The State of the Blog Address: wherein the author subtly thanks you for your patience thus far
March 21, 2006

It's a funny title really, considering that in the last 6+ months I've probably posted 75% less than I have in my entire 2+ years of blogging. I've been grappling with the question of why blogging isn't fun anymore. One of the problems I've never had is a lack of things to say. In fact, throughout my time of blogging, I've kept a long list of topics to be discussed. It will take an entire lifetime to accomplish such a feat here in this forum and to be quite honest, I'm not entirely sure that I'm up to the task. Don't get me wrong. Despite the evidence, I have a very clear sense of direction when it comes to this blog. What I don't seem to have as of late is a lot of time.

I find writing to be very cathartic and to not have the time to do it is mentally exhausting. Is cathart a word? Probably not, but it needs to be. In my yet to be completed (or even fully fleshed out) Nyktionary, I would have listed the word "cathart" as a verb: "I very badly need to cathart. " I think I just created a new bodily function.

All joking aside, the harsh reality for me is that if I don't make drastic changes in my life to accommodate my writing and all things attached, I am going to be an unhappy and regretful individual. Sort of like the disgruntled public transportation workers who pass by women and children. Interestingly enough, this concept is at the core of the human experience. One of the basic questions of every person's life is "why am I here?" I am so incredibly blessed to have been raised by parents who forced me to answer that question at very early age. And so my struggle in adulthood has never been a question of knowing my purpose but more the nagging accountability of a conscience that knows the truth about Ambra's passion and is counting the months that she goes by ignoring such truth.

So I guess it really comes down to passion--knowing what yours is, and strategically making arrangements so that the rest of your life can be spent pursuing that end.

In my time away from this site, I haven't really been reading much online either. As a result, I've spent the last few weeks catching up on the blogs I used to read and love every day and for the most part, I've found that many have fallen victim to what I like to call, "The Soap Opera Effect." Back in my unredeemed days of junior high school mindless activity, I justified the show's title by watching "Days of Our Lives" every day for an entire summer. I immersed myself in the ridiculous story lines and unrealistic scenarios and found myself hooked on fake characters and their propensity for amnesia. As an adult, every now and then for kicks I'll watch 3-5 minutes of "Days of Our Lives." What I find is the same characters, dealing with the same issues, same ridiculous scenarios, and same bouts of amnesia. It's as though nothing has changed.

I'm not satisfied with that. For me, it is the lack of innovation and forward movement that marks my lack of pleasure with blogging.

For many, blogging is a hobby, an outlet, a place to vent, learn new things, and be a part of a trend, a community, or a fad. For a different segment of the population however, it seems that blogging as it stands simply isn't enough. I am of that variety. I want to impact the way people think about the issues I write about. It is my belief that a personality shouldn't drive a weblog any more than it should drive a church, a Fortune 500 company or a football team. I believe that the driving pulse of anything should be the ideas and worldview it represents. Personality is far out second. The more I see the blogosphere turning into a polarized conglomerate of politically charged rationale and personality-driven marketing, the less I want to be a part of it.

In my near 2.5 years of blogging there are a few things I somewhat regret (None of the below meant with any disrespect to the other parties involved. It's me--not you):

  1. Going on Republican Radio. I know my lane; I know my sphere. That ain't it. I felt grimey for that decision.
  2. Affiliating my blog with The Conservative Brotherhood. I don't like being a part of undefined entities. Sometimes you just need to fly solo and trust that your vision will make room for you. (But I still love you Cobb)
  3. Falling in lock-step and writing about what everyone else is writing about just because it seemed the thing to do. Enough said.
  4. Giving too much credence and time to the haters. Whether you are a nobody wearing one shoe on the subway or speaking to a crowd of millions, there will always be haters.
  5. Opening up comments on posts regarding Hurricane Katrina. I often fail to exercise the basic right I have as owner of this site.
  6. Not fully taking advantage of the opportunities afforded me by maintaining this blog.
Well that's all about to change. Not being satisfied translates differently for everyone. For some of us it will mean taking a leap of faith and quitting our full-time jobs to pursue the media market with full steam. For others it will mean getting together that book proposal that publishers have been waiting to see. For some it will simply mean bringing more honesty (first) and personality (second) to our writing or establishing a greater purpose for our piece of Internet real estate. Either way, I'm sick enough of being sick and tired that I won't even make any more promises about the future of this here little blog; I'll just "let it do."

Thanks for your support and lack thereof folks. Thanks for your mean comments and nice ones. Regardless of what you think of Nykola.com, I shall go forth and make you proud.

Posted by Ambra at March 21, 2006 1:43 AM in Blogging
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I've made your blog a fairly frequent habit (and I've been in withdrawal for the past couple months!) partly because, symbolic of my human weaknesses, I like seeing my own opinions reinforced, but also because your own introspections are real jewels. So was this one. Thank you for being soulful (in a non-racial sense). You and your guy look great together! If you bypass us, your readers, so you can concentrate on him--good choice!

I liked what you said, and agree with much of it. I hope you'll let the passion and wisdom that comes from God continue to lead you forward, and follow where ever He leads you.

I'll be checking in to see where your adventure takes you.

- Louie

Blogs seem to be an evolving thing, since the medium is still new. Those who don't change get left in the dust, something that I need to take to heart. Be sure to keep the "fun factor" in the front of your blogging efforts.

Don't be too critical about affiliations or groups. It's a natural human tendency to flock together with birds of a similar feather. For some, it can be an effective way to get a critical number of people to visit their site. I've been leery of Christian blog groups, though, as it can be twisted the wrong way since everyone has their own idea of what "Christian" means. Folks tend to get personal about it too.

Do God proud Ambra!

Thank you for your expression of willingness that has allowed us to see you.

I want to challenge you as to your first two regrets. You appear to be driven to live a "WWJD" life. This latest post is all around this ideal. Good on ya for it.

My challenge is that you consider why a "grimey" feeling is one to be regretted. My understanding of Jesus is that He went precisely where most would perceive "grimey" lay. Think leper colonys.

It didn't matter to Him, imo. All that mattered was that He saw an outlet for His love and truth.

Amber - so long as you are shining your Truth, why should/does it matter a whit the nature of your audience and/or the venue?

In my experience, one who enters into an experience with purity of purpose can never be compromised by others' agendas. The "appearance" of advantage taken may ensue, but in the end, lies are revealed. Truth, too!

Blessings to you.

the driving pulse of anything should be the ideas and worldview it represents

I would humbly suggest that your ideas and your personality should have equal billing. After all, if the ideas were intended by God to be so dominant, why did He give you such a wonderful personality?

Also, consider this: "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." I think the proper balance is BOTH ideas AND personality.

I love your blog, but if you decide to drop it, the world won't crumble. It's obvious that you've got other fish to fry.

I work in radio, and I know that it's personality driven--if information is given out via a bland personality, ratings won't be high. That's why Limbaugh and Savage are so popular--it's not just their ideas. And personality matters even if people aren't as politically-minded.

Blogs are another aspect of the media, so I'm sure that the personality "rule" can apply to this "alternative" delivery system. Probably why you have publishing opportunities is because of your personality, since blandness doesn't help the written word, either.

We'll miss you, but we'll never forget you

I'm not going anywhere people. Don't write my obits yet.

bring it on Ambra!

Personally, I feel greatly enriched by reading blogs of various sorts. Often, I'll read the blog of someone with whom I generally agree so that I can learn a more palatable way to present my opinions to people in the real world - a simpler
analogy, a more direct statement, an unusual perspective. I also like to read the blogs of people with whom I generally disagree *if* they are civil in their disagreement with positions that I hold, because it lets me test-drive objections to my point of view - to think, "how would I respond if I were told this in real life?"

I do think there's a danger of the blogosphere beocoming a honeycomb of echo chambers, with us talking at one another but not changing minds. But my experience has been that there can be a "trickle-out" effect to blog discussions - perhaps I am better able to convince people in real-world discussions because of a discussion orpost I read online.

It's also nice every once in a while to read a post and think, "I'm not the only one who thinks the way I do."

Anyway - glad there are no blogituaries pending for Nykola.com.

I really enojoy reading your blog. I think you should try Laura Ingram for conservative talk. You would like her. She is a breast cancer survivor. I think you should not be ashamed of a conservative label. It suits who you are based on what you write about. it's ok to have values and morals. It doesn't make you strange. My children are "mixed" and I hope to instill more conservative values on them. They go to Catholic school and I truely beieve they will turn out to be better poeple if they understand ownership and responsibility.

I don't think Ambra is the Laura Ingraham type--all she talks about are "liberals this, liberals that" and is totally political. She sounds like Rush Limbaugh.

I've been having the same problems with a blog I've kept off and on since the late 90s. It didn't really have a focus, it's changed a lot and while I still have a passion for keeping it, I think part of me wasn't sure how I felt about the direction of it and what that meant for me long-term.

At any rate, thanks for this post and as always, I hope all is well in your world.

Aw man, you missed your chance!
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Why I'm Not a Republican Parts I, II, III, IV
Reflections on the Ill-Read Society
The ROI of a Kid
The Double-Minded Haters
Hindsight
Hip-Hop in Education: Do You Wanna Revolution?
Oh parent Where Art Thou?
Requisite Monthly Rant: the State of the Nation
College Curriculum Gone Wild
Walmart Chronicles
An Open Letter to American Idol
Gonorrhea and the City