Back in my brief blogging heyday, I felt baffled and abandoned when a fellow blogger would vanish from my Reader. Not only did I miss the blogger’s words or photos, but I felt concern: had a crisis or illness prevented the blogger from posting? Sure, I could see skipping a few days or even a week, but to disappear completely from the WordPress landscape, without a word of farewell or explanation? That would never happen to me, I resolved with the smugness of a self-righteous newbie.
Fast-forward several months, and I have become one of those bloggers who dedicated herself to blogging for a few intense months and then dropped out of the blogosphere abruptly, quietly, even unintentionally. How can it be that blogging — the refuge and sanctuary for those who toil through dreary days with little outlet for creative expression — also has its limitations? For a blogger, too, must have discipline and balance; to share sporadically is not the thing in the blogging world. Here, too, if I wish to succeed, I must budget, plan, and prune. Sigh.
I began to back out of regular blogging at the beginning of 2015, when I realized that it would be imprudent to continue my second attempt at Blogging 101. My reluctant retreat became a sudden silence. And now I sit at my laptop, having missed my first Blogiversary, hoping that my readers will not give up on me, yet knowing that there is little likelihood of my posting regularly until July.
Instead of offering a haven of empty days, the summer has prompted me to host and feed house guests, pack and unpack bags, and prepare and plan for future journeys. Dutifully, I have photographed beautiful vistas and fluttering butterflies with a wistful thought of turning this or that photo into a blog post. I have enjoyed the laughter and optimism of a remarkable group of young people. I have been blessed by hours spent not only with my husband and nearly-grown children but with my parents and in-laws. The summer holiday has not exactly been a holiday, but it has been rich and rewarding.
But I look forward to July, when I hope to peruse the neglected blogs of those whom I follow. Even as I struggle to find time for writing, I am thankful for this blog (and my other blog), and the many kindred spirits whom I have met through blogging: Beth, Deborah, Anna, Dan, April, Lucile, Colleen, Sammy D., Lia, John, Terri, Mara, Doug, Linda, Chic, and so many other writers who seek beauty and truth. I am also thankful for my daughter Emily, whose flirtation with blogging was the catalyst for my setting up a WordPress account. And I appreciate the encouragement of bloggers and readers whom I know in the “real world”: Mary Kathryn, Michael, Suzanne, and my Facebook friends, your comments and “likes” give me the courage to keep blogging.
I am also grateful for Photo 101 and Blogging 101. My foray into the blogosphere has taught me a few tips for taking pictures (the Rule of Thirds, anyone?), and I will never forget the warmth that I felt from other newish bloggers as we embarked on the assignments in the Blogging 101 class. Indeed, the camaraderie that I experienced through Blogging 101 far outweighs the value of what I learned in the assignments (useful though they were).
So, here’s to another year of erratic blogging! May I be a more disciplined and compassionate blogger in the coming year. It is, perhaps, a sign of hope that this morning — the first day in many months when I have found myself alone in the house with no immediate obligations — I turned my thoughts to my long-neglected blog.