I am now in the bad habit of thinking too much about what I write. And so I write nothing.
A friend told me he put our blog on a recommended reading list for a class he teaches. I'm simultaneously flattered and intimidated by that, since I'm as likely to write about something that struck me while I was doing yoga or recount a curious incident with my children as I am about northern Uganda and sexual violence, gender or politics. Even when I'm commenting on any of those, it is often a rather personal reflection--more self indulgent than analytical.
I am not sure I really want the moral responsibility that comes with a large readership, which I don't currently and may never have, but the reality of the latent possibility of one suggests I approach the blog with more gravitas than I really want to. Truly, the idea that there is the hypothetical though unlikely potential of any person on the planet seeing what one writes should strike a paralyzing terror into any sane person. Anyone can reach for the low hanging fruit on your tree of flaws and tear you to shreds--or worse, you may unwittingly do harm. (witness the blogosphere after Invisible Children or Nicholas Kristof do ANYTHING--granted, often criticism is warranted--but still).
I could easily criticize myself. I just re-read a couple of posts, and realize it's not uncommon for me to write when I'm fired up about something, like: political demonstrators being lumped into the same category with murderers and rapists--which I presented as infuriating nonsense even though the reality is much more complicated. I do understand a logic behind it. It even illustrates a phenomena that I write about in my thesis, yet I portrayed a simplistic view. Realities are always much more complicated than a blog portrays.
So that's my official excuse for not blogging for almost a year. My unofficial excuses are also manifold:
I wrote a draft of my thesis instead.
I was pregnant. It was the dry season. I couldn't handle having the hot laptop on my belly for any longer than necessary.
I had a baby.
Our super hut (which was supposed to take 2 months to build) has been under construction for over a year.
But I aim to improve, and to put the terror and the noise to one side--because the great thing about blogs, at least this one, is that it is allowed to be thought in progress, unpolished, a little raw, and it invites interaction.
So, I hereby resolve to think less and write more.