Recently I’ve chosen to post more superficially and less frequently than I have in the past – I have so many things I’d like to share about, things that are more consequential than what I’ve been sharing about lately. I’ve missed posting about what is on my heart and mind, but I’ve had a lot of ambivalence about blogging recently. My concession is to post about things that don’t require as much mental energy from me.
I started this blog back in Aug. 2006 as a way to help young mothers who didn’t have any one in real life to turn to with parenting issues. I’ve been blessed with a lot of joy in arena of family life and wanted to help others experience it, too. Unlike most people who start a blog, I didn’t tell anyone I was blogging until two and a half years after I started, when friends said I should make my thoughts and experiences available to others, and I told them I already was, right here on the blog! It’s amazing to me how many of you have somehow found this blog despite my low key approach; the growth seems to be mostly through word of mouth and I appreciate that so many of you have shared my blog with friends.
I’ve expanded from the original topic of parenting – in response to new things I learned about and implemented as well as questions, I gradually shared more about frugality, homemaking, homeschooling, nutrition, preserving and growing our own food, and other topics. I’ve enjoyed having a way to share what we were doing and offering information that was of practical help, inspiration, or interest to others.
What has motivated me to use my limited time to write here for four years was the joy I got out of being able to share with all of you. People used to ask me what I did for ‘self time’, and I told them that’s what my blog was. Those of you who have taken time from your busy lives to share your feedback have been a big part of why I’ve posted as much as I have – no one wants to feel they’re writing to an empty audience! I’ve been touched by those of you who have told me the ways this blog has changed your perspective or life for the better, and this has been my main encouragement in continuing. But bit by bit the joy of blogging has been draining out and without that, I’ve been less motivated to share.
Why am I feeling like this? One big reason is I’m increasingly concerned that if something is inelegantly written or poorly expressed, something I write will be taken out of context or misunderstood. It takes a lot of time and energy to write for publication because ideas have to be so clearly fleshed out. My most recent published article took over three hours to write – a typical blog post takes less about an hour. The difference in time is clarifying and reclarifying the way something is expressed to avoid misunderstanding. But I’m already spending a significant amount of time blogging and clearly it would be a poor use of time to spend triple that to ensure every post is the quality of a published article! However, I’m reluctant to share about topics that are the most meaningful to me since I don’t want to be misunderstood and can’t spend hours composing every sentence for the small minority of readers who may take offense.
There are some other reasons, but the biggest one is that at this point I’m doing some serious reevaluating of where my life energies are being spent. I have to determine where my energy is best spent, and as enjoyable as blogging has for the most part been, I’m really questioning if this blog is of sufficient value that it continues to justify my time. Hundreds of you are reading here every day, and knowing the size of my readership are has always been very encouraging. But at this point I’d appreciate more direct feedback.
(Suddenly a recent event with the rabbi of our synagogue popped into mind. He started this synagogue almost a quarter of a century ago, and fairly recently decided to leave to go to another synagogue. Why would he leave something he had put so much of his heart and soul into establishing? Because he was putting in so much time and effort with so little feedback, and it was discouraging to the extreme to feel he was working on his own. People were happy to take what was offered but took what was offered for granted, and weren’t willing to engage in more participatory roles of giving. In the end, when the congregation realized what they’d be losing, there was an outpouring of support and commitments to be more involved, and the rabbi decided to stay. We tend to underestimate the importance of appreciation.)
If you’ve been reading here on a regular basis, I’d love to hear why you keep coming back. What have you gained? What do you most appreciate about this blog, and why?
In the next couple of weeks I plan to meet with advisers to get their advice and feedback on life direction/time investment. I’ll be keeping all feedback in mind as I determine what to do or not do. For those who are willing to share their thoughts here regarding the blog, I’d very much appreciate hearing them! (I’d rather that thoughts were shared in the comments section, but for those who prefer to contact me directly, you can email me at avivahwerner at yahoo dot com.)