The last month has been intense. If there was an understatement of the year – hell the century, it would be that. An unintentional side effect is that I took a step back from blogging. I’m back, well sort of; my time away, or more accurately thinking about “coming back” has made me think about a lot of things.
When I first started this blog, it wasn’t just because. Honestly, few things in my life are done willy nilly – I’m tempted to say nothing, but I’m not big on absolutes. I started a blog because it would benefit me from a writing standpoint and a career standpoint. In terms of writing, it would force me to write actual pieces, not necessarily publication-worthy but still more than journaling, ranting, etc. I’m a huge believer in trying to write every day, and writing as much as you can if you can’t write every day. Writing, like any skill, needs regular workouts or it doesn’t improve. A blog was a way to hold myself accountable and see my progress at the same time. The second reason was simple: every agent, editor and published author talked about the importance to having a blog and developing a platform before publishing a thing. There’s really nothing else to say there.
I’m not sure I’ve actually developed any sort of platform, (all right I’m being kind to myself, I haven’t) but I have seen my writing improve since taking up blogging. I know my writing has gotten better for several reasons, not just blogging, but this blog and the regular writing it generates is certainly among those reasons.
But the past month, any time I thought about putting up a blog this past month, I just felt a cold sense of dread, and I didn’t want to. It was one more thing, and while I have several blogs prewritten and ready to post in weeks when I get too busy, I felt like posting any of them would be disingenuous because it would not be a reflection of me or where I was at or what I was going through at the particular time. I didn’t want to write about pets or adoption or hobbies or philosophical stuff when I felt like my entire life had become a sheet of thin ice.
Thing have gotten better though I wouldn’t call them solid. It’s slightly thicker ice and hopefully in the next few weeks it will be moist earth and then actual solid ground. It’s a process. Things didn’t get the way they became overnight, resolving them won’t either. I get that and I respect it. I’d rather do things right than put a fast and easy Band-Aid on it. But in all of this shuffle, when I thought of this blog or blogging, I went back to my reasons why, as well as what I was actually doing. And I decided that while my reasons are sound, and I have improved in terms of my writing in general, I’m going to rethink this blog.
I’m not ditching this blog and I don’t plan to only post once a month, but I am thinking about posting a lot less. I can find other ways to do my daily writing, doing actual exercises or exploring different ideas – playing. That’s one thing I stopped having time for when I started this blog – playing in my own writing. I’m thinking of trying to post once a week. Maybe some weeks will actually have two posts if something major happens or it’s a holiday, and maybe some weeks will go without a post. I just want to rethink the space and priority this blog takes up. I’m not quitting or totally reconceiving what I post, but I feel like I need to ease up on my own expectations for everyone’s benefit. If you post too often, emails or notifications of new blog posts probably become something close to spam. And for me, it feels like a chore. I don’t think writing should ever feel like a chore (at least it shouldn’t, if it isn’t for school or work).
So, I am back. But I’m not going to post as often. I’m going to ease up on myself, and I hope in doing so, most of my posts are thoughtful and serve a purpose. Because when I posted multiple times a week, I would have “throwaway” posts on the less popular days. No more throwaways. I want this blog to actually be worthwhile.
Worthwhile to those who read it, and even more importantly worthwhile to me.
So here is to a quasi-new or rebooted blog. Less often, more thoughtful and genuine, and hopefully serving a purpose other than an excuse to write for writing’s sake alone.