Taking a Break to Figure Things Out
Tuesday, September 10, 2013Tweet
I've had this blog for almost four and a half years now, and it's changed a lot over that time. It was originally launched as a way to track my goals the summer I finished my master's degree and was looking for a job, looking for an apartment, trying to solve a health problem, and planning my wedding, all in the span of about two months.
After all those pieces were in place, I started blogging about marriage, life as an adult, and, of course, how my faith fit into all that.
In 2011, I did a happiness project and used this blog to track my monthly goals, and starting reflecting more about my life purpose. I also committed to a regular blogging schedule, which has changed over time but has meant blogging 2-3 times a week for more than two and a half years.
In August 2011, I attended the 20SB Summit and got more serious about blogging. I bought a domain name, hired a web designer, and set up a Facebook page.
I starting writing more regularly about LGBTQ issues and their intersections with Christianity. I branched out my reading of other blogs from reading about the lives of other 20-somethings and other married couples to learn more about privilege, feminism, and other big topics. I had more conversations with people about these topics, which changed what I wrote about.
I developed the Three Books on Thursday and Blog Comment Carnival linkups, neither of which ever really got off the ground. I started tracking my stats two years ago and watched them go slowly up and then plateau. I guest blogged. My stats went up a little, then down, then plateau, plateau, plateau.
This blog has always been a place for conversations and learning, and I've continued to have wonderful, loyal readers and commenters. But I've wanted -- and tried -- to start conversations I just don't have the audience for. I've struggled with how to build the audience while continuing to have quality posts that will sustain them until we can have those bigger conversations. I've wondered who, exactly, I even want to have those conversations with. And what it means when people continue to say they love my writing but then never share it with anyone.
And then I've gotten fed up with watching bloggers I respect oversimplify and mock each other's arguments, and I've wondered if this is even the realm I want to fight for a place in. And I've gotten frustrated with commenters who misunderstand and attack me. And I've been hurt when out of 400 Christian blogs not one person thought to nominate this one. Or when I put questions out on Twitter and, only occasionally, one person out of 188 followers responds. Who am I talking to? Who am I writing for, after four and a half years?
So I'm taking a break. I need to take some time, where I don't feel pressured to put out content, to figure out what I want this blog to be. What do I what to write about and who am I writing for? What, exactly, am I trying to accomplish here? Or is it maybe time to put this project to rest once and for all, and focus on the many others on my plate? Make an impact in some different ways?
I don't know what this break will look like -- I may pop back in and write something when I have something I want to say, or thoughts I need to work out. I just know that right now I need to take off the pressure to write that is paired with ambiguity about why and for whom I'm writing.
Thanks to those of you who have taken the time to join in the conversations I've started here. I've learned so much from those conversations, and that more than anything is why I hope I don't end up putting this blog to bed permanently. But then maybe it's time to learn only by listening for a while, and not by talking first. Even if I don't come back to it, I'm proud of what's here.