There have been many changes in my life as of late. I have been dealing with the prospect of finding a new career, a recent cross-country move, not to mention my hubby’s struggle with his new diet and the general level of uneasiness that accompanies any such large changes in ones life.
During this period I have found myself less and less enthusiastic about writing my blog so when I got an email from WordPress congratulating me on three years of The Parting Glass I got to wondering just why bloggers do it.
Obviously when someone chooses to start a blog they do it out of passion for the topic they are writing on. It takes a level of self-confidence (or self-delusion) to just put your thoughts out there for anyone to read.
It is exciting drafting those first posts, crafting your image and receiving those first comments. As you gain followers, you strive to differentiate yourself by finding that niche you are knowledgable about and exploring with your readers.
Time passes and you push the boundaries of the familiar trying new formats, changing up post styles, adding more of yourself, intentionally raising hackles and really thinking about what you can offer your readers. The longer you blog the more comfortable it becomes but the longer you blog the more you feel a certain pressure to keep at it, to maintain the quality and quantity of your postings.
It is this expectation (real or imagined) that became somewhat paralyzingly for me as ‘real world’ problems made my blog seem superficial. As I sat down at my computer to write I felt a sense that there are better things I could be doing with my time. It was disconcerting to see the fun begin to fall to the wayside.
For some blogging is a means to an end. Some writers monetize their blogs or use their blog to grow a business or blog as self-promotion to catch the eye of someone in the industry. But for those that write simply to add your voice to the chorus why keep at it?
To be honest I am not sure I have a good answer to this. Maybe all blogs have an expiration date and like a great television show they need to make an exit before they jump the proverbial shark. I wrote another blog that, while I loved the topic. I somehow could not get behind it and keep it going in any sort of meaningful way. Perhaps the inability to stick it out is symptomatic of the instant culture of social media where ideas are tossed into and out of the milieu at an alarming rate.
The Parting Glass felt different from my other failed attempt at blogging. When it came to craft beer, I got excited about the next post, I stockpiled reviews and I sought out topics in anticipation of what I would write next. I did this because I wanted to do a better post than my last, to take a better photograph, to craft a wittier paragraph, to unearth some fact that people did not know, to find an undiscovered beer etc. There was a new romance feel about the whole endeavour that lasted longer than most crushes.
Perhaps the next phase of my blogging career will be an acceptance of allowing The Parting Glass to become more organic. It will ebb and flow as I grow and change as a person. The pace of writing can change and so can the depth of content and maybe that is not necessarily a bad thing. Feeling beholden to my blog can have no benefit so I think I will just know when it feels right to get back at it. Or maybe I just need to pull my gaze away from navel and stop over-thinking the whole thing…
Did I mention I picked up a great looking beer from Southern Tier at the LCBO today?
*Cartoon from http://www.businessesgrow.com/2011/03/31/3-steps-to-a-breakthrough-corporate-blog