One of the blogs I read is another off the grid site. Off grid Islander. I read several OTG blogs actually. I find them all interesting. But, like mine, they do not strictly adhere to just off the grid topics. OTG Islander kinda wanders around their remote community (another island – don’t know which one) and talks about personal health issues and visitors and shopping and other somewhat prosaic topics but the author has a good style, each blog is short and she addresses issues I can relate to. It feels like neighbourliness if not friendship.
But now she thinks she is boring so she is going to quit. “I have been writing about our adjustments getting off the grid for four years and I have covered much of what I had to say so…….goodbye.”
That is embarrassing for me. I have been writing my blog for over six years. I am guessing maybe as long as 8. I know that I have become more boring as time went on but my writing has also improved somewhat and so there was some compensation in that. I hope. I am getting increasingly more dull but I convey it better. I think. I was not YET going to say, ‘goodbye’.
I mention all this because writing, for me, was just something I wanted to be able to do better. And, while Attwood and Angelou do not have to check over their shoulders, I have become somewhat better and so I, too, can also NOW quit. Or, at least I can think about it.
What exactly is the point anymore? (feel free to chime in….)
Well, part of the point is just what I felt when the other OTG author quit. It is not so much the news she was imparting that attracted me to her blog, it was the niche ‘community’ we all belonged to. And I am assuming I have a small (but more deviant) community, too. I doubt that anyone reads me from which to learn anything; they read me to ‘stay’ in touch, to remain friends, to be part of something ever-so-slightly larger.
If I quit, their knowledge of OTG life will not likely vary one whit. There are tons of books and blogs out there. If it’s all about OTG for them, they can keep on going on better paved paths than the one I am working on. But their connection to this blog will be a small loss of some kind. Something personal, I should think. Just as her quitting was a small personal loss for me.
Another reason for continuing is that OTG’ers are NOT as isolated as they were even just a few decades before. With modern communications, internet and such, we can still have a foot in the larger community (the grid) and comment on it from a near but unique perspective. Our view of things may be deemed somewhat crazy to a condo dweller in the west end but it comes from a different place and we see things a different way. Crazy or not, it’s different.
I think she is also right to assume that gardens and eagles and seals and storms are no longer really good fodder for too many more blogs. Especially for long time readers. But, if there is something really interesting happening out here in the natural world, most people would still like to know about it. And, if we build something or fall down another flight of stairs or set ourselves on fire, most readers feel enough of a vested interest that it at least makes for interesting reading. It may be dull but it is OUR dull.
So, I get it. I know what she is feeling. I resist that feeling as much as I can. But I get it. I get close to ‘ending it all’ now and then, too. But I am still here. And I think I know the main reason why…………
Knowing that I have readers allows me to write a book. A second one, in fact. Having readers allowed me to write the first one. And maybe there will be a third. Like Dumbo had a feather, I have a clutch of readers I can cling to for confidence. It’s pathetic, I guess, but really, blog readers are a kind of test market. If you can write something and someone will read it, then that someone might read the next thing, too.
And the next thing is another book.
As most of you know, book 2 is in the works. It is not really all that new or great. I am shooting for mediocre again. And it’s not because I have underdeveloped aspirations. I would like fame and riches and groupies, I am sure. For a week, anyway. Maybe two. Depends on the groupies, really. But book 2 is really just the fill-in that we dropped out of book one. Book-two is literary Spackle. Gap-filler. Bondo.
The critics bemoaned the fact that there was nothing really in book one that told them what to do – just what NOT to do! Book one was basically just a litany of foolish acts. Book two will not be a list of how ‘to do it right’ type instructions either (because we don’t know how to do stuff right) but it will fill in some of the basic questions raised by the critics. Once that is done, we can move on to yet another book, the third one.
The third one will be different.
Maybe not even OTG at all…?