Thursday, January 28, 2016

The State of the Blog

So. You've probably noticed that I've been pretty quiet over here. Aside from a couple random posts, this blog has been largely silent since...November? I think? That's a long absence.

I figured I should check in to make it clear that I am NOT pregnant or sick or going through any kind of major life change that is keeping me away. Frankly, I just got burned out and decided to take a little break.

I've always said I'll keep the blog going as long as I continue to enjoy writing it. By late fall, I was not enjoying it. It was starting to feel like a chore. I realize this was entirely my own doing, of course: I don't get paid for this, nobody advertises here, I don't have a boss who makes me write according to a certain schedule. But I put all this pressure on myself to document everything, to keep up with everything we were doing, to get this recap posted so I could post this next thing by that day because the next post needs to go up and this other day, and so on. I was devoting a lot of time to posting here and not really enjoying it. I also was letting recaps of our activities take priority over more thoughtful posts, and I didn't feel like I was really writing anymore, if that makes sense. Although I started the blog for the purpose of sharing our day-to-day lives with long-distance family, I also appreciated it as a forum for sharing some more meaningful thoughts along the way. Recently, I've felt like that part of it has largely gotten lost.

I was also concerned that it was keeping me from other projects I've had on the backburner. Nothing major, of course, just little things—mostly memory documentation stuff. I've put such a priority on blogging everything we do because I love having that record of our lives. And it really has come in handy! Eric and I have looked back at old blog posts to more thoroughly revisit past memories countless times. But, I had to pause to remind myself that this blog is not a permanent record. Blogger could up and decide to shut down tomorrow, for all I know, and all this work I have put into "preserving" our pictures and stories could disappear with it. I realized that I was spending time recording things here but not creating anything tangible and lasting, like photo albums of our pictures that we can actually flip through with our fingers. I always meant to do things like that, but I was devoting my limited free time to the blog and it just wasn't getting done.

So I started debating what to do: keep on keeping on? Shut this whole thing down entirely? Try shifting my posting style? Take a "leave of absence," of sorts?

Basically, I decided to take the holidays off. I just gave myself a little blog vacation and figured I'd reevaluate in the new year. Obviously, I enjoyed my newfound extra free time, as my hiatus has now stretched almost entirely through January. I've felt more relaxed and have actually gotten a lot of other little projects done, or at least made some headway.

I do wonder if that means I'm ready to hang it up, to end this experiment after nearly eight years of writing about our lives.

But I'm just not sure I'm ready to really end it just yet. I do enjoy sharing our memories and our photos and our family with whomever out there is still reading. And here we are, once again on the precipice of another great change in our lives (the next step in Eric's career change, whatever that may end up being), and it's something I think I'd like to document as we go. So maybe the end has not yet come.

So my verdict? I'm planning to keep on posting, for now. But I'm going to try to do some things differently. If I want to recap things, I'm planning to keep it to either major events or larger, more vague "This Is What We've Been Up To" kinds of posts. I hope to share more meaningful posts, too; maybe try to do a little more real writing. Basically I'm going to give myself some grace and let the blog just be what it will be going forward; no expectations. It's not a chore, it's an outlet.

We'll see how it goes. Maybe this will end up being the beginning of the end, but I'm not ready to say goodbye just yet!

Thanks for sticking around, friends.


Dad/Papa said...

Good for you Meghan. When you pause over the keyboard and then decide, the words will flow and what will appear will be real and totally you - like what you have already done and whatever form it takes in the future.

Well done.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering what was going on. Gramps had mentioned too that he missed reading your blog! No pressure, just wanted to let you know that you still have some fans out here!
Love, Aunt Rachel

AD said...

I'm definitely a fan and will enjoy anything you post, whenever and whatever that may be. Love you, Meghan!

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