Monday, March 27, 2006

Giving up

So, whatever genre this blog once was has gone -kaput-. There is no genre. The genre is so oh, I don't know, about a month ago.

First, I meta-blogged.

And then, I felt the need to say something about my Technological Issues.

And now, this post.

I haven't been posting because I want to post about books. And some time ago this was developed as my 'about my family' blog. But that's not really happening, because some of the things I want to write about my family, I am still ambivalent about whether to reveal. This is why I have never been able to write my family story.

There are stories that, to tell, would be to betray. Writing, and writing from life, is always somewhat of a betrayal. Helen Garner, a favourite Australian author of mine whom I have regular disagreements with when I read but whom I nevertheless admire, comes across as a very bitter person. Her writing has betrayed so many of her friends, and occassionally paramours. The theme of Capote is his betrayal of the persons he befriended to write his great American novel. I cannot betray my family to write my great family novel. And yet, if I do not, I cannot write honestly about them. It silences me -outwardly - while inwardly I argue with myself, my mother, my sisters, aunts, cousins. (Yes even in my head, I usually just talk deeply with the female members of my family).

So I disappear into books, even though I have been spending an inordinate amount of time with my family. Somehow, being with them, means I think less about them. I turn up at my sister's house, chat to her for a bit, play with the kids and then settle into her hammock to read whatever novel I've brought with me until dinner time.

It's been a while since I have fallen into a book in the way I have fallen into the last three that I have read over the last few weeks. I guess it was really only a matter of time before I devolved into talking about books. Books are everything to me - the few material items I covet, the world I inhabit, the way I judge people. And yes, I judge people rather a lot. No one in my family reads novels (although my brother, admirably, is trying).

I am a reader. I have been a reader since I discovered reading when I was knee high to a grass-hopper, was kicked out of ESL (English as a Second Language) class for being too proficient too quickly and had no friends. Who needs friends when you have books? Eventually I got friends, but the books took hold. And I've never looked back.

In any event, it's getting a bit late now to tell you about the great books that moved me, amused me and alternately made me angry and want to argue with the author. But be warned, I might start posting about books soon.

The other terrible non-posting thing I've been doing is bouncing around the blog-world. My itinerary included pop culture, gender issues, style and design, Asia, adoption, and just recently I found a hive of Ha Noi blogs. So my thoughts on Asia, Viet Nam, culture, representation of Asian women, representation of women, immigration, immigrants are scattered -like so much fairy dust- throughout the ether.

And as fruitless and pointless as all my blatherings here.


sume said...

Ahh don't give up so easily. I've been blogging for over a year now and have just begun to focus. Before that, I was all over the place and sometimes, I still blog on nothing more than fluff. Another good route to go is to "bounce off" what other blogs say and linking back to those blogs. It creates a kind of blogaspere discussion where anyone can join in. It's something productive to do anyway until you find your niche'. ;)

Ji-in said...

I think one of the great things about blogs is that they can be fluid, organic. Certainly over the course of my blog's development, my voice and my focus has changed countless times.

Yet I know what it feels like to be teetering on the cusp of blog burnout. Sometimes I ask myself, who am I blogging for? Why am I blogging? And my answer is always different; sometimes it is coherent, and other times, not.

So I am also entering a period of blog ambiguity. Do I have the motivation and the inspiration to keep bloggin? I don't know. Perhaps. We shall see.

So as you drift along through your mental list of topics, know that you are not alone! I keep up with your blog, along with many others, and hope that you find what you need to keep blogging, no matter what you choose to write about.

Cee said...

Yes, I think you're officially genre-less :-) I finally noticed that you'd been doing some writing in the book club blog - and yes, you should definitely do some more writing on books here. I enjoy reading your thoughts.

I find reading other people's blogs is occasionally a good idea in terms of producing one's own writing, in that you bounce of other people's ideas and raves, but it's generally counter-productive, getting wrapped up in other people's stories and then being unable to articulate your own. Not that it stops me, of course.

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