All About Not Blogging

July 25, 2016

Well, I've had time to think about it: I haven't posted anything in a month. Was I just suffering from a brief episode of writer's block?

Was it a passing bad mood?

Would I miss blogging, if I stopped doing it for a while?

Or was I simply burned out on blogging after doing it for eight years?

The latter seems to be the case. I used to think the subject of diabetes management was so richly complex that I would never run out of material. There would always be new questions to ask, new issues to discuss, new scientific discoveries to explore. I would always have something to say that I hadn't said already.

For a long time, this was pretty much true. Until April of 2014, I was blogging daily instead of weekly -- and even so, I always came up with something. When the pressure of daily blogging finally drove me up the wall, I switched to a weekly blog and for a while that was enough of a relief. I could always come up with something for the weekly updates. Finally, a few months ago, I found that even a weekly blog was becoming a weekly struggle with my growing reluctance to continue writing about diabetes.

A big part of the problem was that I felt I was constantly repeating myself. Everything I wrote -- and I mean everything I wrote -- seemed to be a variation on something I had written before. This might not be as obvious to readers as it was to me -- I'm bound to be more aware of my own repetitiveness than any casual visitor to my site would be -- but it didn't exactly make me feel proud of my work.

A smaller problem, but not an entirely unimportant one, was that my readership had been slowly expanding for years... and then, about six months ago, Google's search algorithm was changed in a way which made my blog unlikely to turn up in search results. My readership began a steady decline as a result. No doubt I could have overhauled my site to do something about that problem, but I couldn't get fired up enough to dedicate myself to the project. It's hard to get that fired up when you already have doubts about what you're doing.

Another problem: the public seems to be paying less and less attention to information that's in written form. These days, people want to watch videos or listen to podcasts; they don't want to read. Presumably that's why so many other bloggers have given up.

Still another problem: the field of medical research on diabetes was my main focus, and it has become a useless topic to focus on. Medical research, at least as it pertains to diabetes, has become so corrupt that it's not even interesting anymore. These days, medical research is all about identifying some gene or protein which can become a "drug target" and lead to the next billion-dollar pharmaceutical patent. Nobody cares that the new, more expensive drug never turns out to be any better than existing drugs, and is usually inferior to exercise: this is about money, not health!

All of these problems have contributed to my writer's block. I've always heard about how hard it is for Broadway actors in a hit show to stay focused and energetic when they're doing their 400th performance. Now I know how they feel. And it certainly doesn't get any easier to keep going after the show is no longer really a hit, and you see more empty seats every week.

Silly as it must seem for me to say this, I have reached a point where the thought of writing anything further for my blog fills me with real dread. I've been trying to write this explanation -- or rather, I've been trying to force myself to sit down and write it -- for two weeks. I know it's not fair to simply disappear, making it look as if I died (or at least somebody did), when that is not the case. There's no true emergency going on in my life, no crisis big enough to serve as an excuse for not writing. I just can't face writing about diabetes any more. I can't keep on discussing a subject after I've already said everything I have to say about it.

I hope I don't sound bitter rather than worn out, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn that I'm sounding bitter. It's pretty hard to say "I'm sick of this" in a way that doesn't sound bitter. The post-1969 Beatles spent about half their time trying to find a non-bitter way of telling journalists why they wouldn't be getting back together -- that this fallen souffle would not rise again. If they never solved that problem, I probably won't either. (I don't have their money, either, which makes my situation all the more difficult.)

I have to assume that, if what I've written so far has been valuable to anybody, it will continue to be valuable to people if I continue to make it available. Therefore I don't plan to take down any of the material I have posted. To the extent that I have advice to give, this site already gives it.

I hope this blog has been useful to other people who are dealing with a diabetes diagnosis -- and are hoping to do a better job of managing it than is typically done. That was my only motive for getting this thing started in the first place!



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