Sunday, 9 June 2019

To Blog, or Not To Blog

I have been a regular blogger now for a few years and have racked up more than 300 of them in addition to my professional practice as a reviewer, essayist and curator.  Facebook has also taken up some of my attention and has been a good way of reaching out to readers.  The temptation with Facebook is that it can be done in a few minutes.  It is the graffiti of communication, a post-it-note or abbreviated means of expression.  It does not encourage considered thought or a developed argument.  It does not encourage responsible thinking and writing.  But it can pack a wallop with a stinging after effect.  That makes it expensive mind-candy.

Tenured academics have the perk of sabbaticals to feed their research and keep the creative engines running.  I envy that situation, so I decided to take some time off from regular blogging and do some dedicated reading.  Furthermore, I chose to read fiction and poetry rather than factual prose.  I became more selective about which assignments to accept.  Now this was real luxury.

It is often said that there are usually two solutions to any problem: time and money.  I believe that time is more desirable than money.  If I am considering whether to accept an assignment or pursue a professional project, I will ask myself the following question.  "Do I want to spend my time thinking and researching this topic or artist?"  I rarely give second thought to the writer's fee.
Snagged for only $6 at Broken Books.

Hopefully, this is a matter of quality over quantity.  Oddly enough, life is too short–the quantity of days–to sacrifice quality.  Of course, practicality determines that we need a balance between the two.  I seldom take a walk without a goal or destination in mind.  Maybe it is the result of working to a deadline for the majority of my life.

Part of what sparked this phase of life or attempt to switch gears was a question posed by a friend.  She said, "what do you like to do for fun?"  I was stymied.  Dancing would have been my usual response but I have been sidelined with a persistent injury.  Activities like theatre, cinema and other cultural pursuits are for me professional endeavours.  Had I forgotten how to play?

I am an empty-nester and in my 60s.  What would I do in my so-called retirement years?  A second career seemed unlikely.  Serious travel was too expensive.  I have champagne taste and a beer budget.  My leisure time is dotted with thrift shops, second-hand bookstores and free lectures.  Perhaps I should have followed that sarcastic philosophy professor's career advice and "open a brothel."


  1. Hi Gloria, Thought I would take a moment to say thank you for your thoughtful 300+ posts. I have enjoyed reading your blog and hope that you might take it up again in the future. I know blogging's moment seems to have past but, personally, I still love them. I suppose that officially makes me An Old Person. Best wishes for your sabbatical!

  2. Thank you for the kind words Robyn. TV did not replace films or radio and cable did not replace earlier formats. I don't think Blogs are about to disappear. The podcast however, is enjoying an upswing popularity.