#330daysofbiking Day 106: leave no trace
Decided to ride this morning, rather than swim. Mason had initially planned on going with me, but ultimately he opted out after thinking about how many hours he would be spending out in the heat and sun – lifeguarding at the Y later in the day. Can’t say I blame him, it was a beautiful day, but another hot one.
So I set out on my own, a rather convoluted route, combining a couple of my favorite roads along the river, and a couple of new ones. Gave me a chance to think about some things that have been on my mind – especially the direction of this blog, what I’m doing with this whole project, where I want to go.
My very dear cycling friend (who I will refer to as @blueallez, as he is known on twitter) had sent me this cartoon from XKCD … which rang so true (and made me laugh).
The truth is, I have been having a debate with myself over the past few weeks. While I am loving the riding of #330daysofbiking, I’m becoming increasingly uncomfortable, personally, with the posts.
The advent of the blogopshere has been a blessing and a curse. There is definitely a great value in many blogs, especially the ones that have a clearly defined objective – from promoting/reviewing products, to presenting opinion or topic news, or valuable advocacy of a cause or mission.
But at the same time, I find far too many of them to be dull, uninteresting, and often self-aggrandizing personal diaries – a fair number of “posers” and attention-seekers, in my opinion, saying a whole lot of nothing. Maybe it’s a necessary niche (I’m sure for places like WordPress, anyway), but it’s one I have never wanted to fit into … and increasingly, I am feeling more and more uncomfortable, fearing I am sliding into that category.
The fact is, #330daysofbiking is a purely personal goal; I have no goals to make or raise money – for myself or a “cause”, I have no interest in sponsorship or anything similar. I don’t need the validation – from readership numbers or other measure. Just because I am trying to ride every day doesn’t mean I need to publicly broadcast my “vacation photos” and the mundane details with the cyberworld. I have debated whether or not this qualifies as legitimate (or measurable) advocacy, and have decided it doesn’t.
Mostly, I just want to do – much more than telling (showing, writing) about doing.
I simply want to ride my bike, take some pictures – and the details really don’t matter in the scheme of things. Except to me. And that’s where they should ultimately stay.
So, I’m not sure where I will go from here. It is something I need to figure out for myself. For the record, I will keep the blog. And #330daysofbiking will continue – for me. But I’m uncertain as to the direction of my posting. I’d like it to have more of a purpose and less trivial drivel – there is already an overabundance of that in the blogosphere. When I feel like I have something legitimate to say, an opinion or idea to express, I will be posting. Otherwise – well, I’d rather “leave no trace” than leave a cybertrail of simply “stupid”.
For today, then – the leftover “vacation photos” from the day. 😉
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You are definitely NOT a “self-aggrandizing poser.” Is there trivial stuff here? Not for me to say. Certainly no drivel. Your photos are anything but mundane.
my 2 cents 🙂
p.s. love the cartoon!
Cassi, from my lens @morebikes / shebicycles is bona fide advocacy and a damn fine story that I enjoy reading more than USA Today (way more).
Hi Cassi, I totally feel your concern and questioning and I thank you for opening up and sharing it in this post. I do have to tell you that your blog is far from what you fear it is becoming. I know I’m not alone in the fact that your blog has a unique freshness to it….something I haven’t found anywhere else. I’m not sure if it’s your writing, pictures, or just the vibe that you give out….but you’ve got something beautiful happening over here.
I mean it. I really mean it.
I definitely don’t think your blog is just trivial drivel – but I do agree that there are way too many out there like that! I really enjoy your posts and photos, so hope you continue!
I totally identify with what you’re saying in this post though and was thinking almost exactly the same thing recently! I haven’t even been blogging that long which makes it even worse that I’m already thinking that – haha! The primary reason I decided to start a blog after much debate for years, was simply as a type of record for things that are important to me, or that I enjoy doing, with biking being one of them. I also don’t want it to turn into just posting a photo of myself and my bike every day simply to be posting! That cartoon certainly says it all – if I find myself thinking about something I want to do in terms of it being a good blog post, I’m going to remind myself to take a step back and examine whether it’s something I truly enjoy or just to fill space online! 🙂
Thanks, Traci – I think you expressed it perfectly; exactly what I’ve been feeling. It’s kind of a fine line, isn’t it? But yes – I plan to continue in one way or another, just with more focus. Thanks – and grateful. 🙂
I’m glad you posted this, because I have an antithetical opinion that I’ve found difficult to articulate, and this is an opportunity for me to try again!
My thesis is this: Blogging, Tweeting, FaceBooking and writing in general are not for the reader; they are for the writer. The writer’s job is to express herself. The reader’s job is to connect or disconnect at will.
There is no such thing as drivel. There is that which resonates with me, and that which does not. As a writer, I strive to write my truth with my authentic voice, and when it happens to resonate with someone, we make a connection. As a reader, when I resonate with the writer, we make a connection. Those connections are sometimes overt, sometimes covert, always valuable. This is one way in which we “find our people.”
So write your heart, and your people will find you. Describe your days all you want! If the value is there for you, then that’s all that matters. If others find value in it, then that’s gravy!
For the record, reading your blog makes me happy, and I love my connection with you, blog or no blog.
There’s rarely a day that goes by that I don’t check your blog. I love reading (and seeing) about the things you do–the places you ride, the photos you shoot–on a daily basis. That might be because we’re in the same place and I know your family (and that I end up in the blog sometimes!), but it’s also because I just find what you’re doing interesting–getting out there on a bike and enjoying the beautiful world in which we live. Keep doing what you’re doing. It matters to a lot of folks.
I really appreciate your blog posts and I always looove your pics.
Please, just tell me you’ll continue!!
Your blog is one of my absolute favorites. I take that back – it is my favorite. I like to read what you are up to, am inspired that you ride so much, that you have such a rich life and I love your pictures (and you have inspired me to take more pictures!) I often wish my blog was like yours (though then it wouldn’t be mine) and fear that mine gets into the category of drivel. But I like what crunchysue says about drivel – there is no such thing.
I think we all ponder about our blogs etc and it’s good to think about where we are going and what we are doing from time to time. I know I do – especially since my blog doesn’t have a set focus on one thing. It’s like my brain, my life, I don’t focus well or long. I’ve thought of changing mine, making it a cycling blog, making it a flying blog, a mom blog, etc. but have stayed with an everything blog because it’s what works for me.
Do what you need to do – but for what it’s worth, I love what you are doing right now and don’t think you need to change a thing. ~M