Here's the thing about blogging. You can use it however you want to use it. Want to establish a platform to sell your book/invention/greatest spaghetti sauce ever made? Blogging is one way to do it. Want to connect with other people with the same interests? It's good for that, too.
It can be full of your boring thoughts and bad jokes and cute, winsome photos that no one will care about reading. It can be rich, evocative posts about writing or raising children or cooking or life - and you can garner a readership of thousands. You can build a community and interact with others as little or as much as you want to.
The bottom line is, it's yours to do with as you want. But if it gets to the point where it's a chore, then it's time to step back.
So that's what I did.
But now I'm back. It's time. I want to reconnect with all of you and share thoughts on writing and parenting and books and movies and life. I want to visit your blogs and see what you've been up to, I want to encourage you and support you, laugh and cry with you, celebrate, grieve, whatever the case may be.
In short, I want to connect.
I blogged awhile ago about the possibility of blogging being a dying social media form. After containing most of my online presence these past few months to Twitter and Facebook (yes, I caved and joined Twitter), I haven't changed my mind about what makes blogging such an incredible way to connect with others. In short, if blogging is dying, it's a shame. But I don't think it is dying - at all.
Don't get me wrong - Twitter and FB have advantages. I've Tweeted history questions to noted WW2 professors on Twitter and received an answer. I've connected with other WW2 enthusiasts and had a great time discussing various aspects of the war. But those are more real-time conversations. They're not the type of conversation where you can take the time to read and re-read, and really absorb what it is that you're reading. If you do that on Twitter, the conversation passes you by, not to mention the fact that you have to limit your responses to 140 characters or less.
With blogging, it's more personal. And I think in this day and age, with rapid response being the go-to function for most of us, we need that personal touch. Blogging provides that.
In the past few days, I've noticed how much I've missed the sense of community I have with my blog. When I'm actively blogging and reading and commenting on other people's blogs, I don't feel so alone in this writing business. I don't feel like I'm in a cave in Antartica. I feel like I'm part of something.
For a long time, I always felt like my blog posts had to be deep, meaningful posts that conveyed some great truth (or attempted to) about writing or life or parenting or whatever. While I *hope* I've had those types of posts in the past, I realize now that I can blog about whatever the heck I want to. My blog, my rules, right? Well, to a certain extent. I'm not in the business of offending people, so I'll continue to keep politics and religion out of my posts unless I feel in the mood to vent/whine/celebrate. Ha!
Right now, I want to just blog just for the sake of blogging, just for the sake of putting my writing out there again. I've suffered a relatively significant blow to my confidence where my writing is concerned, and I've been mentally crippled for the past month or so. I have some good days, but the majority of the time, it's been a non-stop, "I don't have what it takes anymore" repeating in my head.
Part of the reason this happened is because I put myself into isolation mode from those who I realize I've grown to treasure a lot - all my blog readers.
So it's time for the walls to come down. Of course, if I'm honest, I have to admit that summer does this to me. I go into isolation mode, rarely venture from the house (too hot) and generally have a foul attitude. But this summer, we've been rather fortunate to escape the really hot temps (in the past, we have clocked in near 110 sometimes) and we've enjoyed a relatively mild summer.
Still, I just don't like summer. I am not a camping/sun bathing/beach/swimming person. Give me the choice between a tropical island and a cottage in Scotland and you know which one I'm going to go for - the cottage every single time.
All this rambling is to say - I'm back to blogging. I plan to post whenever I want on whatever I want. And there's freedom in that. I think I'm going to embrace the freedom.
Autumn is just on the horizon, and I'm looking forward to all that it brings - but most especially, I'm looking forward to the time when my brain decides to turn the mood from "snarky and lazy" to "content and productive."
I can't wait to connect with all of you again.
I'll leave you with this:
Write (and live) with joy, with passion, with intent.