Yesterday, a lady in the Midwest whose blog I've followed and enjoyed for a couple of years, announced she was quitting blogging. She pointed out how she'd noticed posts on many blogs were coming ever farther apart, and wondered if the "craze" for blogging wasn't winding down. Time had become an issue for her. So had having something to say—or at least she felt she'd wish to say on her blog. Finally, she admitted she'd lost her joy in blogging, and felt she needed friends with "real skin" to relate to in person rather than online.
Please understand, I'm not taking her to task. She has every right to make such a decision, though I'm truly sorry to see her go. Still, I understand her reasoning because I've mulled over several of the same points, and asked myself the logical end question: Keep blogging…or not?
The answer, I found, centered on three things—motivation, goal, and personality.
First, why did I begin blogging? My first post pretty much summed it up…I'd failed repeatedly at keeping a journal, diary, daybook, or other form of written record, but for a number of reasons wanted to do so—and thought the online format of a blog, along with the feeling of responsibility to any readers I happened to garner, might supply that extra impetus to keep going.
I did not begin because I thought I had anything particularly newsworthy, insightful, or entertaining to relate. I wasn't looking to convert the world, or make folks love me. And didn't need a platform for regular ranting.
Second, my goal was, as the welcome to Riverdaze states, "simply to report, as regular as I can manage, on life and the seasons from my home perspective of a modest stone cottage beside a small, sycamore-lined Ohio river."
That hasn't changed.
Third, the part personality plays cannot, I think, be ignored. As many of you know, I'm a professional writer. I'm comfortable sitting down writing as a form of communication. I'm also an inveterate reader. I've had my "head in a book," as my mother used to say, since before I began kindergarten. I was also an only child, and chronically ill. For years, I regularly spent more time inside the house—and inside my head—than out. Alone but rarely lonely.
Paradoxically, I love people, gatherings, parties, crowds, and don't mind mixing with strangers. I'm definitely a "people person." Yet I can toss a sleeping bag into the pickup and go off into the north woods for a couple of weeks of fishing, hiking, camping, and just poking along overgrown two-tracks, never speak to a soul, and have a perfectly delightful time.
However, the fact is, a blog reader, someone I'm talking to on the telephone, or that living, breathing "in the flesh" visitor in my home or at a meeting in a café over a meal, are equally real to me. Sure, I'd like to get to know in person everyone who reads these posts. But we're truly scattered all around the globe—so there's not much likelihood of that ever happening. Yet you're nonetheless real, I'm still real, and we can read each other's blogs, look at each other's photos, and be genuine friends.
Yeah, I know I've been slacking lately on posts. And really slacking on comments on other blogs, though I do usually visit. Time is partially to blame. So is the fact that I often read other blogs on my iPod…which is an abomination for me when it comes to leaving a comment. But at the heart of the slacking is mostly just procrastination and laziness—which I'm constantly trying to counteract. Honest.
I still don't think I have anything earth-shattering to say. But I've realized that several blogs I regularly read are no more or less chronicles of their rather equally boring life (no, not yours…don't go all paranoid on me), and yet there's something about this ordinary minutiae that is oddly interesting and very enjoyable. So I guess it follows that you could consider this admission fair warning.
I've been humbly surprised by many of your comments over the years, and so very grateful for your words of encouragement and understanding. Moreover, I've been astonished by the pleasure occasionally expressed over a certain post or photo, and the fact that you often get a kick out of my shared small adventures. To me, life's greatest joy is all about sharing. The fact that I now have 114 followers is also an astonishing mystery—but I do treasure each and every one. While the number varies from time to time, when I lose someone, I always worry that it was because of something I said, some thoughtless remark which struck them as unkind. I hope not, for everything else aside, I want you enjoy your visits to the riverbank.
Bottom line…to blog, or not? For me, blogging is not a fad. I promise, I'm here for the long haul.