First off, I don’t know where this one is going. Usually, when I open my WordPress page, I have a pretty decent idea of what I’m going to write. Or at least I like to tell myself I do. But today, things are murkier than usual. But I do know this is a post I need to write.
Over the years that I’ve been blogging, my readers have come to accept that when I wrote “random” as the second word of that tagline up there, I meant it. This blog has always been about whatever thing it is that is foremost on my mind at the moment. Which, if you were to meet me in the flesh, is how I operate at most times. My mind is a “fluid” place and I typically blurt out whatever shiny new distraction comes to mind. It’s probably a miracle that I have any friends, really.
When this blog began on December 21, 2008, I was a whole lotta different besides just having monochromatic hair. Hell, we all were. Those were some wild times here in the United States. But like most wild times, we rode them out and arrived here. Perhaps we’re a bit worse for wear, or perhaps we got here whooping it up, our faces in a big grin.
More likely, each of you, like me, had a little bit of both.
My introduction to blogging started back before the word made sense to most people. Mister Soandso suggested using it as a secondary platform for classroom discussion. So my teaching partner and I implemented a blog to use with our class discussions on their texts. It was 2003 and blogging was nothing like today. There were no ads or cutsey fonts. It was only text on a computer screen and an exciting new way to connect all kinds of readers and allow them to be participants in a new way.
In that way, blogging hasn’t really changed – it may have evolved into a more colorful and monetary experience, but it still connects all kinds of readers and allows for participation in things folks may not have known about before. I figure anything that gets conversations going is worth doing.
But I’m not so sure about my doing it.
Over these years, I’ve evolved too. I went from having three kids under 8 to my current incarnation.
I started blogging because I was hungry. Not so much for an audience but for a voice. Being the stay-at-home-parent of three young children silences your voice better than any case of laryngitis. Blogging became a way for me to have conversations with adults, to read about other’s ideas and aspirations; it allowed me to connect and participate. It allowed me to dream of a better version of me.
And thank the gods I blogged.
You read about my kids’ good times and bad times. Mostly you read about my good times and bad times. You read about my struggles and my little victories. And every time I blogged about whatever random observation I had about my world, I found my voice a little bit more.
Before anyone thinks I’m saying that parenting silences a person, wait. In some ways it does. As a parent, the ways and abilities you have to communicate do change. There isn’t much time for a parent to sit around waxing philosophically about the merits of this or that when most of the day is punctuated with demands for juice and diaper changes. Communicating with adults happens in bits and pieces. In stolen moments in coffee shops while doling out Cheerios and teething biscuits. It happens on the couch, after the kids are all asleep but not yet up for the first of several times, as your spouse tries to absorb all the pent up frustration and angst pouring out of your soul. It happens in tearful phone calls asking for advice or absolution for the latest proof that you are absolutely the worst parent ever.
And it happens between cups of coffee, at a laptop with smeared fingerprints and Goldfish cracker crumbs crushed under the keys.
Of course, it’s not 2008 anymore. My kids are way past that point and I realized that mostly, I am too. We’ve all evolved a bit.
I recently spent a week working in Oregon and had limited wifi and even more limited time. It crossed my mind to try to post even the shortest of blog posts and then I shrugged. “Oh well, no blog posts for me!” How different than three years ago when I lined up guest bloggers to cover my absence while in Europe. I felt badly for a few minutes and then I realized my need to blog has changed and that evolution isn’t something to be sad about or feel badly about. It just is.
There was a time when visitors to my blog, the numbers of readers, the numbers of comments – these were all very important things to me. But as time has passed, it has mattered less and less. I’ll never be a big fish in the blog pond and I’m okay with that. The folks who found me and visit here are cherished and I appreciate them. But I’m not going to go out there and fish for more folks. I’m just not the fishing kind of gal.
So what to do?
The truth is, I don’t want to stop blogging. I like it here and I hope that over these years, you’ve found likable things here as well. But I just can’t keep blogging the way I have been.
I may be getting a “real” job soon, which will make blogging Monday and Friday mornings a struggle. And honestly, my nights are best spent with that family of mine rather than writing blog posts. Right? Plus, I really have to get serious about my novel writing if I ever hope to make it as a novelist. So what time I do have will need to be focused on those words rather than these words.
So I think it’s time this blog evolves again. Some of you don’t know I once blogged nearly every day. Then I went to Mondays and Fridays and that was a pretty good run. But now I’m thinking that this blog is going to become even more “random” than before.
I hope to pop in and out as I can. To natter about the place, muttering about what’s bugging me or making me smile or just to say hi! If you’ve done the RSS thing, you’ll know me when you see that notification.
I’ll miss these moments – you and me and our cups of coffee. But I hope that when I do stop by, it will be like when Norm walks into Cheers. We’ll all smile and shout a greeting and life will be like no time has passed at all.
Until next time, be well friends. Be well.