I’ve been taking spring cleaning quite literally when it comes to my online presence. I have been reviewing over a thousand posts that I wrote over a ten-year period of time and throwing many of them away.
Actually I’ve really just been making some posts a bit more difficult to find while making other posts much easier to find. But it feels like I’m tossing some 700 or 800 posts in the recycling bin. I am not yet removing them from the Internet, but they will be more difficult to discover.
The worst part has been realizing that some 80% of the posts that I wrote over ten years just aren’t very good, in my opinion. I held an overly positive view of the quality of my writing output and upon a fresh look so much of it appears ephemeral, dispensable, mediocre.
The degree of narcissism in a few of the posts strikes me today as almost shocking. I had a real chip on my shoulders because my writing was never as popular as I felt it ought to be, so I spent a bit too much time all but telling people that they ought to be paying attention because it was SO important.
Perhaps I’m being too hard on myself. One of the blogs I maintained, Until, was written when I had only dozens of T-cells and was suffering from multiple “mystery illnesses” which made every waking hour a living nightmare. It’s amazing I could write anything at all.
It is work to practice letting go. I feel like I’m throwing ten years of my creative output away, and what is left is smaller, less accomplished, and less visible. I know that’s not really the case, but my feelings don’t care. I just need to hang in there and stay open to the grief while I attune my mental outlook to embrace my lighter footprint as a blogger.
I plan to take the posts down completely sometime in the next year or two, but there are so many backlinks to my site from elsewhere that I need to think carefully about the consequences. Joe-Perez.com is one of the oldest Integral blogs online, and its age is a factor in giving it built-in credibility when it comes to Google Pageranks.
I have a more important consideration than Google PageRank. I want my online writings to reflect my best efforts undiluted by a lot of garbage. I have selected over a hundred of my favorite posts for inclusion on WE Spirituality so there’s a good representation of my best blogging that is otherwise unavailable in my three books.
The fact that many of the posts on Joe-Perez.com that I am discarding are mediocre is instructive. Now I know how my tastes have changed and what no longer works for me. Now I know better how to recognize quality in my posts and how to keep working on my posts until they get to be more than mediocre. I’ll need to spend more time on each post and pour more of my consciousness into each one instead of staying on the surface. Of if I stay on the surface, I need a good reason.
Have any of you artists ever thrown away a huge creative output in your life? Have any of you who have moved ever thrown away a huge amount of your belongings? Have any of you looked at your work and felt it didn’t reflect your highest ideals and possibilities? Probably just about everyone would answer Yes.
On the other side of the grief and sense of being smaller there is the feeling that you are less encumbered. That’s a lightness that I enjoy because it’s a taste of the freedom which I believe is our True Nature. Letting the ephemeral go away is a price that is worth paying for being less clingy and false and opening more into who I am.