Is it the end, or merely a turning point in the road?
Posted Mar 22 2009 3:36pm
In the same way that print newspapers across the country are dying, this site and its presence are also in question. I’m at a standstill, creatively and intellectually, when it comes to the topic of eating disorders. I’ve been feeling it for the last couple of months and now I think it’s time I address it.
A few things are at play here. First, I’m having time issues. When I started this site in 2006, I wasn’t a student and I had a substantial amount of free time I could devote toward looking at the latest news and writing about it. This being a news-themed site, the luxury of having the time to write a blurb on “breaking news” seemed like an appropriate edge in the blogosphere. But in this now-Twitterized world of instantaneous communication, the only delay in receiving breaking news is the time it takes you to read it. Blogs are not quite as much about spreading news anymore as they are commentary about the news.
Not only that, but the blogosphere has exploded with eating disorder blogs that are well-written, insightful and generally a pleasure to read. Even being the first blog to comment on a story is a feat these days. With the lack of time I can commit to this site, I don’t even make the leaderboard anymore. More often than not, that’s okay; I am reaching a point where I just don’t know what I can possibly say about eating disorders anymore that doesn’t sound half-assed, especially in comparison to others’ thoughts on the same topic. But more on that in a few.
The other half of my twofold approach when creating this site was that its content would be a compilation from several people with differing opinions and experiences with eating disorders so that a diverse spectrum could be represented on one site. At the time, the only widespread group blog about eating disorders was on LiveJournal, but it was almost exclusively personal entries, not news-related. That too, I thought would give this site just enough originality to make it stand out. The idea has had limited success. I’ve had privilege of knowing several incredible people because of interest in writing for this site, and I thank all of you for your friendship and contributions. I can’t thank you enough for all of your work. But I completely understand why someone wouldn’t write for a group blog when you can run one for yourself with little effort and no cost. Why wouldn’t you do that?
Secondly, I am reaching a point where I am leaving my eating disorder behind. It is not nearly as much a part of my life as it was when I created this site. In a way, reading and writing about eating disorders may have prolonged this process because it kept me attached to the subject. Now it’s time I wriggle my way free. I am not by any means recovered, nor will I forget what I’ve been through - I have too many scars for that. But it is something that has progressively felt more as a part of my past, not the present, and hopefully not the future. It’s time for other things.
Quite frankly, I am bored with eating disorders. When the writing urge has struck as of late, I’ve thought of posting more personal material in connection to “the big picture,” maybe in regard to current events, greater causes, etc. Maybe not even that profound - sometimes I’d just like to post a picture of something cool or a random WTF. Shit, maybe even some poetry. These things do not apply to Disordered Times, so I have largely refrained from posting them here. Not only that, but the Internet is already overcrowded with personal blogs as it is. I am not nearly important enough (nor should I be) for people to take a genuine interest in what I am doing in everyday life, so it seems pointless. But maybe it’s not and maybe I need to rethink the scope of a) what I want out of my own website and b) what will still keep people coming back for more. I am still musing on this, thinking that I certainly wouldn’t ignore eating disorders as a topic, but the frequency would be much less, combining with other topics on my mind. A potential advantage to this would be a wider audience, whether it be someone passing through or stumbling in and staying for awhile. The more people aware of eating disorders, the better, and if it takes a roundabout approach to inform, so be it. Of course, the opposite may be true and I may lose this blog’s audience by expanding its scope.
So that is where I am at. The irrecoverable fact is that this site’s original purpose is dying, both from my own standpoint and the greater picture of the Internet. It must (and will) somehow evolve - I’m just not sure how yet. Suggestions and constructive criticism on this (and every other) idea are welcome.