when i was first finding my own sense of anarchy, i enjoyed much of the discussion that was going on around me. it fed my hunger for ideas that were different from those of the progressive left that i had previously identified with.
but at some point, it became apparent that theoretical discussion was getting repetitive, ideological/dogmatic (right vs wrong), and was losing my interest. my time as a progressive activist had taught me that i was never going to "change the world" (in any way that i truly desired). my exposure to anarchist ideas taught me that that is ok; i can still change my own life and the way i relate to others and the world around me. that is when i largely dropped the term "anarchism" along with how its proponents pursued their objective of "changing the world"; and began creating my own life in ways that allowed me to experience some anarchic relationships - particularly those i cared most about.
i have to wonder how much academia plays into this issue. not that academics necessarily avoid or decry action; rather, that academic discourse tends to feed on itself, creating ever more abstract (? not sure that is the right word) and highly intellectualized iterations of conversation that wind up having very little in common with a more action-oriented approach to life.
though i have been accused - and sometimes accurately - of being anti-intellectual, i am actually not against intellect. i am against the elevation of intellect above all else. most academics i have known demonstrate that to some extent.
is what you (nihilist) refer to as "navel-gazing" somehow related to the over-intellectualization of anarchist discourse?