Time, gentlemen, please.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

You know how I said yesterday I was fucking knackered? Well, it's true. I am. But not just because of my whirlwind weekend. It's also because of this. Blogging, every day, like a maniac. 

I don't think I need to tell you how much I love blogging. You know I do. Blogging has given me two precious commodities that are hard to come by in our fractured, success-obsessed society: Community; and Creativity.

I have laughed and drunk with bloggers in Edinburgh, London and San Francisco. I have written nearly every day for nearly nine months, after a decade of writing nothing more than rambling emails and essays on obscure points of law. I have fallen in love with designers, photographers and writers I would never have otherwise known about. I have cheered, I have cried, I have laughed so hard that Diet Coke sputtered out of my nose.

But for everything blogging has given me, it has also, undeniably, taken something away. Principally, time. Time with my friends, my husband, my "real-life" community. Time to pursue other forms of creativity. Time to pay attention to the life that is happening around me, and to participate fully in it, instead of being too busy blogging about it.

Do you know I frequently stay up into the early hours, desperately tapping out posts I should always start earlier and never do? Do you know I carry a notebook everywhere I go, scribbling away on buses and in sandwich shops, trying to squeeze every last drop of time into this blog? Do you know I am slowly cultivating a European Ironing Mountain in my spare bedroom? And for what? Seriously, why?

Don't panic; I'm not giving up. Not by a long way. This blog is dear to me, and so are you, and I don't intend to sign off any time soon. I have listened with intense interest as others have wrestled with these questions and reached their own decisions, but ultimately for me it's too damn fun to stop. Nevertheless, I want to pause for a moment and examine my reasons for doing this. Hold them up to the light, pick out every crack and flaw; decide whether they are honest and good, or small and selfish. Probably both.

It's so easy to get cheap validation from visitor numbers, comments, subscribers, stats. Google Analytics whispers seductively in my ear, its facts and figures inching slowly, tantalisingly upwards. I become terrified that if I don't post today, and tomorrow, and the next day, then people will stop listening, and then the blog will shrivel and die and I will be left here all alone, shouting into an empty room. It's not healthy. I need to get a grip.

So let's call this an experiment.

Maybe I'll only post when I have something to say, and the time to say it properly.

This is going to be hard for me. Everything I read everywhere about successful blogging says, Post regularly, Post every day, Post twice a day, Post every minute of every day. I know there are one or two of you who read my blog first thing every morning without fail, and I love you for it, and I am so sad to let you down. I don't doubt for a moment that posting regularly, and the rigid self-discipline this entails, is important. But it's not the most important thing. Never forget the first rule of Copyblogger:

You do not publish content that sucks.

And the second rule of Copyblogger:

You do NOT publish content that sucks.

Okay then. Let's give that a shot.

But! But but but! I still want you to read. I don't want to shout into that empty room. So, here are your options:

1. Subscribe in a reader (on that topic, if you are one of the eight people who subscribed to this feed, you need to change to this feed because I ballsed it up. Okay? Thanks.)

2. Follow me on Bloglovin'.

3. Subscribe by email, so you don't even have to come here! I'll come to you! Because I'm nice that way. (Your email address won't be used for anything else and I promise not to spam you with fake ponytails.)

4. Follow me on twitter, where I tweet a link every time I post. And say stuff like this.

5. Add me to your favourites and then check back obsessively every day to see if I've posted. Google Analytics will like that, oh yeah. But it might get a bit annoying for you. You  might want to think about one of the other options instead.

6. Drop me an email, just to say hi. Tell me what you think, what you'd like me to write about. Send me links to yellow shoes. That kind of thing.

7. Do all of the above. I vote for this option.

8. Or, never read my blog again. Definitely don't do this one. In fact, this is NO LONGER AN OPTION.

So, that's what I'm thinking. I need some time back. Time for other projects, like READING and SLEEPING and IRONING. Maybe writing some of those guest posts I've been vaguely thinking about. Starting that best-seller (or not). But don't worry, I have lots of ideas for this place too. I'll still be here a lot. Just, you know. Sporadically.

P.S. I closed the comments, for the first time ever. It's liberating. I recommend it.

Stitchtionary by Stitch Therapy via Zoe's Pinterest

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