Bring your own fork

November 20, 2008 - Thursday

 Fork Me

Stick a fork in me, I’m done.

Regular readers of this blog and the journal that preceded it know that I am, if nothing else, an irregular poster. I put up entries in fits and starts — I’ll be “good” for a week, two weeks, maybe even a month, putting up entries every day or two, then weeks or months will go by before there’s a new one. Something that’s always bothered me about such irregularity has been my own guilt over it — I always feel like I’m being “bad” when I don’t post, as if I owe it to my readers to put up new content. And on one level maybe I do … but since all my sites have always been free for the taking and very, very few of you know me personally, on another level maybe I don’t owe you a thing. And maybe I’m taking myself a little too seriously when I feel guilty for not providing. Maybe no one even notices.

Jim over at Meat of the Matter said something recently that really got its hooks into me. He said that the way the Internet has evolved, personal blogs have become “a non-event.” That struck a chord with me; it felt like truth, and it sort of surprised me. Always slow on the update, I suddenly realized that “blogging,” even the way I do it with the personal stories, has become a cliche. When did that happen?

I’m sort of an Internet old timer. I was part of, if not the First Wave, then certainly the First-point-Five wave of people publishing personal content on the World Wide Web. There were just a handful of “journals” online back in ’97 when I stumbled across the phenomenon and dove in with chuck’stake. We formed our own little communities and fed off each other and I like to think we helped the Internet become what it is now. We fed it content, made it an interesting place to go, showed people that everyone can have their own soapbox on the net. Now, everybody’s doing it. Even dogs have blogs.

And since reading what Jim said, and looking at my traffic stats, and reading the comments my blogs draw and the people making them… I feel like I just woke up and now see things for what they are. All of a sudden my blogging, the pictures I put up, the stories I tell — it all feels like I’m talking to myself. I feel exactly as if I were the crazy homeless guy you see down the alley having a conversation with the wall. He thinks he’s having a real, genuine, important conversation, but the wall couldn’t care less. Can’t care less. It’s a wall. I suddenly realize that I’m just one person among millions having a personal conversation with a void that couldn’t care less. It’s kind of embarrassing, actually.

And I think back to what I said when I started all this back on August 13, 1997: “I’m hoping that writing this journal will help train me to put my ass in the chair and words on the screen on a daily basis.” Well, guess what? It failed. Not only have I failed to write here on a “daily basis,” I’ve also failed to write anything of any real importance offline either since I started this. In fact, I sort of feel that the online “writing” may have been at the expense of the “real” writing, since it’s been the bulk of my output for the last ten years. As the kids would say: EPIC FAIL.

So… I think I’m done. In the next week or so I’ll be shutting down the Lunchroom here, and my motorcycle blog over there, and I think I’ll be taking all of it offline, chuck’stake too. If I won’t be putting my life online anymore because it’s just noise, then what’s the point of leaving the archives up to be noise too? Shut it down, shut it all down.

I suddenly feel the need to go dark. I like the sound of that.

My life has been a mostly open book online for the last ten years. Now I’m checking the book out. Permanently.

The Lunchroom is closed.


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6 responses to “Fork Me”

  1. Gina says:

    Noooooooooooooooo!!! I read you religiously, I put you in my favorites!!! I check in daily!!! Our daughters are the same age, I’m an animal lover with a dog and love reading about your animals and I’ve loved reading you! If you are truly “done”, this is a really sad day for me. Reeeeeeeally sad.

  2. Kitty says:

    It really is too bad that you feel that way Chuck, you really have the storytelling GIFT, it would be a shame if you didn’t continue it somewhere… I hope you do.. I would certainly buy a book of yours if you were ever to do one…non fiction esp. We are out here reading, even if it doesnt feel like it…..good luck with whatever you do…KEEP WRITING!

  3. j says:

    Enjoyed every post since the ‘stake. Many thanks, Chuck. Best to you and yours.

  4. Suzeemac says:

    You will be missed greatly! I have enjoyed reading your blog for the past couple of years since I accidently ran across it while searching for something on the internet (can’t even remember what i was searching for). I went back and read all the archives. Your blog has made me laugh so hard i actually did fall off a chair. It has made me cry. I can’t go to a motel/hotel without checking out the view. I love that you are so proud of your daughter and wife. I love that you’re such a bad ass. You have been a great entertainer and I am sad to see you go, but you will live on in our memories…. “remember that Chuck guy that wrote that one blog”…. You have an amazing talent for writing stories, so don’t stop writing.

  5. Limey Tim says:

    Be a shame if you quit, but i can understand it. Gonna miss your (incredibly) infrequent entries, one of my few ‘tastes of home’ while i’m stuck in a foreign land.

    See ya, Tim.

  6. Jim says:

    Welllllllllllllllllllllllll SHIT!

    I wish I hadn’t have said that now. You know you are my blogfather, Chuck. I read your story about hanging up the phone and I said, “I gotta do this.” You were one of the best, and you could still be if you continue. I don’t come here often, but every time I do I’m always pleased with what you have to say.

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