Surprise! This blog is not dead. It was just playing dead though I haven't figured out if it was an involuntary reflex like the paralytic immobility that sharks and beetles sometimes go into when faced with a threat, or thanatosis, when opossums feign death in order to avoid unwanted attention. But in my case, what threats? What unwanted attention?
I just know that I stopped writing and slowly stopped reading a lot of blogs over the last few months. I saw an old friend at a Christmas party in Cincinnati and she asked me what my favorite blogs are; I had a hard time answering because I've been hitting the Unsubscribe button so much. If 2012 was about clearing out and paring down, I hope that this year is about recognizing and reintegrating what is important.
When I began to write online in 2005, I mainly wanted another outlet for my then-rabid journaling. As I traveled a lot in the subsequent years, blogging was a way for me to keep my friends and family informed of what was up with me, wherever I was. I've never been as good at outreach and community-building as a lot of bloggers so I didn't build a large readership or turn my thoughts into money. I didn't network or become a part of any blogging in-crowd and this was mostly okay with me, though I had moments of longing.
I made one stab at blog-building when I went to Camp Mighty just over a year ago but spent half of my time at the conference doing frantic work in my hotel room and had to leave early to work a concert. As I result, while I was inspired by the speakers and the motive of the gathering, I only had a few really good face-to-face conversations that made me feel connected.
My personal blogging denouement came when I admitted how little I like reading sponsored posts or have ads flashing on the sides of the screen. On the flip side, and I KNOW this is hypocritical I KNOW, I was annoyed by some of the repetitive me-me-me tales on personal blogs. Finally, the pressure! The pressure I felt from the style and design blogs: for my home, my clothes, my life to be perfectly executed. If not color coordinated, then artfully askew. At least on the surface.
It all got to me. I have time now but for most of last year I worked nonstop. And not being able to say much about my job left room for what? Photos of me drinking beer on rare nights off? Photos of my dog, my husband, the delightfully designed outfits I threw together, the meals I wasn't making? Nope, that's not why I started blogging, not entirely. Not that my reasons for writing now have to be the same as they were then but there have to BE reasons. And as I am more careful now about reading what makes me feel good and makes me think or laugh or learn, I'm going to try to write that way. There may be photos of my dog from time to time.