The hamster wheel

On October 1st, Dr. Paul Robinson over at IRRUSSIANALITY wrote:

I’m suffering from a bit of writer’s block when it comes to the blog. The deluge of Russia-related nonsense elsewhere continues, but there’s so much of it that it’s hard to know where to start in tackling it, and it gets a little boring pointing out again and again what’s wrong with this stuff. Besides which, other people are doing so. It would be nice to find something really good to comment on, but where is it to be found? Or perhaps there’s a whole new angle to consider, but it’s hard to think what it might be.

This sums up very nicely my views about my blogging life at present. It’s not like the world has suddenly gone silent on Russia – the mass media keeps churning out stories, books continue to be published, scholars hold conferences and symposiums. It’s just that so much of that material feels the same. It’s there for the reading, but I don’t want to read it. So when you cut out commenting on current events and sharing stuff from other sources – in which the vast majority of Russia-related WP blogs indulge – what is there to do here except continually whittle away at that mountain of TBR books?

I never thought I’d say this about blogging about Russia – you know, that riddle wrapped inside a mystery wrapped inside an overused quote – but I’m bored!

There must be some stone left unturned in the garden of Russia-related reading… Or maybe it’s time to reorient toward Russian language, seeing that while my reading and listening skills continue to improve, my speaking (specifically response time and colloquial speech) has stayed the same or declined. Maybe I should read some Russian lit in the original (but no reviews), or take a hiatus and read some fiction for fun – because the TBR list for that is long too.

Anything to steer me off the current path of stagnation and writer’s block.


4 thoughts on “The hamster wheel

  1. You see? You’ve just come to a reasonable conclusion: it’s time to start to deal with the subject directly, without intermediaries, because all of them have their own agendas and thus distort the picture, sometimes unintentionally. Generally speaking objectivity, understood as total detachment from the subject, is unattainable and moreover, should not be strived for. Instead, while focusing on the language you will have the opportunity to form your own opinion. Talk to people, read books (not ABOUT Russia, but written by Russians themselves about anything), travel there. This way you’ll have more chance to solve that “riddle wrapped in a mystery”. Good luck!

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    1. By the way, if you want someone cool to Skype with, I can connect you with my “skype babushka”. She’s in her 70s, lives in Kyrgyzstan, speaks very clearly, and loves Russian grammar. She’s really curious about the world and has the mindset of an eternal learner. My husband was explaining blockchain to her the other day, haha.

      We’re only meeting once a week now so she said she wants to find a second Russian learner to chat with to fill up her days.


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