The Voice Within

 

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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17 thoughts on “The Voice Within

  1. Brave post, Rob! I understand the lack of community and the falling away of bloggers you once were anticipating reading more from. In my opinion, the community was held together greatly by our WordPress courses that we no longer have. I loved how that built friendships. I have taken multiple breaks from my blog from burnout and lack of inspiration and it is a lot to fill into regular life. But I know that you’ll find our balance. And there ain’t a damn thing with talking to a professional, sometimes you need an objective voice when there is a lot of noise going on in your head. I wish more people did that.
    Still around,
    Trudy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Trudy, that means a lot. I share your opinion on the courses. Once they took the community aspect out of it I think there was a decline. Worse is their ‘new’ ideas for community do not seem to be all that exciting. The friendships have been the best most satisfying thing! I’m sure I will get the balance again. Thanks as well regarding therapy. I am not embarrassed or weirded out by it. That neutral/objective voice truly helps. Thank you for your friendship and support 😄

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      1. I didn’t think that you were embarrassed, I meant in society as a whole most men think of it as weak. I think taking out your frustration on innocent people is weaker.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Robert,
    I don’t know how often you spend on WP, reading and commenting on others’ work (“Everyone doing their own thing as part of a big community.” I love your perspective on that.) But I’ve found I really have to spend a lot of time to have engaging commentary and really let my personality come out. I agree it sucks when a favorite blogger friend disappears from the scene out of nowhere. But yeah, life. (And death unfortunately too.) I also agree that the more positive interaction with other artists/writers of the community, the more motivation there is to create. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I’ve been enjoying your blog/photos/music choices now for about two years and I’ll continue to read whatever you want to share. Take care!

    -Amaya

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amaya, thank you for this comment. I really did not intend this to come across as being ‘oh woe is me’. There are still several bloggers I follow and comment on regularly….and I just now am realizing that I have not been doing that for you (my bad!). That absolutely is part of it and it is true that you have to comment to get comments. It just feels different somehow to me lately. But it is also why I don’t want to stop. Maybe I just need to stop thinking about it for awhile. That sometimes does wonders. Thank you again for your kind words. It really is appreciated and I’ll do my best to do the same for you and your own blog 🙂

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  3. A very honest post, and one that I can sure understand at times! A wise woman in my life once compared writing to being like a bat flying in the darkness, and depending on return echoes to guide you on your way. If you don’t get enough feedback echoes, it becomes easy to feel lost. I know that’s frustrating but I think every writer goes through it at some point. Keep at it, and just be you. Things will balance out 🙂

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  4. Robert, you have, to a large extent echoed my thoughts. Things have certainly slowed down, but it was always just me, that is what I thought.
    At times we need to keep doing our thing without realising where our path is leading us.
    True, I have also been away from blogging for a year now……but I love to read yours. And very often, when I tell people about the concept of your blog, they are genuinely interested and inquisitive.
    So, whatever it is that you’re trying to thread, my best wishes are always with you.
    It is indeed good to be here.
    Your post reaffirms my belief in this.
    Thank you for this post.
    Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shalini once again you have genuinely moved me. Thank you not only for the kind words but also for the well wishes. It is good to be here and I’ll still be reading other people’s blogs and as some have suggested, maybe I need to get back into that more to be inspired again. I’m glad I am not the only one to have these feelings however. In the meantime I will still be taking photos (that definitely will not go away) and you will see me on Instagram. Again-thank you for your genuine words. They mean the world to me. 😄

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  5. Hi Rob

    If it is any compensation, my own lack of recent responses to your blogs does not represent a lack of interest. I do try and keep in touch. It might however reflect frustration at my own shortage of time or inspiration to write anything myself for the last couple of years and a general and growing disenchantment with the online world (and to some extent the real world too but that is another story).

    You know you will always find me with the Moodies and we are less than a month from the baseball season so good things still abound in spite of all this. Incidentally, I took in a Justin Hayward solo show late last year. I didn’t have high expectations but it turned into one of my gigs of the year. To quote The Lemonheads, it’s a shame about Ray.

    Cheers,

    Al

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Al. I worried people might think I was singling them out but the furthest thing is from my mind. It is just a general trend I have been seeing in the blogging world and I think its more disappointment that it has become this way. In all honesty another factor has been that I have been a lot busier at work and finding less time to develop ideas, but I hope that will change. The online world is indeed weird, there are days I think going off the grid would be a good idea. Yes I know you are right there with the Moodies. I’d love to go to one of Justin’s solo shows….John, I’m not sure. And good old Ray. One of the best things I saw in one of his obituaries came from when the Moodies were doing the symphony tours over here. He was self-taught on the flute I believe and just kind of figured it out. Yet he had all these flute playing members of orchestras coming up to him saying he was the reason they picked up the flute. Which must have been a thrill. For the record and IMHO, Ray in his prime on flute was a much more interesting player than Ian Anderson.

      And yes! Baseball! Might be a good year to invest in baseball stocks. Projections are for a lot of homers at Yankee Stadium this year! Thanks for checking in and for this great comment. Cheers!

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  6. Hi Robert, I love your blog; I have favourite blogs;yours is one I always return to, even if I miss a few posts. I’ve always liked the concept of combining music with photos. I love that you are able to show your vulnerability in this post, I’m sure your feelings resonate with a lot of people even though they don’t comment. …Moody Blues ‘Yes’ love their albums, part of my youth. Like their song ‘ride my see saw’ “I worked like a slave for years, sweat so hard just to end my fears …..” Take heart, keep the faith comrade.
    Blogging, I think instagram has taken over for many as a quick fix, fast turnover for the bordom factor. or too many blogs now perhaps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Pat this comment means a lot. I suspect you are right about the comments. I have no plans to stop but I just need the space to find for it again, which I hope will be soon. ‘See Saw’ is one of my most favorite Moodies songs. That line is pivotal, thank you for reminding me of it in this context. All the best and see you soon!

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  7. I am relatively new to blogging and even newer in participating in the community pool which as each week goes by gets more and more crowded. It’s a lot to wade through but I decdicated a few hours on Monday night to go through the posts which are of interest to me. Some jump out at me and I follow immediately only to discover weeks or even months later the blogger does not have another post. However, the pool is huge there will always be quality writers to follow. I try to be consistent and stick to the niche I chose which is travel. All the best to you Robert.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry for the late reply here. I saw your comment but got distracted for the past week or so. Thank you so much for this comment. I agree that niche is a good way to go. I think that may have been one of my problems of following people. There are just too many great ones out there, and for someone who has a lot of interests, I might have spread myself around a bit too much. Very much appreciate you taking the time to comment. Thank you!

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