For the first time in a long while I honestly had doubts about whether I wanted to publish this post. You see, in my life I have constantly lived with doubts of one kind or another. I suppose we all do. It is a natural thing of course and my doubts are not new. But in this case I worried about expressing myself so deeply and personally. True, I have gotten personal here before but this time feels different. More on that in a moment though.
I have been noticing a gradual slowdown in the blogging world in the last year or so. Friends who I have followed for a long time have disappeared from the scene. Some have just lost interest or cannot write due to time factors, new jobs, or family issues. Others don’t seem to reciprocate as much as they used to. What was once a vibrant community seems to be more individualistic lately. I can’t tell you the last time I had a meaningful string of comments about something I wrote. I think eventually that weighs on you and you begin wondering why you try so hard.
I hear what you are thinking-well Robert, that means you aren’t writing like you used to and people are losing interest in you and your blog. Maybe you need to trim down your posts even more than they are now. Maybe you should do this…maybe you should do that. That might very well be true but it wasn’t that long ago when that did not seem to matter. It was exciting and my WordPress Reader would be constantly open on my desktop anxiously waiting for new posts from talented people expressing their views on art, music, travel, science, poetry and fiction. Everyone doing their own thing as part of a big community. I hear you saying to me again…Maybe you should find some new bloggers to follow to keep that feeling going. It is still a big community and maybe you need to get yourself out there again. Which also might be true.
Last year around the time of my fourth anniversary of blogging, I spent some time going back through old posts. Looking at projects started with full intention of returning to again some day-Photo Shuffle, Fictional works, Research driven posts. They all seem to have gone by the wayside. Maybe they were mostly ‘one-offs’, ideas that seemed great at the time but not so great now. Monochrome Mondays has been maybe the strongest idea out of all. It was born out of a time of some writers/ideas block when I wanted to stay in the game every week, without necessarily writing about music. For awhile I was doing both types fairly consistently, but it seems lately that there are more Monochrome Mondays posts then music ones, and that was never how I wanted it. I’m writing this now after purposely deciding for the first time in months to not even bother posting a Monochrome Mondays yesterday. Not for lack of photos, but because I realized I really needed to get this post you are reading out.
Now to get back to that more ‘personal’ thing I mentioned at the start. For a few months now I have been going to see a therapist. The specific reasons why I will not reveal, suffice it to say they are NOT for reasons of depression, trauma, or abuse. But the result is me going backwards and forwards in time, connecting the dots in my life that I never knew were related before. Seeing threads that were scattered in random directions joined together. It isn’t always an easy realization, and a few times I have left a session and thought ‘god dammit’ why didn’t I ever see that before. It can be a little unnerving, yet after some time can also feel satisfying in its own way.
I have said right from the start that one of the reasons I have enjoyed expressing myself here is that writing unleashed a lot of the jumble in my head. Random thoughts, random people, places, and objects that I took a photograph of that relate to a song which is about other random people, places, and objects. It is very much like some of my therapy sessions now in fact. So much so that I realized that for now I am going to temporarily give myself the space to rectify the two. Despite everything I said about my view on the state of the blogging community, I will not, cannot stop when there is always a new song, a new photograph to take. Last year I changed the slogan for this blog to ‘Where Music Meets Photography’. A simple idea that should have come to me years before perhaps. But it is still an idea worth exploring to me. That means something to me. And which is why I will not be stopping anytime soon. The photography side will always be there too, for that is what came first as a creative outlet. But it was the melding of ideas that brought me here. For the time being new posts might be a little few and far between (and that is going to include Monochrome Mondays for now at least). But there will be more I promise you.
The reason why it will go on can maybe best be described in the lyrics to the song for this post. I urge you to listen to the clip (never mind the early 1980’s fashions!). I think I just need to ‘go back to school’ and find what has been missing for me. I wrote this post not out of anger and resentment. I need to work on me and find that creative space again for everything to fall in place again. I am determined that it will! See you all soon!
The Voice-Written By Justin Hayward
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All Photographs By Robert P. Doyle
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