Monday, July 12, 2010

A Grand Entrance

Did you ever dream of making a grand entrance?  You know, the Scarlett O'Hara type with the big ball gown down a sweeping staircase with all eyes on you?  I think it's a common little girl dream that hangs around even in big girls' heads.  That idea of holding the attention of all those watching as you are looking your most beautiful and put-together.

Well, this isn't one of those entrances.  This is a quiet, backdoor visit.  The comfortable kind between friends wearing pony tails and cut-off shorts because I just can't make the effort to put on the makeup and best dress -- and I know I don't have to because we like each other.  I'm here to tell you of my indecision and my confession. 

When I stepped away from my computer a couple of weeks ago, I felt relief.  No more checking emails to see if anyone had a thought to share that I needed to respond to.  No more expectations of reading other blogs and leaving my thoughts with them.  No more pondering and designing in my head how to share something worthwhile with everyone . . . and with excellence, to boot. 

For almost three weeks now, I've been swimming in writer's laziness.  And I can't decide if I want to stop.

I've been journaling for years and not sharing it except on occasion.  I've mentioned that before.  There's no pressure that way to craft or to proofread or to filter thoughts in an organized fashion.  And there's no pressure to keep a timetable so that a reader knows when to expect it.  I have a greater respect for journalists now. 

What I've learned about blogging:  be regular in your writing, share quality content over quantity, connect with your readers.  All good advice.  But it's also tiring at times.  And there is the meat of my confession.  My retreat has shown me just how time-consuming and tiring my journaling in this format has been.  And so this is me in my indecision:  Do I continue or not?  I question it because I do appreciate the accountability to write better.  I confess I am also slightly addicted to the feedback you are gracious to give.  But most of all, I've discovered some really great people that I will likely never meet but enjoy a connection with.  People I hope to sit with someday on the other side and talk with face-to-face.  You people.

I would appreciate any prayers and thoughts you wish to send my way as I try to decide how to handle this.

Thanks, my friends.


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28 comments:

Amy Bowman said...

Oh how i love this post. I don't have any advice to give, but just wanted to let you know I GET EVERYTHING YOU ARE SAYING, and have had all the same thoughts. Summer has been a hard time for me to blog, I love to do it, yet I don't love the time it takes away from my family. This summer I have been throwing posts together as fast as I can, quality is out the window, but my girls have had more of their mommy, so it is worth it.
I am eager to hear your journey as you wrestle with it. Or not, if the answer is to stop blogging!:(
Thanks for sharing your heart.

the shoafs said...

if i'm totally honest then i have to admit that i wanna be selfish and tell you to continue to blog away. your words are such an inspiration to me and a reminder to do things in the way in which i aspire to do them. i love the pick-me-up your words give me....i love the positive outlook you have on situations and i learn from you. if you decided to stop, i would absolutely miss your presence but i would also understand! i have decided that i will blog when i have the time and/or energy to blog and if i don't, then i won't. do what your heart leads you to do!

This Daddy said...

"When I stepped away from my computer a couple of weeks ago, I felt relief. No more checking emails to see if anyone had a thought to share that I needed to respond to. No more expectations of reading other blogs and leaving my thoughts with them. No more pondering and designing in my head how to share something worthwhile with everyone . . . and with excellence, to boot."


All that matters is that you write and blog for yourself and your family for the kids to look back on. You are too nice of a person and you care what others think. Stop thinking about everyone else and just do what you like to do for you.

Sorry that is just my opinion.

Glad you had a nice time away

KB said...

I think it's all about balance. I just blog when I feel like I really have something to say, and not just because :)
We love your posts, but if they are taking you away from things that need your attention, only you can know that.
Maybe a blog in moderation? And don't put the burden on yourself of answering everyones posts or visiting their blogs! It just can't be done!! :) Go easy on yourself!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!!

Carrie said...

I think you've already received some great advice! ;)

Most of the blogs I follow (and the bloggers I feel I've connected with) have taken some time "off" and not posted as often during this summer. I completely understand!

I've stepped back from feeling like I have to respond to everyone, and I only follow and comment on blogs posts that I'm interested in. I might not be following all the right blogging rules of etiquette, but I'm doing more of what really matters in life ... not perfect ... still trying to find balance, ... but making strides in that direction. Hope you can find a peace about what God wants for you and Sugar Tails ... praying for you!

UnicycleRose said...

I understand your condendrum...one can't help but think,"Do I make a difference?" You do! I say don't stop, but understand if you take some extended time off. Writer's laziness is totally normal. Switch gears for awhile.....

Wanda said...

Although I've only been blogging a few months now, I can understand the pressure to stay on task with excellence. Sometimes I'm amazed at how much time I spend on getting a post just right b/c I like for my thoughts to be clear for anyone, who stops by. Of course only you can decide if continuing to blog is right for you or not at this time. But I will say that the kindness you extended to me as a newbie blogger meant the world to me. What you do does matter. Please don't take this as a shameless plug but in my post today, I talked about some instructions I received when I felt like giving up. Maybe it can shed some light for you. Whatever we do, rather blogging or anything, needs to be done out of our overflow so that we don't bankrupt ourselves. Blessings to you my sister.

Maureen @ TatterScoops said...

I will pray for you that God points your hear to the right directions that will work for you and according to His plans. Your blog is beautiful and I love it!

kimom said...

Ever since you posted about taking rest I have felt keenly the time drain my online 'life' has been. Yet another area of my life to have some self-discipline! Arg.

My theme verse has been Prov. 14:1 "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." I want so much to be a wife/woman/missionary/mother who truly builds her house in God's goodness. If it's not blogging or facebook, etc. there are always other distractions. Managing them is the challenge. I agree with others that posting once a week or so should help, but I know moderation is hard work too.

Praying He will show you the perfect way to 'build your house' in Grace no matter what that may mean for your cute blog!

Hugs from Congo!

Maggie S said...

I have thought of you often while you have been gone. I have had days away from my blog and been so refreshed I didn't care to go back. I have had to make "blog management" that I know will cause a drop in traffic. And say all this to say that your insights are highly appreciated. I can identify. I so wish we could discuss this one across the table over breakfast.

Liz said...

I will be praying! It's so very hard! Our laptop had a virus so was out of commission last week, and I also dropped my phone in the pool at the same time. I thought it would be terrible, but it was so nice not to feel the constant "pull" to the computer. I often think how ironic social networking is, as sometimes it might actually allow us to be, "anti-social"! I'm proud of you for listening to the Lord and taking a step back! I ADORE your blog, and I LOVE reading your posts. I think you have a real ministry. Someone suggested to me, making blocks of time each day so that I'm not spending too much time on the computer, crafting, etc. I love the idea. Maybe that could work for you, too! ;) The Lord will show you what to do! xoxo and I'll be praying for you, my friend!
Liz ;)

Cranberry Morning said...

Oh yes, this is familiar to us all! I'm also trying to figure out how to NOT let blogging take over my life. My plan so far is: On a Sunday afternoon or evening, write up all my blog posts for the week. (It's easy for me to write)and schedule them to post. Then, at breakfast time check other people's blogs I follow and comment on them.

I have learned to NOT visit other people's blogs at bedtime. I did that a couple nights in a row and couldn't get to sleep after. My mind kept THINKING about everything y'all had written. So I try to just make this a morning thing and limit it to an hour.

It is definitely a challenge!

Vicki said...

It helped me to figure out the purpose of my blog. Once I defined a purpose and an intention, the answer became clear. I also like what This Daddy wrote. When you start to write for your readers because you don't want to let them down, it becomes a job and a responsibility. Then you will start to despise this beautiful thing you have created, and that's no good for anyone involved, including the babies and the hubby. If you still like writing and want to continue here, just turn off the comments so you wont be bothered. It's not mean to do that, to want to write in peace without the thought that you have to get back with everyone who comments. Dont get addicted to comments or approval, I am writing this for me too. That Big Daddy in the sky approves of you (and me)just fine, and He is the only one that matters, after all. You don't have to reply to this comment or visit my blog either - FYI sweetie pie. :)

Jenny said...

It's good to have you back even if it's just for one update for now :) Hope your doing well and getting plenty of rest <3

Rachel said...

Wish I had some great advice to share!! I will be praying for purpose for you in this decision!! I completely understand though!!

rachelw said...

It sounds like you've already received some great advice, so I don't think I have anything new to add in that department. But I do want to tell you that I think it's awesome that you listened to the Lord and took some time away. I really enjoy reading your posts, and look forward to reading more if that's how He leads you. I'm praying that He'll give you clear direction. :)

Karen said...

You have written what is in many of our hearts...including mine...I have taken several breaks this year...some from necessity, but mostly from the same tug I feel when I need to write...

You have been given excellent advice here...and I agree that the Lord will guide you in your decision...

Remember...tomorrow, is anotha" day!

partialemptynester said...

Welcome back, sweet friend! Missed you, but knew you were being refreshed and renewed day by day! I do with my blog what I do in life: I ask God to open my mouth boldly when He gives me words and, on the flipside, to shut my mouth tightly when I have only words of my own...it works well for a blog, too! If He gives you something to write, by all means, write it...but if not, no obligations, for in so doing you are writing for Him and Him alone! Enjoy the ministry He has laid out for you :)

pathfromtheheadtotheheart said...

Yep, I related. No adivce, no thoughts. Praying through this one myself. Glad to see I am not the only one who feels this way.

e-Mom said...

Echoing everyone else's comments!

What really helps me is having and editorial schedule. I plan the topics of my posts two months in advance. (Of course I allow myself lots of flexibility too.)

I spend one whole day/week writing posts, and the rest of the week I'm free to visit/comment, tweak my template, work on my second food blog etc.

I've been posting 3 times-a-week for 4 years this way--with a month long break each year.

I also have time on Sun, Tues, and Thurs. nights set aside specifically for publishing my pre-written posts.

Having a disciplined schedule like this takes the pressure off A LOT! (I realize it's not for everyone.)

I enjoy your enthusiasm for life, which comes through in your writing. God bless you as you pray through what to do.

(((Hugs)))

servantsheart said...

I have so struggled with these same thoughts. I have loved the people that I have met while blogging, but have found myself stressing over what to write and how often to write and what is and is not appropriate to share in such a forum. I have taken a bit of a break this summer and have just this week been trying to figure out if I want to continue.

The peeking I have done on your blog today shows that you have a great family. If you continue blogging, I will certainly be stopping by.

Blessings!

thegypsymama said...

Oh man, just about any kind of laziness sounds good to me in Summer. Love to swim around in it till my fingers get all nice and good and pruny!!

~Lisa-Jo

Susan said...

Oh, how I keenly relate to your sentiments about blogging... the good and the bad. Those moments of face-to-face, pony-tail-wearing, soft-tee-sporting, girl-talking kind of moments get lost in our busyness. And yet... delighted to meet you through your beautiful blog. :)

Tiffany Harper said...

First, I want to say hi and thank you for stopping by my blog. I love the place you have here.

Second...I can totally understand where you are coming from! I often take little blog breaks here and there. Sometimes writing, especially when we love to do it, can become a chore because we try to constantly come up with content that will appeal to our readers. It can be stressful and very uninspiring. Write from your heart! Take those breaks! I will utter a prayer for you this afternoon. Have a great weekend dear!

Claudia said...

I know exactly what you are talking about - even if I started to blog only 4 months ago. It is time-consuming and it is exhausting sometimes. But - yes - the connections with people from all over the world - the feedback you get and the development you make as a writer are BIG pro's for blogging. I also have to find a good way to handle it (when hubby is asking: again writing...?!) and I'm still trying out different ways.
But most important for me is to have fun blogging - and if it stops, making fun - I will stop blogging.

Michelle said...

Everything you have mentioned has been in my heart as well!

God has truly gifted you to write, I can spot that gift miles away, but like everything, it can take over our lives if we let it!

I have prayed that God would give you wisdom in how He would have you use your time, both online and offline! That has been my prayer for me as well!

Perhaps if we would all become resolute in only allowing ourselves a certain amount of time each week for this blogging thing, we wouldn't struggle so much with guilt!?!

GlowinGirl said...

Thank you, thank you for all your kind words and advice. They have been really encouraging to me.

I'm still here and will be . . . .just maybe not as often. It's so good to know you get it, and that I'm not alone!

Manda said...

I can't say I have your "confirmation" or "answer" but I can say... I RELATE! I've been questioning the same things. When I started my blog I didn't realize the time consumption it would require or sometimes the pressure I feel to get something into writing...
I'm sure thankful you've enjoyed your retreat!
Welcome back (even if it isn't going to be as often)!!!
xo

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