ANOTHER FAILED BLOGGER?

Regulars in ‘this’ blogging community (for there is no name for the loose association of bloggers and readers I come across) might have noticed some quietness creeping in from the sides.
Bloggers are becoming silent, one by one. Nothing has been as pronounced as Mahendra‘s quietness. He seems to have decided to throw in the towel, for his own reasons. I have reasons to believe that he is alive and otherwise well. Arun, Oemar, Madhuri are some others who have gone quiet. Xntric Pundits has been blocked by WordPress due, probably, to some problem with their Terms of Service.
Bancheese has just announced a period of silence till January, feeling a writer’s block.
Which brings me to me. I have no dearth of comments, nor do I lack the passion to bore you people with my pontifications or upset you with my singular lack of conventional morals, tact and niceties.
However, I am getting very little time these days. Increasingly, I am resigned to a quick look at my Dashboard, and then pack up. This makes me a bad blogger. I managed to write my last post only because I was out of town and was waiting at airports with nothing else to do.
A creepy voice inside me says, like Moaning Myrtle to Harry Potter, “So shall we assume this is the beginning of the end? Will your blogging end with a whimper, like the rest of your pathetic life?”
To which I am tempted to strongly respond in the negative. My life may arguably be described as pathetic, but it will not end with a whimper. It almost certainly will end with a rasping, orgasmic gasp. I, however, reflect on this again, and cannot but wonder, “Is Moaning Myrtle’s voice the voice of truth?”
MM continues to purr in with a sickly sweet voice, “You could do with some exercise, you know that? And are you forgetting that you have not read a page of the last ten books you bought?”
Which is true. I could do with exercise, and I could do with some reading, some listening to music, and maybe some more academia. If I write, I will probably not stop at less than a thousand words, and eradicate every spelling mishtake or poor punctuation, or missedspacing.But not write right bad English.
That said, things are tough. Look at tomorrow. I start operating at 7 am. I have twenty cases, almost all major procedures. I will mostly trudge back home at around 7 pm. This leaves me time in the evening, but not enough to really do justice to writing.
Doing the inner voice thing (exercise, reading, etc.) will spell doom to my promising car-rear as a word-winning blogger.
MM tells me that my not blogging will not change anything. Is she right? I can only say that not blogging might make a difference to me, if no one else.

40 responses to “ANOTHER FAILED BLOGGER?

  1. Well, I suspected that something like this would happen. Being a busy doc and writing a blog didn’t seem to go together at all.
    Well, you can always write a post twice a month or something and stop thinking of stats.
    Enjoy. πŸ™‚

  2. I find myself looking at my Dashboard far too often too… maybe stats aren’t as important as when you first see your online writing grow from a single-celled blogonism to a highly complex creature of the Inter-Webs. After that, it’s all ups and downs.

    Don’t worry about the books, Doc. I read some good advice once, and it said this: “Buy great books, even if you don’t read them.”

    I went on an Amazon.com book spree a couple months ago, because I found a whole bunch of great books for less than a dollar (some only a penny) with $3.99 shipping. I haven’t read a single page from most of them.

    Yet.

    I want to eventually have one of those personal libraries that might classify as “studies” – you know, the kind renowned professors have in movies, with the rolling ladders to reach the high-up books.

  3. Plus, Doc, I think around this time of year we all feel the need to go on a mental vacation.

  4. Rambodoc:

    I think technology can come to the rescue.

    In the mid-1990s, sound-to-text conversion softwares were not very good but now some like IBM Via Voice and Dragon Dictate are doing a great job. Combine it with an Olympus Digital Voice Recorder – where you can speak your thoughts in little bits, like Twitter-ing which you can then download straight from the recorder using its fabulously hidden USB port to your PC, convert to a text file, do edits (for spelling, grammar and weird homonymic spellings etc at least till the software is ‘trained’ to your voice and diction) and Voila! there is your post.

    See we would so not like you to stop blogging, I am even becoming YOUR helpdesk as if it isn’t sufficient to serve those I already do..

    Another possibility is batch-processing with post-dated posts, no? 😦

    I cannot think of anything else. It is near my dinner time and I must cook before I can eat…

  5. I have two shelves full of unread books. But I intend to read them soon.

  6. I’ve always wondered how you managed the time to be both a doctor and a blogger. While it’s understandable you might need to give up blogging, Rambodoc, I’ll certainly miss your passion for engaging life — I read you daily. I hope you can work out some compromise in which you still blog — even if only twice a month.

    By the way, thanks for the news about Mahendra. I was worried something had happened to him.

  7. So nice to meet, all in one place, so many people who are candid to admit owning books they have not read! I hope I may come it πŸ™‚ .

    Wonder if any of you can help me with one problem: a lot of the books I collect are of the type that do not get reviewed by page 3 personalities — or even on the internet. In such a situation, how does one discuss them at cocktail parties? πŸ™‚

  8. I do read your blogs regularly, and yes, it would make a difference if you stopped completely.

  9. On unread books:

    * I believe at any time, people have read fewer than 75% of the books they own. If someone claims to the contrary, I would be tempted to give them a quiz! Unless they own only 30-40 books.

    I have several hundred books on my shelves and although some of my PhD-related books have been read many times, some are awaiting their first turn mainly because I can only read 5-6 at a time. I read them in a time-share mode and although I read fast, because of this peculiarity it takes me very long to finish a book though sometimes I read entire books in one weekend. :-/

    * A British friend of mine says that owning more books than you have time to read is merely the soul reaching for infinity.

    Even discounting the fact that she was 23 when she first came upon – I do not believe for a second that she coined it – this adage, its profundity is interesting.

    @ Vivek:

    The reason why I cannot nudge my reviewer rank on Amazon-UK outside the 800-900 is because I review such books. Naturally since nobody is considering buying them, I get very few votes! (My reviewer page link on my blog sidebar if you are keen).

    I’d use the discussion of those books to shut idiots up at cocktail parties. πŸ˜‰

  10. The thought of someone disappearing from the blogosphere without leaving his real identity behind is unnerving for me. Sure, people disappear from one’s real life too and one may never contact them again, but at least one knew their name! πŸ™‚ Anyway, I guess I am old fashioned in that sense.

  11. //I can only say that not blogging might make a difference to me, if no one else.//All the comments prove you wrong.It makes a difference to people who read your blog everyday.I agree blogging on days when you have to perform 20 surgeries might be difficult but still once a week you can manage for the regular readers.They won’t mind a few spelling mistakes or some other mistakes but your absence from the blogosphere would be missed.As @bancheese rightly said// β€œBuy great books, even if you don’t read them.”//Books can wait,all my unread books are waiting, they decorate my bookshelf.

  12. MM tells me that my not blogging will not change anything. Is she right? I can only say that not blogging might make a difference to me, if no one else.

    Nope, MM is totally wrong. If you stop blogging, that’ll be another soldier of Dumbledore’s army falling and many will follow suit. How will we then save ourselves from the Dark Lord a.k.a. Voldemort? You’re a very good writer doc, one of the best I’ve read in my life and it’ll be bad if you stop writing. I’d say just do a Patronus charm and the stag will put all the dementors away. I know you’re really busy but I’m sure you like blogging too much to not be able to find time for it.

    And sorry for making the comment too Harry Potterish lol.

  13. Rambodoc:

    Prerna is too kind when she says: “They won’t mind a few spelling mistakes or some other mistakes…”.

    If you are worried about proof-reading, what do you think I come here? Give me some more chances to point them out…

    Oh BTW this will amuse you – I circled at least 3 grammar bloopers in the Economist’s Christmas issue today. Past experience suggests that my letter will not appear in the Letters to the Editor column if it contains a reference to these mistakes.

  14. Corrigendum:

    What do you think I come here for?

    Mea culpa!

  15. Shefaly:

    // Even discounting the fact that she was 23 when she first came upon – I do not believe for a second that she coined it – this adage, its profundity is interesting.//

    I am not sure my comment is about grammar, but wouldn’t that parenthesis read more smoothly if it were placed AFTER the word “adage”?

  16. Nita: I have mailed you.
    Ish, Prerna, Shefaly, Shivamani and Paul:
    Thanks for your kind words.
    Bancheese: Thanks for your comments.
    Vivek: Happy reading!
    Shefaly: The soul itself is infinite (as it is but a concept), but it just doesn’t know it. πŸ™‚
    (How profound is that? Must ask Paul!)

  17. rambodoc, it is awesome that you find the time to write posts and entertain us so much. Stop trying to post regularly. That makes it like work. Do so whenever you feel like it.

  18. Shefaly:

    //I’d use the discussion of those books to shut idiots up at cocktail parties.//

    Idiots. Hmm. “Hamam mein sab nangey (hotey) hain.”

    In any case, no one at such do’s is focussed on any single topic or person for more than a couple of nanoseconds (I am not female, 21, drop-dead gorgeous, vivacious etc., nor the kind of male who could hold the attention of said type of female for too long).

  19. @ Vivek:

    “I am not female, 21, drop-dead gorgeous, vivacious etc., nor the kind of male who could hold the attention of said type of female for too long”

    I am a vivacious female but have none of the other attributes. I find that most people are shy to bring up things for fear of being seen as nerds. I have no such fear. Here I meet 2 kinds of people – desi professionals or people I have never met before. The former do not shy away from talking about ‘heavy’ stuff; heck, they even discuss films in a very clinical manner. The latter almost always talk about a wide range of things with books, politics, gossip, travel stories etc all on the agenda.

    Ironically it is in India now that I find that people do not seem to read much although Indians buy a lot of books. I wonder why.

  20. Shefaly:

    Regarding Indian reading habits, can’t vouch for how universally my observation holds good, but it seems to me that, as far as reading in English goes, among the professional classess the habit has declined while among the academic classes it remains fairly high.

    Of the Indian languages that I read (Marathi, Gujarati, rarely Hindi) or my friends read (Malalyalam, Bengali, Kannada) I get the impression that in Marathi, Malayalam and Kannada, readership of non-fiction is fairly robust while for fiction it is in decline; Bengali seems to have avid readers in both categories; Gujarati and Hindi seem more focussed on fiction. These impressions are formed from discussions with friends who themselves read, and some of whom are associated with publishing.

    What I find intriguing is the alleged decline, in favour of the electornic media, in the readership of newspapers and popular journals, especially in English and Hindi.

    I am sure there are systematically collected statistics somewhere that will either endorse of refute my observations, but if they exist I don’t know about them.

  21. @ Vivek:

    Nita had a wonderful post about newspaper circulation and readership across India some time ago.

    Other observations are interesting – I rarely read fiction so I am always amused/ bemused by Harry Potter references in conversations, notwithstanding JK’s Edinburgh’s connections or that 9-3/4 is actually written on a wall at the King’s Cross station which I have frequented way too much in the last 5 years… It is however not dissimilar to my dropping references to agency. transaction costs and information asymmetries in a random conversation at some level.

    I think it is all about context without which most social dos are just a waste of time and a time to add to one’s waist.

    @ Rambodoc:

    I am beginning to feel like one of those guests who lingers in the living room over the host’s wine and snacks long past the host has gone to bed or worse, left the building like Elvis.. Sorry.

  22. PS: It should be “one of those guests who LINGER” and not LINGERS…

  23. Shefaly:
    I know. Like an absentee landlord who comes in from the US to find his tenants have taken over his property and bribed the cops, too!
    πŸ˜€
    Just kiddin’! Do feel free to carry on your virtual cocktail party conversation with drop-dead (gorgeless) Vivek!!
    πŸ˜€

  24. Rambodoc:

    Gorgeless??? Not fair!

    Apart from the anatomical ambiguity of the epithet, I strongly believe that all pugilistic interactions (even virtual ones) must be contained within the prescriptions of the Queensberry Rules.

    And I don’t wear my belt too high. It’s well below either of the interpretations of “gorge”.

  25. Shefaly:

    I did see Nita’s post, but it did not give me the kind of disaggregated/fine-grain information that I would like to have.

    Interesting! I, too, have more or less stopped reading fiction over the last several years. But there is a genre which, for want of an established label, I would call fictionalised biography, which tends to uninvitedly bridge the lacuna. A recent example of this is Namita Devidayal’s “The Music Room” (Random House India, 2007, ISBN 978-81-8400-012-2). Excellent account of three generations of a musical lineage (Kesarbai Kerkar – Dhondutai Kulkarni – Namita Devidayal). Very readable, and full of hitherto unpublished material on Kesarbai, but marred by some obviously imaginary and melodramatic episodes.

    Incidentally, if you are into Hindustani Classical Music, and an admirer of the Jaipur-Atrauli gayaki (Kesarbai/Mallikarjun Mansur/Kishori Amonkar) I would strongly recommend the book despite its flaws.

  26. Shefaly:

    While we are in editorial mood and mode, should that not be “long AFTER (not PAST) the host has gone to bed … ?

  27. Doc it would be a shame if you stopped writing because you are an amazing writer.

    On another note, i am glad you didn’t pronounce my blog as being dead, though it has more or less been dormant.
    Although certainly not because i want it to be. There’s a bit too much turmoil in my life right now for me to be able to write anything meaningful.
    I am trying to hang in there though…

  28. Pingback: Keepin It Real « India…From the eyes of a Non Resident Insider

  29. Marc and AD: thanks for the kind words.
    Vivek: Don’t sound like you have a ruled chastity belt on, even if a virtual one! Just gorge on the pun, I mean fun! πŸ˜‰

  30. Doc,

    I didn’t think of the verb sense, only the nouns. In deference to the season’s spirit, I guess I must keep this response chaste. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Vivek

  31. Vivek:
    That’s a load of my chaste that you did not take any of this to your heart! Although from your lack of smiley usage that cannot be a given….

  32. Doc,

    I personally feel that using a smiley is an insult to the intelligence and wit of the person to whom it is addressed. While I have no illusions that transactions on a blog are meant to even vaguely approach high literary merit (whether fiction or non-fiction), in terms of sheer excellence people like you and Shefaly come very close. Of course I have learnt over the last six months that not using smileys can cause misunderstandings, so now I do use them with great reticence, and very sparingly at that.

    If you have read Saki (H H Munro, 1870-1916; literary career — besides journalism — 1890s ad mortem), and enjoyed him, you would agree with me that using smileys would entirely kill his work.

    While one does not lay claim to great literary merit, one does aspire to attain the requisite heights.

    PS: Shouldn’t it be “a load off (not ‘of’) my…?

  33. Vivek,
    Now I understand you fully. I, too, share this feeling, though I wouldn’t presume with most people that they would understand humor sans smileys.
    Of course, it should be ‘off’. A miss. Thanks.

  34. Rambodoc, I don’t believe you will stop your creative juices from flowing*. You can slow down, but can’t stop. It is more than an addiction.

    Am I right?

    *Multiple meaning alert.

  35. Doc – This failed blogger is trying for a pass mark again.

    But I must admit that the urge to write has dropped fairly sharply after the first few months. But this is not something to do with blogging as I observe this pattern in most things I do in my life. When I get into something new, I am all enthu, actually spend way way more time and energy than optimal. Thus, soon there is always a drop in interest followed by a lull. Depending on the thing then, it either stays inactive (in spite of occasional pin-prick nags in my mind), or gets resurrected in infrequent intervals.

    There are so many “pet projects” of mine which follow this – sort of dormant for a time, then spring forth to life for a few weeks (albeit not at the same activity level as the initial avatar), and then go back to dormancy.

    Strangely after I wrote a post today in my blog after 1-2 months, I felt refreshed. Sort of like after working out or doing something worthwhile :)! I was surprised by it.

  36. Doc, we’ve spoken on the phone, and you can see that I’m struggling to get back to blogging. What other inspiration can you get? πŸ™‚

  37. Well, doc, here’s An Unquiet Mind, as unquiet as ever. Thanks for this post, once again!

  38. And I forgot: isn’t it wonderful that now you have started writing two blogs?!

  39. What an ridiculous collection of nicely done articles, it looks like now-a-days everyone seems to be simply copy/pasting and stealing content all the time, but I guess there’s nonetheless hope in honest blogging.

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