I have a love/hate relationship with my blog right now. I know how the game is played. To be honest there have been times I have freely participated, even enjoyed the challenge . . . the rush of watching the hit count climb. Then there are the times I want to scream, “Go away. Don’t look here. There’s nothing to see. It’s mine and I don’t want you Peeping Toms looking at me, passing judgment on my work, my heart, my soul.” Then I stop myself and ask, “Why do I do it?”

Every writer wants to be read, wants their work to touch someone, anyone. I’m no different. I have a “friend” that has made a couple of references to my not being consistent about writing. Oh my dear, you couldn’t be more wrong. I’m always writing. I’m just not always posting. I have two computers each with half a dozen or more documents open all the time . . . works in progress . . . simmering . . . waiting to be released into the bloggy world. Most will get nothing more than a quick polish before being submitted for judgment. I can’t say why I hold them back. Could it be I fear rejection? Could it be I feel pressure to compete?

When I started I had no expectations. If I got a couple of hits I was thrilled. If I got a comment, I was overjoyed. Now here I am almost two years later confused as to what I’m doing in the blogoshere. I have been tortured for the past few days over the whole blogger culture. A couple of things have happened this week that have brought things to a head . . . one good and one very upsetting. They have been on my mind to the exclusion of all else and I guess I need to purge. I need to wipe the slate clean and start over.

I do not want to be ungrateful or diminish the acknowledgement both given and received and I certainly don’t want to be a “poohpooher” of peer recognition. That said, I got my first “blog award.” I don’t know how I feel about it. I never pursued one and I most assuredly didn’t expect it from the one that bestowed it. I passed it on and I am sincere in my admiration of those I “awarded” it to. They are all excellent writers that often make me feel as if I am not worthy. The reason I participated at all was in veneration of these other bloggers. In my heart I have to question what feels like a “blog chain letter.” If I was one of seven awarded and the one I got it from was one of seven awards and they were one of seven by seven by seven, etc., then shouldn’t everyone have it eventually? Maybe that’s the objective. I decided to take it as some small recognition from a fellow and an opportunity to promote blogs I enjoy reading. I still feel odd about the whole thing.

That was the good thing by the way. The truly troubling event happened under my comments. I have had a policy of approving any comment that was not vulgar. I had only strayed from that guideline three times applying to seven comments. Three were comments approaching me regarding a former association with a man I wrote about early in my blog days. Three of the comments were from a former lover that where part of an electronic campaign to hurt me and were vulgar in their own way. The other comment was on a piece written about a friend and not approved at her request. I have approved some pretty harsh words, but I don’t expect everyone to be nice or praise my work. I’m a big girl and I have put myself out there by posting my thoughts and feelings.

I now have to reassess my strategy where comments are concerned. There was a comment made in my “Bump” post this week and I should not have approved it, but I did and it lead to the blog equivalent of a catfight. It was addressed to another commenter and was not appropriate. As a result, I was obligated to post the offended party’s reply. I have since removed both comments, but still feel I owe an apology to any that might have seen it and most importantly to Raven of cherokeebydesign. Raven, I am sorry and please know your comment was appreciated. To the other, I regret I fell prey to your taunt that I would probably not approve your comment. I should not have. I was intimidated by your acumen and the thought that you were an established writer whose words carried more weight than my feelings and those of another. I was wrong.

I have considered turning my comments off. I have considered shutting this blog down. I think what I really want is a return to innocence that I know is not possible. I have never changed (except to correct typos) or deleted any entry once posted. I can’t undo what was done and the rotten taste in my mouth will probably be with me for awhile. I don’t know yet what I’ll do. I hope to simply put all this behind me and go back to posting for my original reasons . . . I like to write . . . I like having a place where my words are safe . . . I like having the opportunity to share what I write with others . . . I like the sense of community in blogland.

Although I know this is not my best work, I’m posting it anyway. I think my soul needs it.