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To Blog or Not To Blog…Was It Ever Really A Question?

August 4, 2009

I figure if I’m gonna do this blog thing, I mean really do it, I should find out everything I need to know for myself. That’s how I tend to operate – find a subject, be it a selling items on Ebay or backpacking through Peru, research it, and then apply what I need so that I can perform up to my own expectations. At the end of this post I will share some of the excellent resources I’ve found on the web about setting up a blog.

But that’s not the reason I am writing this post. I am writing because I have fizzled out in the blogosphere before, starting enough blogs to populate several blogrolls, and then losing interest. It was a bit of a mystery to me, why I would start a blog, go with it for awhile, and then just pfffttt.  And as the project of enlightenment goes, you gotta figure out some things (a lot of things actually) about yourself if you are gonna get to the truth. And that’s what I did, by way of The Huffington Post Complete Guide To Blogging (HPCGB) that I picked up at the local library (big ups to my wife for turning me on to the virtues of the King County public library system– God only knows how many whales, trees, and mortgages I could’ve saved with the amount of money I’ve spent on books).

When I opened the book, the first thing I read was a comment on blogging from author and filmmaker (and blogger on the The Huffington Post) Nora Ephron. She said that:

“When I first started blogging, I didn’t understand anything at all about it. I thought a blog was like other short things, like essays for instance, which are polished and have a kind of history as to form and structure.” (HPCGB Pg. 30)

And this is exactly what plagued me in my first blog entitled The Three Legged Stool (http://www.jasonmartinson.com/Site/The_Three_Legged_Stool/The_Three_Legged_Stool.html). I set this blog up to be a weekly teaching source for people on the spiritual path, carefully crafting a lesson, insight, or plea over the course of the week and then publishing on Friday. It started out alright, but it really began to be a chore. I was trying so hard, wanting to give the next great spiritual opus, and I got lost in that process. I wanted these postings to be profound, inspiring, amazing. And they began to get tedious and dull. I liked the information, but not the delivery. My ego was taking hold of the process, wanting to form everything perfectly, polish the writing to be worthy of some grand kudos, and the more time went by, the more confused my writing became, and the less frequently I posted. I wanted to be seen as some grand source of divine teaching and my efforts fell flat, as ego will do. It is interesting now to look back and see the course of that writing, as the pressure built to be polished as Ephron mentions, and my well ran dry. I wanted to be in grand control of the spiritual teaching and writing – a fatal mistake for that blog.

And that’s the thing about enlightenment, it can’t be controlled, it has no room for the ego, it is not some quest for spiritual, or personal, or worldly perfection. It’s about flowing with life, taking the hand off the rudder of the boat and letting the perfection that is enlightenment take over. Recovery Groups like AA talk about letting go and letting God. And that’s about the crux of it. The same force that guides the universe, births the seasons, grows the fertilized egg into the human, is there working within and around us all. But it can’t be controlled by the ego, or it slips right through the fingers like water.

I put The Three Legged Stool away, thinking I would return to it, posting the infrequent writing about change, or clarity, or prayer, trying to convince myself, and any crickets that were still chirping in the night, that the blog would resume. But it wouldn’t, and I don’t know if it ever will.

But the desire to write, to express, to create was still there bubbling under the surface. And so I thought, and prayed, and tried to come up with some perfect expression of my desire in life. And www.gatheringlove.com was born. This was going to be the forum for love, that vital and beautiful essence that drives the hearts of the world. Here I would celebrate love in all its form and function (according to one of the tag lines). The subtitle of the blog said it all:

LOVE…THE COMMON THREAD THAT RUNS THROUGH CREATION. WE SEARCH FOR IT, WE PRAY FOR IT, WE DOUBT IT. AND EVERY SO OFTEN WE FIND IT.

I was actually pretty excited about this project hoping to offer a place where people could submit anything that inspired love in them – from stories and poems, to videos and pictures.  I called for submissions on Craigslist, publicized on Facebook, created a nice header. But it all seemed a little too clever and contrived. It’s like I wanted to get the point of love across, but nothing flowed from the feeling of love within me. It kind of felt tacky, like I was trying to be too virtuous. Maybe it was just the addition of the Adsense (but hey, I’m made $1.05). Maybe it was just bullshit, or square pegs in round holes. I don’t know.

And so I stopped. And those blogs (and my other short-lived ventures), are now stones in the graveyard of the past. Once with life, now there with the other past experiences is this grand project. Another thing to get rid of in going further.

Unlike my past blog attempts, Enlightenment isn’t contrived or forced. It’s not too clever for its own good. But it could be tacky (yeah,I’m pretty sure it would be considered tacky). Whatever you discover enlightenment to be, however, will be true. It won’t be an actor on a stage, or a persona, or the “representative” that shows up on first dates and visits to in-laws. Those masks, those conformed, conditioned, “this is what I need to think because my parents, or the church, or girl/boyfriend says so” masks that we give out to the world, covering our truth, have gotta go.

Like Ephron, I didn’t understand a thing about blogging when I first started, I probably still don’t but I don’t care this time. I’m not worried about failure, or political correctness, or “polish”. Forget the history, forget the structure. That’s ego’s realm anyway. Screw the ego. The ego’s contrived. In this blog, I’m gonna give forward from my truth. That’s it. It could be a five page opus, it could be three words. It could have swearing. I don’t know. And that’s the fun of it.

Whatever, I’m excited about this blog. It doesn’t feel like a chore, where the other blogs did. Give ‘em a look if you’re curious. There might be something in there you find interesting.

Remember: Nothing in this world is a waste, everything has purpose and reason. If for nothing else than to see what is not.

Here are some links to sites I found very helpful in setting up this blog:

http://teckline.wordpress.com/ – A great blog for tips, tricks, and ideas about the blogosphere, wordpress.com, widgets, and other fun stuff.

http://onecoolsite.wordpress.com/ – Another blog full of tips for the blogger.

http://namechk.com/ – This site is frickin’ awesome. It lets you check username availability at all the different networking sites.

http://en.forums.wordpress.com/ – This link is to the wordpress.com forums. I use wordpress.com because I love its simplicity combined with the fact that you can still customize to your hearts content. And the forums are fantastic.

And for a great source of news and commentary on the happenings of the world, check out http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ (and if you haven’t heard of The Huffington Post, welcome to 2009, the allies won WWII, the Soviet Union collapsed, and you should probably use sunscreen, not so much because of the depletion of the ozone layer and those nasty UV rays, but because your very pasty from living in the cave – and no this isn’t some subtle reference to Plato’s Cave, but maybe it should be – that little allegory goes a long way towards explaining the human condition, or what I like to think of as the Conditioned Human).

But that’s for another day. Rock ‘n’ Roll.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Melanie Chase permalink
    August 5, 2009 7:34 pm

    Hey Jason, I am very glad to have read this. Self truths will set you free. Living them will keep you free. Keep on blogging your own truth to the world, there are people who have the same truths and will enjoy your words. I will check back often.

    • August 7, 2009 10:09 am

      Thanks, Mel. The truth of self, such a simple concept, but one we all struggle with. If nothing else, I hope these words are entertaining!

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