Why I Quit Blogging (and Why I Keep Coming Back)
Before diving back into this pool of madness, I took time to reflect on why I quit blogging. Not once, but repeatedly. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years. Periodically I have a fit of pique and delete everything, only to start up again at a later date. Sometimes these blogs will on on for years. Other times for a few weeks. They always end. Which of course begged the followup question of why I keep coming back. I needed to find some answers before I put myself, and the handful of readers who’ve managed to stick with me, through all of this again.
We can start with the obvious: life gets in the way. This isn’t my day job. The most I’ve ever managed is to squeeze a little extra pocket money from blogging as a side hustle. When paid work, relationship, and the sundry demands of mortal existence demand my time and attention, this endeavor falls by the wayside. Not wanting to leave behind the abandoned husk of a blog that hasn’t been updated for months or years, I clean up after myself on the way out.
Why I Quit Blogging
There’s also the dirty secret that no one tells you about when you start this sort of project, that it requires actual effort. It is not an easy thing to pick a topic and then try to write about it, on a regular schedule, forever. This is why I switched to writing books. I can say what I need to say and be done with it. Next book, new topic. I suspect this is why multi-author blogs became a thing. The rare single-author blog that still exists is operated by a fanatical subject matter expert, or takes an eclectic approach to the topics it covers.
If I’m being completely honest, the most common reason for walking away is my mental health. For some reason I can write other things when I’m in the grip of depression or anxiety. Trying to write a blog post, especially one where I talk about myself or attempt to express an opinion, goes off the rails quickly. There is so much negativity. I feel as if I’m whining. I don’t want to write that. No one wants to read that. It’s not fun. If I can’t post regularly because I’m spiraling, and I’m not getting any enjoyment from the process, why am I bothering? This doesn’t even factor in the normal internet creator’s concern about whether anyone is reading what you’ve posted, and the unavoidable shitty comments that some great pieces of humanity feel compelled to leave.
Why I Keep Coming Back
My mental health is also the reason I keep coming back. I’m not saying that it’s a form of madness, or an obsessive-compulsive disorder. I miss reaching out to people. I’m not going to mischaracterize it as talking with people, or even talking to people. Writing always carries an element of talking at people. There’s some satisfaction to be had in airing one’s thoughts where they might be read. It’s not the same as writing in a journal or putting our a book, even when there’s little or no engagement with the audience. It’s knowing that a possibility exists, that I’ve opened a door in the event anyone wants to come in.
There is a need within me to create content, and not just consume it. To truly participate in the internet in ways other than passive or passive-aggressive reactions. Understanding that, I have some new insights on what I’d like to write about on this page, and how I want to approach that writing. I’m not saying that this time it will stick, and the blog will be back for good. I am saying that this round is going to a mindfully satisfying experience, for as long as it lasts. If it does peter out, at least this time I’ll be aware of why I quit blogging again.