Bringing My Watch to an End

Bringing My Watch to an End January 25, 2021

After ten years of blogging, the time has come for me to hang up my cape. Er. My keyboard? I will finish out the review series on The Vision, which will take us through the end of February. During that time, I will keep posting Lesbian Duplex posts, and may post other content occasionally. On March 1st, I will post a final farewell piece; my content will all still be here, but I won’t be adding to it.

Why now? Over the past few years, I have increasingly felt that words have failed me. As the Trump years have drawn to a close, I’ve often felt that I have little more to say than “can you believe this?!” On a more and more regular basis, I’ve felt that I am simply out of words. And really, ten years is a long time. A very long time.

It’s worth noting that I no longer feel that I have the same inside perspective on evangelicals, or conservatives, that I once did. I grew up in the 1990s and early 2000s. Today, that seems like a lifetime away. Despite having grown up with them, I’ve watched with horror as my parents have become Trump supporters. I have felt aghast, but also strangely out of touch.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t actually want to be in touch with anything related to Trump. But when I started blogging, and for years after that, many people read my words and found something useful in them because my personal experiences gave me personal insight into evangelicalism, and conservatism. As that has ceased to be the case—as my personal insight has faded—it has become increasingly difficult to find useful things to say that aren’t some repetitive version of “can you belief this stuff??”

The truth is that I am not a journalist. I never set out to be a journalist. So while I could keep writing, could keep finding words to write about evangelicals or conservatism even in the absence of personal insight, I find I don’t really want to. I began blogging as a form of therapy.

Finding the blogosphere itself was a form of therapy. Knowing that others had gone through the same painful experiences that I had—leaving conservative homeschooling households and risking shunning or other consequences—was deeply comforting. I was not alone. Adding my voice, working through my experiences, reading others’ stories and adding my own—that process was huge.

But today? I’m no longer in the same place I was ten years ago. I’ve grown and matured, and while I can’t say I’ve definitively “found” myself—who really has?—I’m no longer the uncertain young person I was ten or twelve years ago. I can meet people and get to know them without them having any idea I was homeschooled. I have created my own networks and communities, and have found my own people.

Blogging served an important place in my life, giving me space to work through my experiences and to help others in the process, but no chapter lasts forever, and this one has drawn to a close.

It’s also worth noting that blogging has changed in these last five to seven years. It’s no longer what it once was, and I sometimes feel like a dinosaur, a relic of an earlier time. Partly it’s about readership, which has declined (and not just for me), but partly, too, the financial incentive has changed: blogging pays less today than it did five or seven years ago. Far less.

I suspect that people’s attention spans, too, have changed. Many have migrated to twitter; others have sought to become Instagram influencers. Social media has changed everything. I am not immune: increasingly, I would rather read a twitter thread than a long-form article. Is that a good thing? Probably not, if I am honest with myself. But as attention spans have changed, so too has the fares of blogging.

All of these things taken together—no longer feeling like I am in touch with the people or ideas I write about; an increasing feeling that I have outgrown my need to write through my experiences; and the changing nature of blogging itself—tell a fairly convincing story. My watch here is at an end.

Many thanks to all of my regular readers—and to my not-so-regular readers as well. You have made my years here meaningful and worthwhile. There are many things I will miss about blogging, including reading your thoughts in the comments. As I noted, I will continue putting up some posts through the end of February. If you are a part of the community in my comment section, this will give you some time to find other ways to communicate, or to get in contact with specific other commenters you’ve gotten to know.

Here’s to new adventures—and to 2021 being a better year for all of us!

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