Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Thinking Hard

Since we last chatted, Not Much has happened or Lots has happened, depending upon your Perspective. Here's a Quickie Rundown:

1. The Nativity Wreck finally disappeared from view about two weeks ago. Finally, NO Xmas decorations sully my neighborhood!
2. I caught a misspelling on The Dr. Phil Show. (A graphic spelled the word provocative as provacative.)
3. The winery party we attended was lovely. We won the drawing, a lovely crate of six select single-vintage reds.
4. Lake season has started, and I caught the first fish.
5. An ongoing gasline project in our neighborhood is noisily disrupting my life and my daily walks; our sidewalks are in ruins.
6. We met new friends at the party in Niagara-on-the-Lake and plan to keep in touch.
7. I have participated in my last garage sale at my brother's lakehouse. Too much work for not enough enjoyment.
8. I completed two more knitting projects, and continue a square a day on my mitred square blanket.
9. Knitting is really my therapy, but it aggravates my neck-shoulder condition. Looks like I have to restart PT.
10. I've been thinking of shutting down the Dept. of Nance.

That last one is the big one. And believe me, I've been thinking awfully hard about it.

My original mission behind this blog was to Practice What I Preached to my Creative Writing students, that writers write. And I wanted to keep my skills limber in order to keep up with them, a truly gifted group year after year. I also wanted to maintain my own strong voice so that I didn't unintentionally adopt any of theirs or anyone I was reading as I taught the American Masters to my literature students. As time went on, I also enjoyed having a platform to discuss issues with my lively and engaging commenters and to bring small cultural ironies into focus in an almost Seinfeldian way. Politics--an important part of my life and one of my main interests--was also a big part of this blog. There was a great deal of energy here during the Bush 43 years and...well, now Politics is beating me up. I work as a political activist every morning--on the phone to Congress, online sending emails, clicking to sign petitions, reading to stay informed--and so much of it is soul-crushing. That is the hardest thing for me right now: if I don't write about Politics here, I feel like a traitor; if I do, I feel overwhelmed.

Honestly, I don't know what the hell to write about at this point. Many of my Original Commenters have drifted away. Maybe I bored them? Maybe they've moved along to other venues, (perhaps facebook!) or simply traded online time for realtime activities, like going to the gym or running 5Ks or any other death-cheating pursuits (can you imagine?). I miss them. I like the back-and-forth with Commenters. Blogging is a Community; responding to comments and having a regular conversation in Comments is what I like the most. I can't imagine not doing it. For me, it works.

I value all of my Commenters, and I respond to them all in Comments. I love it when conversation occurs among them. It's important to me to acknowledge that they bothered to respond to my writing. (Unfortunately, Blogger is wreaking havoc on this platform at present, and is no longer allowing "Open ID" sign-ins. A workaround may be to use Anonymous as your sign-in, then sign your name at the end of Blogger blog comments.)

So, I have some Thinking to do, and I will continue to do it. I have to think about what Purpose this blog has for me, if any, and whether or not it will be A Good Thing In My Life. I've been writing here for thirteen years! It's hard to suddenly say That's It. But if it doesn't provide a positive Purpose, then I have to let it go.

I know I'm not the only blogger who has thought about this. Perhaps some of you can offer some wisdom to help me with this decision as I sort it all out.


  1. I don't have a blog, but I absolutely agree with the writers write line. I am a freelance writer/editor, so I basically do it all day long...but also write in a journal, which I believe is what keeps me sane. I so enjoy your writing, not only for the content but also b/c of your NE Ohio location. (I love to read about local stuff!) I can understand, however, that it may become too much. The political world, and the absolute shame of it all, is overwhelming some days. I have gotten to the point that I cannot listen to anyone try and defend Trump (and Hudson, sadly, has many of his supporters).

    I do hope you continue on!

    1. Elle--I appreciate your kind words and support. Having tried the whole journal thing several times (and several kinds of journals, too--the All Positive Journal almost killed me, truly), I know it would be the opposite for me: it would make me nuts. There is a sense of the quotidian about journaling that would imply Obligation and that Responsibility would make me feel so ... driven.

      Sigh. Always the Project, aren't I?

      Again, thank you. I will keep your words in mind.

  2. I'd hate to see you leave blogging because you are a delight. I get your vibe and your ideas-- and you write well, which is not always the case among bloggers.

    Might I suggest that you close Dept of Nance, leaving Blogger behind, having been there, done that. THEN start a new blog, with a new name and a new mission on WordPress. [It's free.] I've changed my blogs a few times over the years and have found that each time my latest one is better than the last one. We evolve as people, so it stands to reason that our blogs can, too.

    1. Ally Bean--Oh, what a lovely thing, to be someone's Delight! I might get a sticker for my Prius that says I AM A DELIGHT. If said decal is reasonable, I might get another one that says I WRITE WELL.


      I have been Thinking Hard also of sneaking over to WordPress and starting up shop there. The Dept. of Nance has a lot of great writing and fun posts and all, but I'm pretty sure no one is burrowing into my archives with any regularity. And once Blogger gets done screwing around and eliminates all third party widgets and apps, even my "You Might Also Like" links to other posts will disappear, which had been encouraging just that.

      It's really true that we evolve. I've been in a streamlining and decluttering and simplification mode for a long time now. Maybe I need to do that in relation to my blog, too. Thanks for some valuable input.

  3. Ahhh, no sage advice for you...sorry. I do enjoy your blog, your writing, your perspective and would miss them, but I understand. I keep my blog just for recording knitting, reading and food (so important and so dear to me)...and keep the heavy, craziness of the world out of it. I have to.

    1. Vera--I appreciate your understanding as well as your statement regarding your blog's mission. The latter is what I am struggling with at present: is my blog a record? an outreach? a sort of column? cultural commentary? Does it have to be anything?

      And can I, in all good conscience, keep the world out of it all the time?

      My writing is important to me in lots of different ways, and I have to be true to myself (as you are) as well as to it. If that even makes sense.

      Thanks for weighing in.

  4. I have no advice either but I'd sure hate to see you leave this blogging community. But you don't need to close this blog to start another at Bloggers. I have four that all show up on my dashboard here and I have just directed readers of the old blogs to my current ones with links. Each one presents a new mission statement for me so to speak. You could also just change your "look" here if you need a fresh start.

    To me, if you love to write, you have to write. There is no better way to build your skills than to write when you don't think you have anything to say. I have a list of 18 things I write about (posted in a tab at the top of my blog) that I alternate writing about. It works for me. I'd struggle if I tried to brand myself to one or two topics like you might be trying to do for yourself. Best of luck whatever you decide to do.

    I never understood the open ID thing and don't even know if people used it on my blog. I do allow anonymous comments paired with the moderator feature and it works for me.

    1. Jean--Yes, I have three Blogger blogs at present although only this one is active. The other two were focused on other things. They are stories for another time. I've also changed the look of The Dept. here many, many times in the past 13 years. It's a deeper issue than those things, as I tried to express above.

      And when I said I honestly don't know what to write about anymore, it comes from a deeper place than simple writers' block. I could do 500 words right now on any random topic you give me, from abalone to zithers. It's not like that. And I've never, ever tried to brand myself or become a Fill In The Blank Blogger. My disaffection is not from lack of skill, either. Or are you trying to tell me something? ;-)

      Thank you for your encouragement to stay with the blogging community. I'll be thinking about a lot of things as I make my decision.

    2. Gosh, no! I was not suggesting you lack skill to come up with topics to write about. But you did just confuse me to no end. If you're not talking about writer's block or branding yourself as a blogger of such and such then I'm totally in the dark. Not to worry, I'm often in the dark.

  5. Hi Nance-
    Regular reader, but rare w/the comments. I know what you mean about blogs in general - seems everyone AND all my siblings are on FB, and I've reduced myself to duplicating posts at both. And I get A LOT more comments on FB, almost none on the blog. Plus, the greatest source of blog apathy is that while my wife started it the weekend we got married 10 years ago this coming weekend, and I ran with it as she shifted to FB, her death 19 months ago leaves me in a continuing funk and I lack inspiration to write. I generally post around my adventures and the neat photos I take, but without a muse it is so much more difficult!

    Anyway, got off track there. Know that I love your little corner of the blog, and, in fact, have been too lazy to remove the link to your Brian William's tie report from mine! And also know that the internet would be a lot lonelier place without you here!

    1. Dean--So nice to see you here. Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your dear wife and muse, Melinda. You are heroic for posting anything at all.

      Certainly caring for your livestock herd alone keeps you busy enough to excuse any lapses in writing. I cannot use cats as an excuse; I only have two.

      Thank you for your very kind and encouraging words. I still link to The Brian Williams Tie Report Archives in my sidebar, too! After all, it IS an archive, for one; and for another reason, I am awfully fond of and proud of the writing there.

      Thank you for taking the time to respond here. It means a great deal to me. And you have given me even more to think about.

  6. Nance, life goes in stages and it may well be that you've reached the end of your blog stage. Doesn't mean it wasn't worth the time or effort - I know I certainly enjoyed reading it - but if maintaining the blog has been a pain for you, then it might be time to move on to other things.

    And if you miss blogging, I assume you can re-up your blog.

    1. Jill--So true; all part of The Journey, so to speak. And it may be that a hiatus is all that I need. I don't know right now. Thanks for letting me know you enjoy reading here. I thank you again for your contribution from the first Women's March. It was so gracious of you to have guest-posted a first-person narrative from such a historic event.

      Yes, I can allow this blog to sit here forever and take it up whenever I feel like it--even if no one discovers I have done so.

      I do have options, and thank you for giving me your perspective.

    I agree with the consensus of comments here: if you are no longer inspired and it has become a chore, then you do have to put priorities into perspective. That said, I still think you have a loyal following: many who read but do not comment regularly, and a tribe of us who still comment (personally, I did not find your blog until 2006, but that is still 12 years) in addition to possible ‘newbies’. If many original commenters are not around, it is likely because they were once bloggers and have given up their blogs as well as commenting on other blogs. I would certainly not take *that* personally.

    In spite of a lot of stuff that has been going on in my personal life lately, I did notice that you had not posted in a while. I totally get the need to ‘let go’--- and perhaps this could be because you have to find another outlet for your writing, whatever that may be. As you know, I gave up my blog years ago because I realized, at one point, that I was doing it out of sort of a sense of ‘duty’ to the few people who still read and commented on it. And I just did not have either the energy or the time given everything else I had going on back then. I have also noticed that the entire ‘blog furor’ of years gone by has died down considerably in recent years. That said, I always tried to at least read your posts even if I did not have a particularly witty bon mot to add to the comments section. And I *do* actually read old posts suggested in “You might also like” and enjoy them immensely, even if they are posts I have already read and/or commented on. I could be unique in that respect, but I like your writing so much that I am happy to immerse myself in any and every past post you have written.

    If you do decide to ‘close shop’ I would certainly understand, though I would also miss your posts and the commentary. Over the years, I have appreciated and marveled at your efforts to respond so thoughtfully to each and every person who comments here! You make everyone feel special and respected.

    I wish I had some sage advice about where to go from here because I do think you would miss the ‘back-and-forth’ of blog posts & comments. Facebook would be one way of keeping in touch, but I don’t think that will ever be your ‘thing,’ given your obvious distaste for that. Perhaps switching to Wordpress with a new blog would work. I honestly don’t know.

    Personally, I have found this last year very taxing in terms of the political atmosphere. I don’t have the time to do everything that you are doing as an activist, but I sure do appreciate your efforts! I do what I can and make small contributions to worthy causes, such as Beto O’Rourke so he can oust the odious Ted Cruz in November. I, too, feel overwhelmed by the political situation today. Just watching the programs on MSNBC, etc., are wearing me out, even as I appreciate their perspective. They seem to offer almost simultaneously both hope and hopelessness. When will the damn tweets stop?!

    Whatever you decide, Nance, know that we are with you.

    P.S. — I am working on an email. I owe you from quite some time! Whatever happens with your wonderful blog, I will surely stay in touch by email. XXOO

    1. Ortizzle--Oh, please don't think of our delightful email correspondence as an obligation. I know how busy this time of year is for educators. We always catch up in the end.

      Because I do have Time, I devote some of it to Political Activism rather than cash (which I'd prefer to spend on Joyful Things, like wine and Zydrunas). It doesn't stop all the organizations I work for from peppering me with pleas, however, and that can be frustrating. I think Rick scrutinizes the credit card statements extra carefully since the Bush 43 Years, when I was donating to Democrats like it was my job.

      You are 100% correct--as usual--that blogging as a medium has undergone tremendous change in the relatively short time it has been in existence. (As have so many Interweb outlets.) It's aging, and so is facebook. And yes, I think some of my commenters/readers transitioned from blogger to facebooker and that was that.

      You and your friendship have meant much to me in these many years. Your advice has always been considered and sound. I appreciate you taking the time to write such a helpful comment. I will add it to my Things To Think About.

      And I hope you are taking good care of yourself.


  8. If the Dept. has become a burden, instead of a joy, you must not think about giving it up - you must give it up...Nothing should ever steal your joy, my friend...I will miss you, but I will understand...
    As for the political atmosphere in which we are living, UGH...I go from depressed and overwhelmed to raging at the TV...I disabled my Twitter account, to avoid the temptation that I know would arise; my mouth goes unbridled and I can't help myself...I can't be held accountable for what I say in the privacy of my own home; at least not yet...
    When I think all hope is lost and our country is really going to hell in a hand basket, I remember the words of a little old lady that I went to church with years ago...Our pastor left the church, we had no shepherd, I thought my life was over...One Day Granny overheard me praying about how lost I felt, and she said, 'It won't last forever, this too shall pass'...It did pass, we got a new pastor and he was young with young ideas and I learned to love his shepherding more than I ever thought was possible...
    At all of the difficult times in my life I've held onto, 'This too shall pass', and it does...
    Whatever you decide, makes sure it brings you joy, my friend...Happy Trails

    1. Denise--And that is why I am even Thinking So Hard about this. I need to Preserve My Joy. It's all about Balance, isn't it? That's why I'm so very annoyed that knitting is causing me pain: I really enjoy knitting, but it does cost me so much of the time. Can I not just have that One Simple Joy?

      Thank you for your personal story and your mantra/motto. As you may recall, Patience is not my strength, so it is difficult for me to persevere. But I do know that others feel as I do, and many individuals are becoming kinder and provoking positive change despite the lack of both in Washington.

      Thank you again for your support, whatever I may decide, and for helping me to prioritize my thoughts.

  9. Dear, dear Nance,

    I may not be commmenting, but I'm still out here (now in the wild, wild west), still loving your writing, and still appreciating that you have an opinion worth reading. You have always inspired, entertained, and generally made me proud to know you.

    As you know, I gave up my own blog when my Dearly Beloved was diagnosed with cancer. I kept it out there for anyone interested in the raw vegan lifestyle, and always thought I would go back to it at some point. It still draws readers who search for certain topics, but I have not written in over eight years. I'm really okay with it like this. It's there if I want to write, but it's whole and complete just the way it is. If and when the spirit moves me, I'll either go back to it or find another way. I didn't slam the door, just closed it and hung out a sign that said "Catch ya later." I felt badly at the time because I knew a few folks were looking to me for inspiration. But when it got down to it, I had to do what was right for me.

    I would encourage you to look at what fulfills you. What makes your heart sing? If the blog isn't it, find a new path. You are an amazing writer and we get the benefit of your wit and wisdom...for as long as you decide to share it with us. Everyone here has stated that they would be sorry to see you go, but understands that it takes a lot of time and dedication to keep a blog going for so long. You are loved, Nance! But we really want you to be happy. This isn't about us...it's about YOU and what inspires YOU.

    Do what you need to do and leave a few bread crumbs so we can still find you. Much love to you and your family.

    1. Karen--Oh, that's me: inspiring, entertaining, worth reading! Thanks for a new tagline if I decide to start over. ;-)

      Thank you for your very kind and supportive words here. I had checked your blog every so often to see if you've taken it back up or left a status report. You're right; it can remain as it is as a resource for others and certainly as a record for you.

      Writing still "makes my heart sing", but ... something isn't right. So I'm taking all of this great advice and feedback and Thinking Hard about it for some time.

      I'm so glad to hear from you Out West, to know that you are well and living life your way. Thank you for taking time to offer some thoughts. It means a great deal.

  10. Your blog is one of the bright spots in my blog feed. When I see a post from you I know that I'm getting ready to read something good. But I understand your malaise. I've pretty much stopped blogging - my weekly picture posts are just my version of a vacation slideshow - not exactly Pulitzer Prize winning stuff there. I keep doing them for family & friends, & so we can remember what the heck happened last fall, but I miss the me who used to actually write. I'm not sure I'll ever find her again.

    Why do things have to change? And why do we have to live in this dumpster? Why are people so ignorant and mean? All of it has knocked the wind out of my writing paper. Maybe you & I can find our voices again sometime, but until then, if you stop blogging, I will MISS YOU.

    1. Bug--Thank you so much! I so appreciate hearing that from you and knowing that I'm providing a Brightness to others. AND that I'm still Good. Means a lot.

      I've heard from others that this Malaise is pervasive since the election. That so many of us feel depressed for the same reasons you put into questions: we feel as if our country has become strange to us; that we live in an ugly world of widespread cruelty and ignorance; that our voices are small in this huge darkness; and that waiting for change or justice feels hopeless. We thought there were more decent, kind, humane people in our government, our churches, and in our neighborhoods. It's frightening to find out that there were not.

      It's like that line from the old Pogo comic strip, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

      As I have been thinking--and know that I have been, constantly--so many small things have been Put In My Path to make my considerations even more complex.

      Your input here is helpful, too. My best to the Professor. Thank you.

  11. I LOVE POGO!! Sorry, that was loud. Pogo was my first comic obsession. Before there was Calvin, there was Pogo!

  12. Your post and so many of these comments resonate with me. They resonate so much that I wish so many of you were nearby and we could get together for a drink and a chat. Life feels much lonelier since the election. Dramatically lonelier. Besides so many people turning out to be folks other than who you thought they were, I've always found that when I'm struggling in my life (and our current climate feels like a very heavy daily struggle) I turn inward, not wanting to put pen to paper and record those feelings and not wanting to put on a happy face either.

    That all carries over to my own blog and commenting on others' blogs. I still come up with tons of ideas and things I want to share but I rarely find the motivation to bring them to fruition. Reading your blog and others, I always read but like Ortizzle said, I don't often comment because I can't find the "bon mot." In fact, I feel like my brain and writing skills are withering and sometimes I can't get beyond words like "great," "horrible," "terrific," and "horrific" and I'm appalled that I'm slipping and will never be able to express myself well/get it back (like The Bug said) again. I'm sure you all know what/who I'm blaming this regression on because you're right there with me in many ways.

    The malaise is a huge factor. I swear that every single day I get up and say that I'm going to do better and then there's another dumpster fire/day of fresh hell and I feel like I make almost no progress. I swear I've worn pajamas more hours in total since November 2016 than I have my whole life.

    I so agree with Ortizzle on MSNBC. There are moments I am grateful for it and other days I swear I'm going to stop watching forever.

    There's so much more I could say but it's kind of pointless really and writing seems kind of exhausting lately. I'm not a Star Trek fan but hubby is and if there's one "technology" that I'd like from Star Trek, it would be the Vulcan mind meld. Sometimes I just want to reach out to my friends and loved ones of like mind and do the Vulcan mind meld to show I'm right there with them and supporting them.

    All that to say that I'd be sad but understanding if you close down the Dept. and I'll be sad but understanding if I shut down gfe. (It was easy to shut down my desserts blog because I wasn't nearly as invested in it. It was just a diversion/entertainment for a few years.)

    I've been unhappy about blogging for a while, even before November 2016, but pulling the plug seems so very final. And with a self-hosted Wordpress blog, you can't simply just let it be because of all the security concerns, plug-in updates, etc. All of you who did Blogger blogs were the smart ones IMO.

    Love and hugs to you on and with all this ... I hope you're drinking some of that fine wine that you won as you mull it all over. (And, oh yes, I definitely drink more alcohol these days. Everyone I know--well, again, everyone I know of like mind--does!)


    1. Shirley--I'm not drinking more, just needing it more! Luckily (?), the threat of migraines puts a check on my alcohol consumption (although Rick is convinced that all I need to do is drink more water along with the booze).

      I remember at one time in Comments we all decided to have a Dept of Nance get-together in a central location. Of course, MsCaroline is really the outlier in that equation, but wouldn't it still be fun? We could then all hang out and drink and chat and recommit to our (new, if necessary) blogs or lack-thereof lifestyles.

      Pulling The Plug has a definite Finality to it, that's true. Shutting down the Dept. would merely entail me no longer posting here, but leaving it As Is, so that I have a record of it for myself. I'd shut off comments.

      Blogger is having concerns right now that are driving me nuts: I'm getting no notification of comments; it no longer allows third-party functionality; its feed service is often unsupported and laggy. But Wordpress is not without its problems, as you've pointed out.

      Like you--so very like you--I turn inward during difficult times. I always have, knowing that I can only ever fully rely upon myself. It is tiring to go about a Normal Day not feeling normal. I'm still resentful that I am not yet 100% recovered from my extended illness of last year. Patience is not my virtue.

      Yet, I don't want this blog to be About That Stuff. That is part of my struggle. I want to write honestly and smartly, but right now, too much garbage consumes me. And, apparently, my audience.

      Thank you for your Truths here. I know you are aware how much I value your input. We are, after all, Of Like Minds.

    2. If only you could put Rick's theory to the test without risking a migraine! In reality, I probably don't drink that much more than I did before but definitely some more because I think we're eating out more as a "break" from reality and I usually have a drink when eating out.

      I do remember us talking about getting together in the past. I had completely forgotten that. Just thinking about such a gathering makes me smile.

      I'm sorry about Blogger. You have mentioned those issues before. Wordpress has its free blogs that it hosts but I think they're more complicated than Blogger (but not nearly as complicated or as expensive as self-hosted Wordpress blogs).

      Not being 100% is extremely frustrating, I know. Will share more in a future email.

      You are so kind, Nance. I turned my comment into a confessional and failed to emphasize how much I enjoy your blog and your writing. It's always a gift. Seeing your perspective and what you're up to (I like the way MsCaroline has characterized your posts!) is

    3. Well, that was interesting! An errant keystroke and my half-written comment was published! Maybe that's a not so subtle message that I am once again too "wordy"!

      To continue ... Seeing your perspective and what you're up to (I like the way MsCaroline has characterized your posts!) is always refreshing and anything refreshing is especially good right now. I stand by you in whatever way you decide to go and wish there was some "magic"--or at least easier--answer for all of us who are struggling as to what step to take next.

    4. Shirley--I am just now seeing your reply to my reply! Blogger is still having Growing Pains with EU compliance, and I am not receiving any notice when comments are added to my posts.

      And you (and any of my Commenters) are Never, Ever Too Wordy. I live for the back-and-forth of the Comment Section. I imagine it's like so many errant discussions at book clubs.

      Thank you for adding even more to your kind comments. I am overwhelmed with support and encouragement, no matter what I decide. As I have always said here, my Readers and Commenters are the best.

      Take care, dear.

  13. Oh, Nance, I feel I could have written this. I don't know how much of it is the pervasive miasma of despair that hangs over the country (or, in my case, the right-thinking world) right now, and how much of it is Other Social Media Platforms (not just FaceBook, but Twitter, Insta, Snapchat, etc.) I used to get up every day and look forward to my blog feed; these days, I get up and check my social media. I worry about this: are we becoming a world of people who can absorb no more than 140 characters(or a photo) at a time? And of course, I'm not blogging either. I can't blame it on 45 (although his actions never cease to incite despair and outrage in regular doses, which can't be good for my psyche or my blood pressure); in my case, I seem to have lost my blogging mojo. I miss the sense of community I derived from sharing my thoughts and experiences and having readers who were along for the ride- yet I am consistently Not Blogging. Obviously, I don't have any answers(or I would be blogging, right?), although I'm attracted to the idea of a Clean Slate. On the other hand, I like your Old Slate: your commentary on Everything and Nothing, the Slings and Arrows of Daily LIfe, Great Truths, Annoying Neighbours,Things of Substance -and the Minutiae that consumes so much of our day-to-day. Yours is one of the few blogs I get notifications for and that I look forward to reading. That doesn't, of course, obligate you to keep blogging, but if you're weighing things in the balance, I thought you might like to know that you are Appreciated. It makes me sad to think that Blogging As We Used To Know It has faded away - but I'd like to think maybe we're just experiencing the birth pangs of a different -but equally vibrant and important - sort of blogging community. Either that, or we're all going to be reduced to posting artfully curated photos of our cappuccinos posed on tables at the oceanfront in soft-core porno lighting - but I hope not. Whatever you decide, I hope you'll do as one of the previous commenters suggested and leave us a few breadcrumbs so we can still find you in the tangled thicket of the Interwebs. xx

    1. MsCaroline--How lovely to see/read you again! Gosh, it's like a reunion here. How lovely.

      I do think much of the ... problem is sort of a TL;DR issue. If I'm going to write a post, I want to luxuriate a bit and unwind. I'm going to W R I T E. And fb and twitter have conditioned people to Scan And Get Out. I always fancy up my posts with a germane graphic and pretty formatting, but the Content Is My Thing. To be fair, however; I am retired and have a ton of time to read blogs. Not everyone does.

      (I do check in over at your spot now and then to see if you've come back to us.)

      Thank you awfully much for letting me know your thoughts and taking time to come back to Comments to express them. Knowing that I am not just Writing In The Wilderness is warming. Knowing that others feel the same is so supportive. And as a former public school teacher (and as a mom and a woman), knowing I am appreciated is a Very Big Deal.

      I hope you are continuing well and happy in Jolly Olde!

  14. Let me just say that if you leave you will be missed. But regardless you have to do what is right for you. I think blogging takes time, and commenting takes more time. I try to keep up but it is hard. I think many have just left for Instagram to be honest. All you have to do is click on the little heart and people know you have thought about them, kind of impersonal, but that is the way life is getting isn't it? Do what you feel you need to, but remember if you take a break you can alwyas come back.

    1. Meredith--Thank you for your comments here. Other platforms, such as Instagram, aren't my cup of tea. Posting a photo and a few words for people to click "like" or "heart" is the epitome of Shallowness and perpetuates the idea of a Picture Perfect, curated existence. As you've said in many of your posts, you (and I) like To Be Real. Life isn't just a single picture of a pretty sunset or salad. And thoughts are deeper than Heart or Like. Over at your site, I know you appreciate the kind and supportive comments that your many readers leave for you about all the varied things that you share your thoughts about in your posts. Can you imagine just looking at a heart with the number 37 next to it? It wouldn't be the same at all.

      Time is a huge factor; you're so right! I wonder, though, where everyone's time went? Other social media platforms is probably the big answer, and that's what so many bloggers are up against. And I think a great many people feel pressured to make so much of their time, too, posting things on facebook and instagram to keep up with others who seem to have lots going on. It must be exhausting for some.

      It's gratifying to know that I would be missed if I do decide to leave off writing online here. It's even nicer to know that I have the support of my online friends, no matter what my decision turns out to be.

  15. I’ll certainly miss reading here if you decide to shutter the windows keeping your thoughts from the light of day — here, at least. Just took. a lengthy blogging hiatus myself so can appreciate some of the factos that cause us to do so. Partly for me is wanting blogging to always be a pleasure and not a dreaded “should” obligation dictated by some self-imposed rigid schedule. There is a limit to how much structure I want at this stage in my life. Maybe if you just shook up your blog expectations and approached writing for it from a different angle you might feel renewed enthusiasm.

    1. Joared--I think you've really summed up a large part of my feelings in your comment here. As a Terrible Perfectionist and Lifelong Student, I had begun to turn blogging into an "obligation dictated by some self-imposed rigid schedule", largely determined by Guilt (I am also a Recovering Catholic). And, as a retired teacher, I am resentful of any attempt to structure my life at all at this stage.

      I think a term that best describes your last sentence is that I need to Reconnect With My (Blogging) Joy, and if that is really, truly not at all possible, I need to shut it down.

      Thank you very much for commenting here and helping me as I Sort It All Out. I am grateful to everyone's input and sentiments as I wrestle with what is, for me, a big decision.

  16. Do you like to blog? Would you miss it? Can you try a week without blogging and see how you feel? Can you keep a post to just one photo and one paragraph for a bit? If blogging is a chore.......be done!!!

    1. kathy--Hm. Lots of questions. Do I like to blog: Yes and no, and that is why I am at a crossroads, as I have tried to explain above. Would I miss it: I already miss The Way Blogging Was, and I miss much about my former approach to blogging. That's part of my problem; I have to decide if I can reapproach writing here with a new expectation or, if I cannot, can I walk away. As far as going a week without writing: this post came over a month after the one previous, and before that, there was about two weeks or more between posts. Unlike you--a very Prolific Blogger!--I rarely posted weekly on a strict schedule.

      Your last question is one that I have wrestled with often: can I write shorter posts? Sometimes I can, if the subject deems it. I don't really have the control over that; the subject matter does. I don't really Write Long Posts On Purpose. I'm not a writer in love with the sound of her own voice, so to speak.

      Posting a photo and a paragraph sounds dangerously like Instagram, where the Photo Is The Thing. I'm not a photographer. I'm a Writer. My pictures here are 90% of the time not my own, but graphics searched to provide a good complement to my writing, period.

      I think your second question is Pivotal for me. I do think I would Miss It. But it has become a chore, too. I have to figure out how to reconcile all of that.

      Thank you for your input. It is much appreciated.

  17. Rumour has it that I can get notification of comments if I comment here and check Notify me. So, I will!

  18. All of the above, put so much better by many voices. I love your blog. I will miss it if you stop. Something about taking up a new bloggy voice resonates with me, but I DO hope you take us with you.

    1. Mary--Thank you so much for your encouragement and support. I don't know if I have a different voice inside me, exactly. I am who I am. Or, more elegantly, as Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, "This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man." I think especially now, Truth is important, and vitally so.

      And, just so you know, all of you are With Me, no matter what.

  19. I'm right there wish you on the quitting...haven't decided to do so, but ignoring my blog is one way of maybe quitting, I guess. I would miss your blog. I sometimes miss my blog, but not enough to do anything about it. Sigh.

    Thank goodness about the Christmas decorations coming down.

    1. J--I'm so sorry for such a late reply! Your comment here got stuck in Blogger's Spam filter, and since they've totally screwed up their system, I never got notification of it. I was going through Settings and stumbled upon it completely by accident.

      I feel the same way you do on many days. Quitting and Not Quitting at the same time; Missing it and Not Missing It. SIGH.

      What shall we do? I change my mind several times a day.

  20. (And YAY for fish and lakes and wine!)

    1. ...a few Bright Spots not susceptible to the Supreme Court. Yet.

  21. I've been reading your posts but guilty of not commenting. I made my blog dark for several months and may not return to regular posting. I do not want it to be a chore.

    1. NCmountainwoman--Thank you for taking the time to comment here. Like you, I don't want my blog, once a pleasurable pursuit, to become a chore. It has been so encouraging to know that I do have like-minded readers, but as I said, the exchange in comments is really (for me) what I enjoy most. Otherwise, it's just another "Look At Me!" social media platform.

    2. Thought I would give you another comment so you don't think of your blog as a "Look at Me!"

    3. NCmountainwoman--Well, thanks! ;-)

  22. Man, I find you on 4th of July...only to discover that you've been shut down for a month. argh!!!! I hope you are finding an alternative way to find some joy today.

    1. Silver Willow--Oh, the Irony...! Thank you for stopping by (it's lovely to be Found) and I hope that you, too, are Finding Joy every single day.

    2. I'm doing my best! Let me know if you decide to reinvest in your own blog or not! :)


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