Should I Stay or Should I Go Now

There were so many great songs running through my head as I wrote this post.  Which is not surprising to me, a person who has often bastardized song titles for the sake of blogging.  Sometimes the song drives the post; other times the post drives the song.

Today it’s The Clash.  And Old Blue Eyes.  Who did it his way.  With few regrets.  Who saw it through when there was doubt.  Who at it up and spit it out.  Who faced it all.  Who loved; who laughed; who cried.  Who had his fill.

“And now, the end is here, and so I face the final curtain…”

As I ask myself, “Has my blog run it’s course?”  “Do I have anything more to say?”

For over two and a half years I have defined myself as a blogger.  Happily.

And in the past when I read other bloggers questioning if they should continue putting words to keyboard, I would share my philosophy with them – that we should blog for ourselves; that we should blog if we get something out of it.  Whatever that something is (because it might be different for each of us).  And we should blog if it makes us happy.

And every time I said that, and throughout my life as Waisting Time, I couldn’t image not blogging.  It was my happy place.  I had tons of ideas for future posts.  The community warmed my heart.  Playing with words was fun.  So I renewed my domain name; I renewed my hosting contract.  Life went on.  I was a blogger.  Happily.

But somewhere along the way things changed.  Slowly.  Maybe unnoticed at first.  Then questioned but ignored.  Then ignored but questioned.

So, today (and for the past several weeks that it has taken me to finish drafting this post) I ask myself what, if anything, I’m getting from it.  Why am I blogging?  Do I still enjoy it?  Do I want to write more, and, if so, what do I want to write about?   Does it make me happy?  Do I still have things to say or am I talked out?  Have I done enough over-thinking about writing about my over-thinking to last a lifetime?!

The big shock of recent discovery, when I thought the sky was falling, didn’t bring this on.  It only made the questions more urgent for me.  And added more questions.  What did it make me question?  Everything and nothing.  Because not only did I now wonder if I had anything to say, but I also had to ask myself what I’d say if someone I know might be reading.  Or, maybe more importantly, what would I NOT write if someone I know might be reading.

The bottom-line truth here is that I don’t know what I want to say – i.e. write.  I’m not even sure I WANT to write.  Or talk.  Out loud.  With a potential audience.

It occurred to me that I’m having the blogger’s version of a mid-life crisis.  Or identity crisis.  But as I write that I realize that a crisis would mean some urgency to my emotions.  Some angst.  Nope.  None of that.  More like complacency.  I feel, well, dispassionate, detached, disinterested.  My blogging mojo has got up and gone.  Will it return?  Do I care?

See – lots of questions!

And then, every so often, I think about the blog.  This blog.  MY blog.  I think about writing.  But thinking doesn’t translate to action.  (Aha, rather like how it so often happens with healthy living!)  So, I have just let it be.  (Okay, add the Beatles to the list.)  And waited.  And wondered.  And lived life outside of cyberspace.

Have I missed this world in the almost-three-weeks since my last post?  Not so much.  Certainly I have NOT missed Twitter and Facebook and Klout and all that stuff.  Maybe I’ve missed YOU.  And your comments that only come if I actually publish something!  And the sense of being part of a community, the connections, the friendship, the warm fuzzies.  Yep, I’m smiling just typing about it.

If I stop blogging will I regret it?  What would I leave behind?  Will I miss it?  Or would I be happily living life without Waisting Time.  Without wasting time?

How do I want to define myself?  Have I had enough?  Has my blog served its purpose and now it’s time to move on?  Is there something still out there for me in cyberspace?  This blog?  A new blog?  No blog?

Lately I’ve been thinking about evolution.  And change.  Everything evolves.  Changes over time.  Sometimes slowly and almost imperceptibly.  Sometimes drastically, obviously, quickly.  Certainly my own life has changed in the past months and year, with my return to work after 15 years and my empty nest.  But as much as some things change, some things stay the same.

I think my “need” for blogging has changed.  But has it, could it, evolve into something else that still keeps me blogging?  Or has it evolved into extinction?

I started this blog for motivation and personal accountability.  At times it has given me that.  In spades.  And so much more that I never expected.  But the motivation and accountability aspect has diminished.  Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Once I needed this blog, these words, your support and advice and companionship on this journey.  And while I still LOVE the community and connections and friendships and laughter, maybe I don’t have anything left to say.

And isn’t that what it really comes down to, after all?  A blog is words.  And thoughts put to paper keyboard.  It’s not that I’m NOT thinking (and over-thinking) anymore (and, yes, I know that’s a double negative), it’s just that I’m not sure I have a need or desire to make those thoughts public.  To put those thoughts into written word.  To say or write anything about them.  Here.  Or maybe anywhere.

“Should I stay or should I go now?… This indecision’s bugging me.”

Oh, hey, wow, look – I wrote something!  Okay, I wrote a lotta something.  And I kinda enjoyed it.  Hmm.

P.S.  Much thanks for your comments, emails, concern, compliments, support, friendship, and so on and so forth.  In truth, if I stay, or if I recreate myself in a new blog, it will be as much because of YOU as it is because of me.  And if the winds of change do blow me over to a new URL, I’ll be sure to let you know, here, in case you want to make the move with me.

So, fellow bloggers, if you are inclined to share, here or privately, I’d love to know why YOU blog.  And how, if at all, you’ve evolved.  In blogging or in anything:)  See any changes coming for YOU down the road?

 

 

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66 Comments

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66 responses to “Should I Stay or Should I Go Now

  1. I used to blog for accountability and a place to release my thoughts without annoying the people I know in real life who don’t relate to my issues. A public journal is how to treated it but eventually I realized that there was a whole world of people who could relate to my issues and my words changed as if I was speaking to an audience instead of to no one.

    It still gives me accountability since I think about all the people I know who are working their tails off to achieve their goals. It’s something that gives me calm.

    • I also definitely started speaking as if to an audience instead of just to myself. Not in a bad way; just different. But the downside is that I question “who’d want to read this?”

  2. I blog because I need and want to connect with other weight maintainers. A little bit of accountability, but also so another person ( I have a whole 15 people following me, no adds) may read and see what transitioning from Take Shape for Life (Medifast) onto a mostly Paleo/ Primal template looks like.

    I have a lot of similarities with other maintainers and I needed to build my own template, for me. By blogging, I hope that others can pick what they know works for them and add to their own template in the weight maintenance area.

    I also blog so I can add that experience to my computer skills. It’s a way of connecting in a social media, in a different sort of way. Much easier than the old style web sites and using HTML that I did 10 years ago. Blogging may or may not stay around, but fun to experience from a skill building area.

    IMO- keep the blog and change up what you want to do with it. You’ve got a good readership. Some of us will come along with you….

    Good luck!! Karen P

    • You know what is interesting and kind of ironic about your comment – you talk about the people following you and here you are following me and I had no idea! Makes me wonder who is reading:)

      Certainly I also developed some (very limited) tech skills. I hadn’t thought about that.

  3. I did it purely for fun. I didn’t think anyone would be interested and when they were it inspired me to keep going.

    I periodically go through the same “has it run it’s course?” dilemma and often taking a break for a bit helps. Then I get inspired again and want to do it. Sometimes I wonder if it’s time to just take a very LONG break. Time will tell.

    • I think I’ve gotten comfortable with the idea that I CAN just take a break. Or post randomly and infrequently. I used to be so stuck to having a schedule. I’m kinda anal like that:(

  4. Your are appreciated and revered by many a readers. Is that reason to stay? Honestly no, not at all. But as a male, I have selfish tendencies, so I don’t want you to go because I would miss your writing. Certainly I understand you should blog on if it fulfills a purpose in your life. If it doesn’t, no reason to force yourself to continue. Still, think of me, and blog on fit me, please (just kidding).

  5. I have no words of wisdom. I blog for fun and when it became a chore I stopped. Once I could read with joy I picked up the blog again.

    sending warm fuzzies….

  6. Karen, I blog because I love writing. I’m going through some difficulties myself at the moment, as I don’t feel I’ve much to say in Diet Schmiet. My therapist did tell me that it was perhaps unhealthy to have a blog focussed on dieting and weightloss etc given the role it played in my life.

    BUT… I’m still trying to rediscover my voice in my other blog (Debbish). I’ve committed to writing every day in it for July and am struggling.

    Having said all of that, I want to keep writing but blogging is the only form of writing I’ve enjoyed over recent years. I did a ‘Year of the Novel’ course and have 30K words written but lost interest. I’ve tried short story courses etc and they just don’t inspire me.

    I’ve just attended a blogging conference so – on one hand I’m all enthusiastic – but on the other I feel devoid of ideas.

    I hope you keep writing (in some guise) as you do it so well. I’ve really appreciated reading your words and hope to do so….

    xxx

    • Thanks for the kind words, Deb. Your first paragraph is very interesting! I remember having “conversations” with some other “diet” bloggers about the very potential that our writing was keeping us focused on this in an unhealthy way. Interesting idea.

      • That’s exactly why I stopped blogging; the belief that I needed to prove to myself I could lose and keep the weight off without the crutch of a blog, or blog followers. And I have failed. YET, that is the very reason I have not been able to get back into blogging, because I’d be repeating the same thing. I have to be able to do this and keep unhealthy weight off all on my own; no crutches allowed. That’s just me, though. My own take on blogging for me.

        • I actually don’t think I mind having it as a crutch. Heck, I actually had a whole post planned one day about all the crutches I have! BUT, I didn’t want to repeat myself in words when/if I repeated myself in actions. Only so many times I wanted to say – bread is not my friend, etc.

  7. I have also taken “blogging breaks,” because I seem to run out of steam periodically. I think that blogging, particularly on a “diet” blog, is naturally self-limiting, as it seems to become less effective over time. I have noticed others are blogging with less frequency, and quite a few have stopped altogether.

    Taking breaks helps for a while, but I have to admit that I have also thought about quitting (but can’t seem to do it completely) or focusing on a new blog where weight loss and/or maintenance aren’t the main topics. I also think that blogging only occasionally may solve the periodic inertia, at least for me.

    My best to you whatever you choose, and if you move to a new blog, I’d like to follow…

    • Agreed – I have also noticed others slow down. Actually, as a reader of many blogs (although less and less and certainly commenting less over time), I have actually appreciated that! Sounds like you and I are in a similar mental place right now.

  8. I’m still having fun, that’s why I do it. And I have all these thoughts that I’d think rather I blogged or not, so I’d rather put them in a post then just keep them running around in my mind. And here I am, with my real blog still out of commission, going back to my old blog just to keep posting.

    • Sorry – you got caught in my spam filter and I hadn’t checked that for ages! I wondered if you had been able to fix things yet. Scary technology.

  9. If you don’t love it set it free.

    Ahem.

    Can a woman with amazing writing skills translate it into something else?

    I think you can write beyond the length of the yo-yo string.

    Sometimes an idea peters out – does it not my friend?

    Keep my email. I want to read it if you decide to tickle the carbon. Because… I got you… under my skin.

    You started it you cheap thing you.

  10. Hmm… I blog because I love sharing words. And everyday stuff. The weight-loss blog won’t be there forever, I guess, but the other three… the short stories, the witchy blog and the German “stuff” blog – most likely, in one way or another. It is a great way to connect with friends and meet new people, and get feedback on thoughts.

  11. I have missed you Karen!! BUT, I was also wondering how you were not doing this & yes, did you miss it AND how much other stuff were you getting done AND were you back to real world stuff! 😉 I think my time may gradually come to a close OR a lot less by end of summer if certain things change & I do wonder if I will miss it. I LOVE the people I met yet I get stressed about the posting & tweeting & all that people expect to see.. no money compensated for that stress I put on myself. 😉

    You are a great write but I say – DO WHAT FEELS RIGHT FOR YOU! 🙂

    • Well, you and I have sort of talked about some of this, so I’ve actually been expecting to see more of a slow down from you. It’s hard to let go, isn’t it:) I think we blog for very different reasons, IMO. Mine was more for self-help where I see yours as more for helping the rest of us:) You are a great inspiration and role model. I think you could easily still be that with a much less frequently posted blog and enjoy it more.

  12. I blog because I love to write and because it’s a form of therapy for me. I love the community and the exchange of ideas. One thing I decided when I started blogging is that I wouldn’t follow a schedule or make myself post if I didn’t feel like it. I get the sense that you want to keep your blog but that you don’t want to be a slave to it. This isn’t an either/or situation 🙂 See what happens…

    • You are always so wise! And that is what I get from your writing. It is very thoughtful and exploratory, to me. I also have LOVED the exchange of ideas.

  13. Michele

    Well, you know my story — similar and yet different from your own. And of course, you know I’ll enjoy reading what you write whether it’s on a blog or in an e-mail. Sometimes, things just change. And that’s part of life. It’s the community I kind of miss. I keep in touch with about four of you outside the blog, but I often miss hearing from the others that I only saw in comments.

    If you close this completely, I suggest you invest in one of the “blog to book” options so you can retain your favorite posts forever.

    • Ah, yes, you were there in that evolution part:) When I first started blogging I actually printed off my posts to save them. That didn’t last very long. But having you suggest that makes me think that I could always import this content back into wp.com if I stop with the self-hosted version, and at least still have it for as long as that lasts. Hmmm.

  14. Karen – I was thinking about you a lot yesterday and planning to write you a private email, which I haven’t done as yet. I totally understand your conundrum at this point. I’m at the same place and seriously considering finishing up with the blog. I’m not at my goal but I’ve made progress. Blogging isn’t changing the course of my day to day life at all, and my blog has never caught on quite the way yours has.

    I do love to write, and it gives me a format for that, but as a journal where I record my private thoughts, fears and struggles…well, it hasn’t been satisfying that niche. There is a ton of stuff I hold back because it’s private, personal and reflective of my deeper inner journey. It would diminish my path to share some of that stuff in this forum. Yet I love feedback, comments, and especially the inspiration, motivation and ideas I get from other bloggers.

    Your musings sounds quite familiar…I don’t miss it when I don’t post…until I do. I do keep reading my favorites when I have the time and interest. Since my weight loss success has been marginal, after a few days of not posting, I get little “are you okay?” comments that I appreciate, but that suggest to me that people think I’m off the wagon and back into the food. So what? But I notice and get prickly (internally at least) and think, “What purpose is this serving me now?” And especially, “What good is this doing anyone else, so why bother?”

    You have always been a blogger of unusual substance and content – gifted in many ways. I know you’ll find the right path for yourself, your blog and your life. I’ll always be interested in what you have to say, and know that email provides a good venue for staying in touch with “important people”…like you.

    • Thank you for the kind words, Leslie. I’m going to send you an email. When I get around to THAT kind of writing. But what I will say quickly here is that you have been a very special person on this journey of mind, because of YOUR blog, and because through our words it was so clear how very much we have in common despite such different stories. So one thing that I have gotten from blogging and reading blogs is the “I am not alone” feeling:) And having someone “get” it and understand some of this craziness that seems to be me.

  15. I started blogging with the idea that it would keep me accountable in my maintenance journey. I continue because “mostly” it is fun. I do not share as much as I would have because I know my husband reads every post. In that aspect of blogging, I know how you feel about others you know reading. That’s not to say that I would have spilled my guts on everything if he did not read. When it stops being fun, I’ll probably stop and find another hobby. 🙂

  16. PS: Your blog is one of my favorites. I would definitely miss you. 😦

    • Thank you:) And my husband read every post too! AND he reads the comments. And, I assume, my responses to the comments. And once upon a time he’d often click the links and go read the commenters blog!

  17. Jan

    “To everything – turn, turn, turn
    There is a season – turn, turn, turn
    And a time for every purpose under heaven”

    A time to blog, a time to not
    A time to work, a time to retire
    A time to lose, a time to maintain
    A time to vent, a time to be profane, er, profound

    You started with the song theme. The Byrds immortal lyrics (who stole the idea from our shared Old Testament) popped into my head, and the above pooped out of my keyboard.

    I continue blogging because it’s so darn hard to write meaningful sh!t; hence, I probably ought to be doing it in some format. BUT, my wellness theme does not allow me to branch out into humor, more creative forms of writing, or just post ridiculous pictures of my dog sniffing its butt. I read someone like “The Bloggess” with great envy.

    Maybe I should start a “Crone” blog. Gosh knows there are enough Mommy blogs out there.

    You know I care what you do with your online presence. “Go Your Own Way” – just keep me posted.

    • Now I’m humming that last song in my head! But it sure beats the first one, clever as you are.

      What this makes me realize is that I don’t even think twice about your content falling under “wellness.” I guess maybe when we started out, we had a niche, and maybe that’s what we needed and maybe that’s how people find and follow us, looking for a “diet” or “wellness” or “mommy blog.” But, maybe, it doesn’t really matter what we write about:) Particularly if we are writing, as you are, just to write.

      And, I know you were joking, but I think you could really run with the crone idea!!! BTW – if I start a new blog, there will be NO theme.

  18. I have thought about you the past few weeks and wondered if you had decided to hang it up! You have to do what feels right. If you decide to stop blogging I will miss your blog, your humor and your thoughts.

    I wanted to blog because I wanted to share about good healthy food and what I have learned about weight loss. I have mostly enjoyed it. There are times that I have thought about giving it up. It takes up so much time that could be spent doing something else. I stress myself out about getting posts up, returning emails,reading and leaving comments on other blogs who support me by leaving comments. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth all the trouble. When I am on vacation or away from the computer for a few days I really don’t think about the blog or miss it much. Strange isn’t it?

    For now I plan to continue to blog. It’s a nice creative outlet.Cutting back to 2-3 posts a week has really helped with my time issues.

    Take Care.

    • Thanks for the kind words, Tami. When I first started, on vacation I DID feel tied to the blog. And other blogs. I’m glad I’ve gotten over that:) I’m with you in that I often put pressure on myself about many aspects of this. And I do feel bad that I have been commenting less and less and less and less on other blogs.

  19. I blog because I love to write, and with my blog I can write what I want. And, I am thrilled that some people actually want to read what I write (at least once in a while).

    I love the communitiy that I’ve found through blogging. but now that I’ve discovered it, I think I could be involved without my own blog (hint, hint).

  20. Miz

    such a personal decision.
    one I so so so so ‘get’ as well.

  21. I first started blogging in grad school. There was so much going through my head, I needed to write. As I got busier, that blog fizzled, and I ❤ 2 Eat is my 3rd blog, and for me most enjoyable because it isn’t just about everything; it’s about learning and fitness and things I enjoy. I seem to get good feedback on Facebook and some comments, which is always encouraging. 🙂 Best of luck, wherever your evolution takes you, but if it’s away from the blogging world, you will definitely be missed!

  22. I blog to share and to learn. I learn something almost every day from the bloggers I have relationships with. Sometimes it is a funny thought I discover and sometimes it runs much deeper.

    It sounds like you want to keep it up, while at the same time you are just not sure. I love your wit and your writing and your dedication to the blogging community and your family.

    • I have learned too:) But more earlier and less now. I still remember some amazingly simple words from others that resonate and that I’ve repeated back to fellow bloggers on many occasions. I see your blog as very different, Diane. Seems to me it is almost an extension of the classes you do – you are “teaching” and inspiring others by sharing your own past experiences and how you maintain.

  23. Karen, the fact is that you can blog on your own terms. Need to take a break? That’s fine! We’re here waiting to interact whenever you feel like sharing and hanging out. Sometimes work and other busy times in life keeps me away from my blog for bigger stretches of time and I feel guilty because I blog to connect with others. But then I realize that we’re all human and busy and it’s okay to move to the beat of my own drum. 🙂

  24. I started blogging after I lost my weight and wanted to get my story out. To help motivate others to get their health in check.

    Once I ran to the point I was no longer “motivating” mainly because I was not motivated I decided to give it a break and only post when I felt like it.

    Gook luck Karen and I understand where your at, but like Jody said you need to do what is right for you. I will follow you wherever you go online if I can; but if you stop I sure enjoyed your posts!

  25. I blog for me. I blog because it helps me to think through and process things that are important for me as I get healthier and fitter. I also know that I am not alone in my weight control challenges, which is marvelous. when I started I thought, too, blogging was a great way for me to stay the course.

    I think you are well aware that I went down to blogging only once a week. That has worked quite well for me. I remain part of this wonderful virtual community.

    What I have really noticed is how few people remain in the blogging world. I am not sure if that is true only of weight loss type blogs. I just think people lose interest. Although in weight loss bloggyland I would think many people stop because they are not getting to where they would like to be. The blog itself will not make any one healthier. It is just a tool. And as such, our own interests wanes and ebbs.

    Best of luck making a decision about what to do.

    • Interesting observation. There are many bloggers who I once followed who have seemingly dropped off the face of the earth. Once I would have told you that I’d never stop – it was that much fun. Still trying to decide.

  26. Sometimes it’s okay to take a break from blogging, and when you come back we’ll still be here 🙂 I’ve found there are times when not blogging is just what I need 🙂

  27. For me, these very same questions have come up as well. I’ve seen others come and go, and it’s so bittersweet, but I respect their reasons and bid them farewell as they move on to their next happy adventure. Whatever you decide, I support you! xo

  28. Sweet Karen. That last line got me to laughing. SO many changes coming to My life that I don’t know which way is up right now. Not all good ones, but then again – how do I really know that? I suppose I don’t. Just roll with it, I suppose.
    I don’t know if you remember a post I did last year when I made the decision to pack up my art supplies and pack them away. I didn’t enjoy painting anymore, even though I’ve been doing it since I could walk, studied it in college, and felt like it identified me. Scary, but I needed to do it. Once I let go, I eventually found that I missed it and came back to it, brimming with new ideas and purpose. But it took over half a year for me to get to that place. You may be perfectly happy never blogging again, and get some satisfaction by reading/commenting – or just wash your hands of the whole thing. One thing though, if you feel the need for change, my advice is to let it go and see how it fits. Either way, I hope to see you around the blog world and will always consider you a friend. XOXO

    • I do remember you doing that but didn’t remember the details; thanks for sharing. It’s a great analogy to this. I’ve enjoyed your friendship too, Ellen. It’s been nice to connect with someone who can relate to my thinking and “issues.”

  29. I really like blogging. I use it to share my own insights and hopefully inspire others. As a life coach, I hope that my audience can connect with the blog and hopefully have an a-ha. I am all about our thoughts, feelings and actions around food and fitness. And I like sharing my view with others.

    I have always loved your blog — and I know you need to do what is best for you….

  30. Tish

    Stay. I miss your posts and your comments on my posts. I feel like a good friend has moved away. Occasional blogging works. You know you still scope out interesting post topics in your head! Pretty please . . .

    • Awwwww:) And this does make me realize that you have often gone long times between posts and then come back and there you are and there we are, your readers.

  31. I’m not removing you from my blogroll no matter how long you take before your next post. I know you will come back and I know I will not miss what you write next. Hope all is well and fun is being had in the Karen household!

  32. Hi Karen! Well, you know, as you didn’t post for 3 weeks, that you don’t have to post so regularly. Oftentimes, other things take higher priority. And, if you give yourself permission to not blog, it will liberate you to feel like blogging–when you want to.

    When I started my blog, I was and am still determined to not be a people pleaser. When I don’t have time to blog…or don’t want to…I don’t. I lost one follower for having a very different approach to exercise than her…and that’s the price of having my own opinion. I have around 50 followers…that’s all and that’s enough. They all know I have a job and 4 kids.<<That's enough rationale for not blogging for 10 days in a row.

    I blog to give good information and motivation to others. Without blogging, I would still be as inspired to exercise and eat well. I have a lot of friends in my non-virtual world.

    I do enjoy having international friends a lot. I feel so much more connected in the world.

    Maybe you should change your blog over to something more diverse, like Sharon did. Often, the things on my mind are not about health/fitness but have more to do with overall mental health and happiness–like Sharon talks about. Do what you have to do to make *you!* happy.

    🙂 Marion

    • Sharon’s been lucky in how easily she was able to almost seamlessly incorporate her two blogs into one. I guess for me it will come down to what, if anything, I want to write.

  33. I LOVE your blog! I just happened across it today You are an inspiration…don’t stop!

    Lisa
    foryoufatty.blogspot.com

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