A few weeks ago, on the heels of a very unmotivated year of blogging (actually, probably more accurately, an unmotivated eighteen months at least of blogging), I posed a question to myself:
“Is it worth it to continue to blog?? Has this just run its course for me? Do I still have a purpose here?”
I thought at the time that perhaps I’d write a few posts to explore this question – but it turns out I didn’t need to. The post where I posited the question became, as I wrote it, a reminder of all of the reasons I really love blogging – something I didn’t anticipate when I sat down to write it! As the weeks have passed since, I’ve felt only more certain that I don’t want to abandon blogging…that I’d miss it…that there is still something useful to be found for me in the act of crafting and publishing posts.
So the real question is not actually whether or not I should continue to blog.
It, rather, is: what happened to my blogging in late 2015/2016? It was much more than a blogging slump. What was it???
I’ve been mulling that the last couple of weeks. And the short answer?:
I realized that the flow of my blogging is linked much tighter than I had previously grasped with my general creative flow.
And that what happened to my blogging in 2016 has actually happened before.
I started my (now defunct) first blog in 2011, in the days immediately following the ending of my marriage. At that time, I was struggling with all of the intense emotions and grief surrounding that, and was trying to make sense of my new path.
I loved blogging, pretty much from the first: the act of engaging in it – crafting the posts, etc – the community aspects. Just all of it. I blogged regularly and enthusiastically, as I navigated my terrifying, stressful, confusing – and also sort of thrilling – new life.
By the early days of 2013, my life had stabilized considerably. My ex and I had made some significant inroads towards our goal of a post-marriage friendship and supportive co-parenting situation – so my worry over my kids’ well-being, for example, was much diminished. I’d also found some paying work writing – which was tremendously empowering for me, personally.
But I was conscious of myself as standing at a turning point – and of an accompanying need to hibernate a little bit. Now that some of my recent traumas had dissipated, I needed to get my bearings. I needed to get inside my head more, to speak less and listen more, to think, ponder, muse – privately.
Blogging wasn’t conducive to this. The energy wasn’t right. Blogging asked me to “speak” when what I really wanted was just to be quiet.
So I shut that blog down – and gave myself over to that more intrinsically personal time.
Fast forward several months – and I was experiencing a crazy creative renaissance. That period of self-imposed quiet, of transition, had been, it seemed, something akin to a caterpillar settling into a cocoon – and by Fall 2013, I was breaking out again, ready to test my new wings and fly!
It was a really exciting and very fun time. I had so much swirling around inside of my head, so many ideas, so much to think about and talk about and explore! So I started another blog. (This one!) And I blogged with enthusiasm for the rest of 2013, and all of 2014, and into 2015.
And then it all kind of fizzled out. Starting midway through 2015, and continuing throughout 2016.
What I didn’t grasp until now is that that’s because I had entered into another period of transition.
This one has been more intense and anxiety-riddled than that other in early 2013. It’s also been more drawn out (stretching eighteen months, as opposed to 2013’s roughly 9 months.) But I recognize it now for what it was. It’s obvious enough to me that I think it’s funny that I didn’t see it before!
And, seeing it now, it’s clear why I’ve had trouble blogging: The issue isn’t with blogging itself. The issue is with me. It’s tied up completely with where I’m at, personally and creatively.
Late 2015/2016 simply wasn’t a “speaking” time. It wasn’t conducive to blogging. I needed to be doing other things.
And the reason I see that so clearly now is because I’m not in that place anymore.
The sense of possibility I feel right now – possibility, fueled by curiosity – and of creative flow and potential – and of awareness…of beauty and magic and just…everything. This all reminds me of how I felt in late 2013/2014. It feels familiar…in a very good way.
I have a very strong feeling that “unmotivated blogging” is not going to be an issue for a while. 🙂