Dramabeans, I mean – and then slowly it started feeling quite fun to be blogging about these things, as opposed to just my internal mulling and mundane, daily life. How silly I’d been, so naive in my thought.

In reality, as I’d come to learn very recently, the blogsphere is apparently saturated to the brim with drama-blogs. Kdramaland takes the cake, but there are enough splices on Jdramas and others to satiate just about any kind and type of viewers in all of us. I’ve noticed that they’re mostly on WordPress but this is just a broad generalization – tumblr is full of anything dramas, blogspot is equally saturated and self-hosted blogs are also aplenty. There are so many voices pouring thoughts on current, previous and future dramas – so many voices from sarcasm, intuitive, factual to just about any tone and style one can possibly think of. Saturated – that’s what I think the blogsphere actually is where dramas are concerned.

Which brings me of course, to myself, blogphilic and the direction of this blog.

I have been a blogger for nearly 8 years with 6 years specifically here in WordPress. I’ve grown to love it because it allows me to keep writing purely out of love and passion for the act, unaffected by attention, viewer stats, writer insecurities, Real Life voices and the like. It’s fun, because there’s no pressure or expectations or a need to prove myself. It’s fun because nothing’s at stake. It’s fun, simply because.

But now… it feels sometimes fun. Stakes are making an appearance. Desires.

Here’s why I am unsettled: I love writing whatever that I write, but it’s human nature to constantly be desiring for more. I’ve managed to keep my expectations and attention to viewer stats, reader responses and the like to nil when it comes to these things for the past years; I write for myself, is a statement I often bring up here and know that I mean it wholeheartedly. Until lately.

I sense it within me now – suddenly I’m all about my stats, visitors and most obvious of all, looking up and reading other drama-blogs. I’ve always been a blog reader, but suddenly I’m out and about searching and reading. Suddenly my Google Reader is filled with oh, ten drama-blogs or so. I’ll be totally frank: suddenly it feels like it’s a competition. There are so many drama-bloggers out there doing what I don’t and can’t, so fluent in their Kdrama-scope, Jdrama-factoids, cultural connotations and what more. Overwhelmed, I feel so overwhelmed. I don’t like this part of me, I’m a little disgusted and disgruntled at what I feel like my blogger-self has or is turning into.

My writer side freaks out, nervous and insecure. There are so many great bloggers out there with such commanding and engaging voices! When realization hits, I feel so silly – this voice I’d wanted to express, thinking I’m filling a void – what void is it? Where?

Is this a drama blog? I hate to call it that. Do I want it to turn into one? It gives me palpitations when I think of it in this manner, as much as it excites me when my stats are now in the hundreds – something unthinkable when one’s running a personal blog – and subscribers are slowly adding up.

I’m not saying I’m quitting but to be completely, totally honest this past week I’ve been feeling rather uneasy. I’m uncertain of the direction I hope to keep blogphilic because I sense change within my blogger self – suddenly it’s not just about myself anymore. Suddenly blogphilic feels like it has a purpose and with it comes expectations. Suddenly it feels like I’m seeking a crowd, or rather much too conscious of a so-called crowd. Suddenly I’m no longer just writing about whatever I feel like – suddenly it’s about what I think people will like, when in truth so many blogs out there are already meeting the demands and more. Suddenly I feel guilty if I’m writing a personal entry – does my regular readers come for the drama-related items or the personal ones, or either’s fine? Do readers who come in for drama-related items even want to know personal matters? I’m that sort of blog reader truthfully, where I love to know of the real person behind all the writing that I enjoy hence the About page is typically my go-to and favorite, but the same can’t be said for others, I’m sure. Does it even matter what readers expect, when they can always very simply choose to not read an entry?

It’s fine to feel this way if one keeps a blog for external purposes – for instance, when one consciously chooses to start a drama-blog. The hits and such are expected and desired. However, when one starts off as a personal blogger with no external desires which have since morphed to emotions that aren’t completely single-minded in their pursuits, this is… an existential blogging crisis.

I don’t know where I’m going with this. I’m writing because I feel uneasy, but I will most definitely keep to my promise of experimenting until the end of this year before reassessing the direction of blogphilic, but apart from that I honestly don’t know. I think my tendency to categorize things, to compartmentalize them and define them like the engineer that I am is making an appearance.

The thought that blogphilic‘s role is fuzzy gives me anxiety, because this space has been such an extension of myself – I’ve been with this space for 6 years and that’s a long, committed time. More than that, I intend to stick and stay with it, hence I like to be clear on what I hope it is to myself, before anyone else. Is this selfish or just fact? See, suddenly justifications are necessary – even if they’re mostly simply on my mind, I’m aware. Self-conscious; I don’t like being this way.

I might change my mind and be unicorns and rainbows again tomorrow about this whole drama-blogging, I don’t know. We’ll see. I’m currently overwhelmed about everything from Real Life to dramas to drama-writing to… okay, I’m just gonna shut up now. It’s been a long week.

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14 thoughts on “existential blogging crisis.

  1. Well I always lurk on your personal posts. o_o I like your drama posts too but my favorites are your personal ones. I guess I like them best because they capture the essence of who you are and what you’re going through. Or something like that. A lot of blogs have a disconnect between the blogger’s online persona & the blogger’s real self. I feel like I get to hear your real self in your blog.

    1. Aw Heisui, you’re always dropping by here with such kind words whenever I go on this tangent about blogging issues. Thank you so, so much for saying all that you just did – I don’t know what word is right – encouragement? uplifting? relief? – but let’s just say that the fact you said your faves are the personal ones and that they capture the essence of who I am… that really strike a chord because it is my everyday mundane life and/or sentiments but they’re true and if it’s a thing I staunchly maintain here it’d be keeping it real – or more like, that I sound like a real person through my writings. I internalize too much, as often pointed out by my writing mentor (but I can’t help it!) so it’s ack, I’m so touched and weirdly relieved to hear this. I need to stop gushing so imma shut up now but sincerely, this comment is a writer-lifesaver *virtual bear hug*

      1. I like how your blogging is a way of expression. Like you said you internalize a lot so the answer = writing it out! It really helps a lot, eh? Your struggles (and thoughts on dramas, hehe) are exactly what a lot of your readers can relate to.

    1. Thanks misscupcakees, I had no idea you’ve been reading my blog and I’m just honored at receiving that chain-blogging-award. You’re totally dead on though that no one will blame me – it’s not school, this isn’t school! – but I admit to feeling somewhat (strangely) obliged to keep writing and chugging entries every couple days or so, on both dramasphere and personal. But *breathes* you’re totally right; I shouldn’t be guilt-trippin’! I’ve said this a million times by now but for real – thank you :)

      1. No worries! I feel pleasured to do so! (:
        Ahahahas, yeahh, I’m not a regular commenter. :P

        You shouldn’t have to feel obliged to push out posts! This isn’t a job! It should be a hobby and something of which you enjoy doing.

  2. I actually prefer posts on your personal thoughts and experience over your drama-related posts (not that they aren’t great, they do provide a great deal of insight which I also love reading about), I guess it’s because a lot of your real life insecurities are things that I find myself relating to, and also like what heisui said, the stuff that you’re written encapsulates the essence of who you are, and that, in my opinion wins over the need to read about drama thoughts for me. I actually feel inspired and motivated when I read what you’ve put out there. It’s nice to know that it’s not just me dealing with similar real life struggles, you see, and I really like how your persona is somewhat reflected in your writing, and I respect that, I truly do. Remember awhile back when you were worried about the prospect of continuing your post-grad studies? I also had to undergo similar struggles, and I know how painful it is to wait, and wait for something that’s really vague and uncertain. And I was so afraid that my application would get struck down because there’s just way too many applicants that are way better that me. I was about to gave up after 8 months of fruitless wait but when I saw that you’ve succeeded in securing a sponsor, followed by a post reinforcing the importance of not giving up, I decided to have more faith and continue fighting for what I realy want. Guess what? I got accepted into my dream university just 3 days ago! Then I recalled the things that you’ve posted up previously and thought “You were right about fighting for it until the very end!”. I know that it’s a bit random of me to post such things but I just wanted to let you know how important it is for you to keep staying true to your heart and blog accordingly. For all you know, a blog post might change a person’s life! Even if you’ve decided to stop blogging about dramas entirely one day, rest assured in knowing that you’ll have at least one reader who’ll be sticking with your blog. HEH. I hope you don’t mind me going off rambling about my personal experience. Thank you so much for sharing so much about yourself with the readers thus far, it’s been a great ride (albeit the fact that I’ve only been lurking around for a few months) and although I do look forward to seeing more posts from you, I’d respect your decision if you’ve decided to take a break from blogging.

    1. Hey girl, if there’s a top commenter award that I could pass on, it’d be to you for this one. I won’t lie… teared up a little reading this, thank you thank you thank you. What strikes a chord with me the most – and hence moved my tear ducts, as embarrassing as this is to admit… – is that my Real Life events and sentiments literally inspired ANOTHER person’s Real Life events and sentiments. This is not dramas, nor lessons learned from dramas but Real Life through and through and that… I’m just floored. Nothing beats reality, as much as it’s sometimes hard to stomach, that’s for damn sure.

      “I know that it’s a bit random of me to post such things but I just wanted to let you know how important it is for you to keep staying true to your heart and blog accordingly.”
      -> THIS. This was the single-handed motivation behind the birth of blogphilic when I was, oh 15 or so (in blogdrive – where is it now?) and not long after, here. I think in the rush of the drama-blogging – because face it, this is where the hits come in, truly – blogphilic suddenly feels… commercial. And it’s a choice I make, which I kinda love/hate and thus means the blame, if any, lies wholly on my shoulders – I really do enjoy attempting to write objectively about dramas and give them gravitas as opposed to mere escapism, but now there are expectations and I think I’m suddenly caught up in this so-called limelight. My writer-side spazzes to remind me of my true intentions.

      Rest assured though that I’m not taking a break from blogging – not yet, or not consciously at least. I’ll be on a semi-hiatus when I’m off traveling in two weeks (for about 3 full weeks) and in general, the drama-stuff will recede (because it requires a proper computer to be writing effectively) but definitely not the personal ones. I kinda want to take a break drama-blogging wise but I owe some JOJ entries (I attempt my very best to keep promises even if they’re only on my mind haha) and there’s one or two in particular I really want to write/discuss about. But quite honestly I do feel and realize that when it comes, this hiatus from drama-writing, it’ll come naturally.

      Last, and I totally haven’t forgotten this part – CONGRATULATIONS! In truth, Dream School may or may not turn to be all that it is – it’s really the experience and the person that morph the Dream School, not the other way around (as I’d learned through my undergrad institution… which will be an entry in itself sometime soon) – but this comes with sensory experience of discovery, internal and external, when you’re there. In the meantime – soak in the happiness of a dream come to life, the feeling is truly magical. All the best in your endeavors :)

      Honest to God thank you for having my writer’s back at this period where I’m a blubber of mess. It’s amazing what words can do, innit? Hugs!

  3. I’m also a personal post lurker (and occasionally commenter too I suppose) and love how you share both yourself and some of your passions in one place. I also like the idea of getting to know people a tiny bit more than ‘what favorite dramas do we share?’ Sometimes that comes out when we just splatter our blogs with personal experiences, and sometimes it comes out in the middle of drama reviews. Trust the writing style of each individual to make a statement about themselves. But I find if fascinating.

    The main reason (ok ok, let’s call it the second reason after ‘for fun’) that I have a blog is as a sort of home base to connect with others. I was one of those anonymous-insert-name-here commenters for months, and finally just got tired of being a faceless blogger assessor. Having a blog keeps me sort of grounded, so I don’t get lost in the internet, lol.

    Both life and existential crises happen to me quite regularly. Usually though I just internalize them and freak myself out. Whatever the path you’re going, I hope you won’t disappear from here though. Even if it’s just to check in with us once every now and then. ;)

    1. My dear Rosie, I always love and appreciate your comments, sincerely :) They also never fail to crack me up, as you did with this statement – “I was one of those anonymous-insert-name-here commenters for months, and finally just got tired of being a faceless blogger assessor.” I totally hear ya on having ground and footing someplace (i.e. a space of your own). The irony with me is that I’ve always been jandoe (or jandoe23 if the username’s taken) but I used to be seriously notorious in making sure my URL isn’t attached to my username … now I don’t care as much, because I’ve become comfortable enough in my own skin as a writer/blogger (and I used to be notorious about not calling myself a blogger too… Yeah I’m seriously super weird aha), “creative non-fiction” that I do here (the genre in which I only learned through my writing class last fall haha; had no inkling all this while!).

      Rest assured that I won’t disappear from here – as I said to Isabella, I’ll be on a coincidental semi-hiatus in about two weeks once my graduation/traveling/moving starts but seriously, I have roots here- blogphilic really has become such an extension of myself. 6 years is an insanely long time personally I think, to be in a space (though I’ve made private < 2010 entries cos they're omg, so embarrassingly terrible and over-dramatic). If anything though and in that if I decide to stop drama-blogging – I'm glad that short as my stint may have been, it led me to readers/friends like you! Suddenly the virtual world feels a lot less a self-struggle and teaches me that sometimes putting one's heart on one's sleeves ain't such a bad thing :) *momma beary hug*

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