I started this blog back in 2008, a few months before Atticus and I were married. I just “celebrated” six years of writing here in November. Appropriately enough, I celebrated by staying quiet. Quiet has been my default for quite some time. Some of you may have even noticed this, though I don’t flatter myself interesting enough to suspect you’ve been waiting with baited breath for my next post.
There are a few reasons for why it’s been quiet over here:
1. For the last year I’ve had three kids under age 4. Finally, We have a four year old and the twins made it to their first birthday. It was December 2nd and I didn’t even manage to post a measley picture. The writing life has its ebb and flow. I’ve been writing, online and off, since I was a kid. Sometimes every day for a long stretch, sometimes months without a word. It’s been an ebb sort of year. Every extra moment, those precious moments when no one needs me, I can: exercise, take a shower, read a book for fun, pray, or write a blog post. Usually, blogging comes in last, or nearly last.
2. It takes a really long time. For me to write a post, take, edit, and upload all the pictures I need to have in order to publish a post, takes me around an hour. A whole hour. And that’s if it’s not a content heavy post. Sometimes it takes longer. Do you know what an hour is worth around here? When I have an idea I’m excited about, or something I think you all will like, I’m happy to spend an hour on it. Then I push “publish” and 50 people look at it. Maybe I’ve been doing this too long, but at this point, 50 views doesn’t always seem worth the time spent away from my family and vocation, on a hobby which generates not one dime for my family.
3. I make no money. And I am just fine with that. I have no interest or plans to monetize my blog. Of course if I like a product and am asked to review it, I will. But I’m not seeking that out, and anything that I share that I love or we use, I am sharing for just those reasons. However, since I make no money doing this, it hardly seems fair to my family to spend more than a couple of hours a week working on it. Not to mention keeping up with all the social media I’m supposed to have (Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook), and reading other people’s blogs (My feedly and blog lovin’ are out of control). I’d like to occasionally have a coffee with a local friend, or some alone time with my husband.
4. The community feels disjointed. This is a big one. When I started Fumbling Toward Grace, I “met” a wonderful community of other women who were blogging too. There were 10-15 or so of us, and we always read each others pages, commented on them, and just generally connected. It felt personal. Not because of some marketing ploy to make it feel personal, but because it was personal. We didn’t worry about our “brand”. We didn’t worry about having “x” number of photos on each post, or maximizing our SEO (If you don’t know what that means, good for you!), etc. I’m not an SEO girl. I’m not a brand girl. I have tried a few times, making a detailed blogging schedule, and a plan for expanding my readership by doing x,y,z. It’s just not for me. It felt forced because it was forced. I don’t want to treat this page like a tool I’m using to get myself out there. Sure, there’s a part of me that would love to be “out there”, but more and more I realize, perhaps not on this platform.5. I am not really a blogger. In a certain sense, I am. I own and run a blog. That makes me a blogger. But what I mean is, being the kind of blogger who people have heard of, who is “out there” requires a certain skill set that I don’t really have. Which is fine. I’m not a web designer. I’m not a photographer. I’m not a code writer. I don’t have the time, money, or inclination right now to change that. I’m just a plain old regular writer. I want to write my thoughts and share with them with you all, without worrying about if I have a “pinnable” image. To be honest, I’m not even sure I know what a pinnable image is. I have thoughts, stories, and ideas to share, and I know that at least a few of them are worth sharing. I am working on a book. A book I was basically told no one would want to publish because I have “low readership”. Oh well. Excuse me, but eff that shit. I’m writing a book, and even if I have to churn it out myself Guttenburg style, someday you’ll see it published. I do NOT need to be a blogger with “high readership” to write a book. I’m writer. This website, this is where I share my writing.
There’s nothing wrong with taking amazing photos and having most of your blog be pictures. Or making a pinnable image for each post. Or creating a “brand” and making your blog into a business. These are all worthy and good things for people to do. If and when they want to. Some people get the same kind of thrill out of that stuff that I get out of drinking a whiskey sour with my husband after all the kids are in bed. And I’m at a place in my life where right now, I don’t get both. I have to choose the husband. I want to choose the husband, the kids, the getting a whole house packed up to move across town. Because lots of other, more talented, more interesting bloggers are blogging all over this world 24 hours a day. But nobody else can be what I am within these four walls.
Fear not, dear reader and friend. I’m not closing up shop. I will still be around, and post when time and inspiration permits me. This page has become a part of me, and while for now my mind and heart is mostly focused on other things, she’s always there, in the background. I’ll be reading something and think of how I’d like to share it with you all. Or cooking dinner and think of sharing the recipe. And you see, I would share the recipe. But I know I don’t have 2 hours to take a picture of each step, edit it, and write it all down. Maybe someday, but not this day. Instead, I’ll just sit and enjoy it with my kids. I know the internet will always be here, but my babies won’t always be babies, won’t always want me most of all, and when that bittersweet day comes, I’ll have plenty of time for blogging.
Love and Grace,