Thursday, March 26, 2009

This was just as cathartic as any

After more than four years and thousands of posts, I'm contemplating giving up my blog.

There. I said it.

It's not for any other reason than I have trouble finding the time, and I feel some sort of odd responsibility to update on a daily basis because it's expected of me somehow. The combination seems to add pressure at a time I don't need it.

I still get immense pleasure from blogging, especially getting to know people I otherwise never would have met. Getting feedback -- sometimes brutally honest -- encourages me on my difficult days, keeps me grounded, provides advice I hadn't thought of and even helps me see things differently on occasion.

Even more than all that, writing fulfills me in ways I never thought possible when I started. It's almost like a therapy session.

In public.

But since I've had Allison, I haven't had any time to devote to it. Instead, I find myself sacrificing what little opportunity to sleep I do get just to jot down a few scrambled thoughts before I pass out. Or bribing Alli with a banana the next morning in hopes that I can slam out a post in the time it takes her to finish it.

More often than not, though, I end up with gooey smears on my pants as she whines at my lap because the computer is one of her favorite toys -- afterall, it is the magic keeper of New York Grandma via webcam and Kelly Clarkson videos.

Then there is the fact that my continued inability to post daily has prompted some not to click here as often. And comments, my second favorite part of this medium next to writing, have dwindled because of it. That and the odds of me having time to respond is right up there with lightning striking twice. Or Allison spontaneously speaking in complete sentences.

The weird thing is, I still wake up or fall asleep writing in my head. My ongoing inner dialogue is strangely in the form of blog posts. (An apparent side-effect of longterm blogging.) I've often thought that if I could invent a way to post just by thinking the words, the blogosphere would run out of space. The ideas are always there, I just can't seem to find time to get them out.

The other voice in my head is telling me to stick with it because there has to be something more to this collection of words than a bunch of URLs -- even if just a singular book I self-publish to hand to my daughter someday. Or to sit and reread on occasion when Jerry and I are retired to remind us of the time he hit me in the face with our Christmas tree stump or Toby jumped out the passenger window of his moving vehicle.

So I guess it's not goodbye. For now anyway. This post actually steered me toward continuing to make time for it when I can -- mostly because the thought of letting it go forms a little knot in my stomach that I just can't, well, stomach.

Maybe when it's time to stop, I won't feel any regret.

52 comments:

Erin said...

You gotta do what you gotta do....but I would miss reading about you and Alli and Jerry=)

Anonymous said...

I would miss you sooo much! I have been reading your blog for years. On Xanga and everything. I rarely comment but, I feel like I know you. You make me laugh. You make me think. I click on your site everyday. If you haven't posted I'm usually pretty sure it'll be the next day or so. And when I see that it is updated, it really is a special treat. But, it isn't your responsibility to do so, it's supposed to be YOUR outlet. Not your readers'. You do have a life that has become much more complicated since having Alli. But it is nice to hear from one of my 'friends'. I really hope you don't stop blogging. Even if you post once a month, I'd click everyday waiting for it.
Sara

Shal said...

Yes as the others said it is YOUR blog... but we would miss you so much! And even if we don't comment don't let that affect you! I come here and go back and read before Alli posts, and some of the Jerry posts (really he needs to have a blog from his perspective, would be really funny!)

But do what you do, you're a gifted writer and even if it's just once in a while know you'll always have me as a reader/follower of your blog!

Plus I might cry if you leave the blogosphere! I'm pregnant and hormonal ;)

PeachyKeen said...

Ditto Anonymous! I started reading you 3 or 4 years ago on Xanga, but I rarely comment. I click your site every day, and while I'm disappointed if there's nothing new, I always come back the next day.

julie said...

I hear ya Kell. I have trouble finding time to write anything lately. And when I do get the time away from Shobha, there's just too many other things that need to be done, or I just sit here and stare at an empty page trying to think of what to write. Yet I won't give it up because when I need it, it's here. And it's the only way I keep in touch with so many online friends.

I'm glad you steered yourself towards keeping your blog. Just know it's YOUR blog, and we'll be here whenever you can get a post in.

Kristy said...

Now in my third pregnancy my posts have dwindled too. I love to read your blog and check for a new entry every morning. I'll be here to read if you continue to write.

As much as you treasure your daughter, please take a little time for yourself, even if it's not maintaining your blog. You need to be Kelly sometimes too.

Best wishes!

Fit Mama said...

Just post when you feel like it! I've also been a long-time reader, and remember all the amazing and sad things you have posted about. I'm sure it is amazing to look back and remember all the experiences. I wish I had a place to look back and remember what I was doing and what I was feeling. Like many others, I click here several times a week looking for a new post :)

bethany1699 said...

i'm very glad you've decided to stay :)

Aahcoffee said...

Ditto Sara/Anonymous. I've followed you from xanga and have so enjoyed your blog. Seeing you go through life with grace and honesty and humor has actually helped me do the same. I don't think I ever comment, but only because I would be lost in a sea of other comments. If you only posted every now and then, I'd still read you. :) When or if the time comes for you to let this go, know that the words you've put here have not been wasted, and the time you've invested has not been wasted. You have left a beautiful mark.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for years, and I hardly every comment as well. I check your blog every day, and I'm only excited when you post, it's like a treat because I know you don't have the time to do it everyday. I would be sad if you stopped bloging, but then again it would be completely understandable. I'm glad you decided to keep it for awhile longer.

Randall @ Happy For This Moment said...

I certainly understand all of your reasonings but would miss reading your updates on your family!

Nikki said...

Ah! You would definitely be missed! I know you say that your comments have dwindled, but there is always the option to post weekly or bi-weekly. That way you will have more notable posts each time? Just a thought, but I understand your need to tend to your family. They SHOULD come first!

Candi said...

I have contemplated closing my blog many times in recent months for the same reasons. However, I do plan on passing my blogs on to my kids when they're older, hopefully in the form of book(s). It's better than any journal!

Margo said...

Hi. I never post a comment, but I always read. I am subscribed, and look forward to your posts. My daughter is 3 weeks older than yours, and it is so much fun to watch as they both do the same things at almost the same time. I love reading your blog. I understand how hard it is to find time to blog, though. Glad you've decided to stick with it.

gorakagaz said...

I hope you continue to write as long as you feel like it. I really enjoy reading your blog, even though I don't comment often--mostly because I have nothing to say except "haha :)" which would get old pretty quickly. Just know that if/when you do stop blogging, that it's not just you who benefited from it--you've made a lot of people's days better by putting a smile on their face :)
Mine included.

Lioncloud said...

If you stop blogging then I will have to assume that whatever Jerry says on the air about a particular incident is TRUE. YOU WANT THAT TO HAPPEN???????

Glrr

the_plainsman said...

I'll read the rest of the comments afterwards, Kelly, but I would encourage you to keep up with a blog in some fashion.

Writing skills need constant honing and dicipline to keep their edge, and I'm not talking about the writing many of us do as part of our jobs. And the constraints of your published weekly column are not quite enough as there are boundaries there. Nor is keeping a private journal, as there is no feedback.

That being said, feeling a pressure to produce almost on a daily basis does not enhance the skills either (that's another job), or nourish the desire and needs that consume a born writer, which you are.

On the personal side, a fact that many here no doubt have commented on already, is that we have come to regard you and Jerry as friends we care about, and are Allison's and Toby's other Uncles and Aunts, albeit ones who have never met.

So a complete break would be some sort of violation of the Geneva Convention rules of blogging.

So I hope you continue in some fashion, but you do not have to do it on the treadmill that it seems it has become for you.

That's no fun, as it is in the end, the quality, not quantity that counts, and you excell in the quality writing department.

Besides, I am looking forward to when you write about giving Allison her first driving lesson, and when she gets her "first six tickets!"

Jay W.

Marcy said...

Nothing says you have to either post every day, or give up altogether. Give yourself a "blogging break" -- a week, two weeks, a month, whatever. Then see how you feel. If you miss it, come back, and there's nothing wrong with you only posting a couple times a week (if that). If you don't miss it, then you know it's time to move on.

With the advent of wonderful inventions like Google Reader, we can simply lay in waiting and be notified if/when you do post again, and will always come back. =)

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog since your xanga days, around the time you were getting married and I became hooked. Whether it was bad times or good times, you always have this amazing ability to put your life in writing, and that's what I love about your blog. I too rarely comment, but I check your blog every day. If you decide to give it up, I would be disappointed, but would also understand why.

Anonymous said...

I agree with pretty much everything else that has been said. I've been following you since Xanga and planning for your wedding...I love reading your blog! I would understand if you decided not to do it though. What if you just tried to post like a few times a week or month instead of everyday?

Amy said...

DON'T LEAVE KELLY!!!!

Although I do realize that you have to do what you have to do. Like everyone said, it's your blog, and you're free to do what you want with it. We all have priorities. I know someone suggested this already but why not post when you feel like it? And I promise, I for one, will not complain. I have followed your blog from the Xanga days also. And I look forward to reading it every morning. But do what's right for you.

Jaclyn said...

I got SO sad reading this!! I'm going to miss you!!
But I COMPLETELY understand where you're coming from. You shouldn't feel as though you "should" blog just for us; you should do it if/when you want to. And feeling outside pressures to do it kind of detracts from the joy in it.
So good luck...I'll miss you but will still be checking in regularly!!

Karen said...

And naturally, this post gets tons of comments!

I would miss your writing. Since I work for a former sports reporter, I miss blogs that have REAL writing.

I would hope that you would find a little time to keep us updated on Alli's progress. She's just too cute to not hear about her antics!

Anonymous said...

this post just screams for a comment!
Dont know if you remember and doestn really matter but we chatted on facebook a while ago, im ''esther from holland''. Ive been reading your blog for as long as i can remember. I went as far as reading all your older posts which i all enjoyed. I feel like i know you. I tell nmy friends about you. You are the lady in america who ive witnessed getting married (i was invited to the wedding party) cried with when you had a miscarriage and laughed with when you had a daughter who turned out to be everything you expected and much more. I cant imagine what it would be like if you werent here anymore!
Dont worry about posting every day or feeling like you have to. Try see it the same way you did in the beginnning, its something for you to use as an outlet and if people happen to stumble upon it and read great, if not, its still your outlet. I dont think you really have anything to worry about considering all these comments though ;)
ps. sorry this is such a long comment, if you made it this far good job, if you havent i know you need every minute of sleep you can get !

MB said...

I found you from someone else on Xanga and would be very sad to see you go~!

Anonymous said...

Kelly, we understand about the time thing and these are precious years with Ali that go all too soon. We've come to know and love you and family through this blog and whatever you decide, know that you have enriched a lot of lives with your humour and insight. Thanks you and hope you can carry on for a while but don't sweat it, we'll figure out life on our own....somehow....someway....

darcy

aj said...

DON'T GO!

I have you favorited on my blog so I can see when you update! Who has time every day? Ha.. But when you do post, I rush over to read because I know, without a doubt, that I have never regretted my time spent reading your words!

Thank you for posting!

Rachael said...

Kelly,
I don't post much, but checking your blog is a part of my everyday routine. Whether you continue or not I just wanted to let you know that your "therapy" is therapy for me too. The second I get my three girls settled down for their afternoon nap, I haul my booty over to novelle360.com for some mommy time. After having a good laugh and seeing your adoration for Alli, I can get through the rest of the day. As a Mom I can understand whole heartedly why keeping up here could cause you a lot of stress. So if you go I just want you to know how much this reader has enjoyed you and your beautiful family.

Mia said...

I always like reading your blog! I've read it for years too, since you were on xanga! I hope you don't quit it, but I could understand.
It's disappointing when there's not a new post to come to, but it's not expected that you should have one every day because you are really busy, which we all know!
I hope you keep it up, but we'll understand!

Marja said...

Don't go :( If you must, you must, but just know you have one loyal non-commenting reader in California who loves you!

Erin said...

See, threaten us that you're leaving and we all comment :P

STAYY!! I don't usually have time to comment, but you are apart of my daily reads that I'd hate to lose. So, um, please don't go!

Anonymous said...

You know best for your life, of course, but for what it's worth I always enjoy reading your blog, even when I can't comment.

Joanna said...

I have read every single blog post you've ever made. I fell in love with your blog years ago when you were on xanga, about a year after you'd started blogging I think. I backtracked and read your entire story, and can't imagine not having you around to check in on. But if it's jeopordizing any part of your life, then I think you should do what you see fit. I will say though that it breaks my heart to think about not hearing from you anymore!

Heidi said...

I've been a reader for years - ever since I blogged on Xanga about my teenage woes and you left me a sweet comment. I rarely comment here though, honestly because I find it awkward to speak up sometimes. But I love reading what you write - it's raw, real, endearing, and I feel through your words! I do hope you consider stopping by for years to come, but don't feel obligated with a daily commitment.

http://www.tartx.com/blog/?page_id=233

This reminds me of the above website. It's called Blogging Without Obligation. Your blog shouldn't be forced, and I would encourage you to keep it up - but only post when you have something to say and the time to say it.

-Heidi

Ashley said...

i agree with most everyone who has commented thus far. i really enjoy reading your blog, and have read every entry. i started about a year or so into it, and backtracked to read everything. i really enjoy your style of writing and really appreciate you sharing your life with us. i understand the time constraints, and if the desire's not there, then don't force yourself. but i love the monthly letters to alli and just the general day to day stories you have. i love that you're so "real". Please continue to blog and share your life with us.

Anonymous said...

You can't! I've been a committed reader the past four years, and you can't do this to me!

Reading your blog was/is the ultimate highlight of my day. I would be heartbroken.

Anonymous said...

I never comment either, but I too have been reading since the xanga days. I still check your blog everyday, and enjoy reading it.

Kate said...

As evidenced by the outpouring of comments from your lurking, rarely commenting readers, you are a much too valuable addition to the blogosphere to leave. I followed you here from xanga, and your posts always bring a smile to my face. We'd miss you greatly if you left!

Silverwolf said...

It would certainly be a bummer not to be able to read your blog anymore. I've been reading it since... 2006? Sometime before I went to Iraq. :) But whatever you gotta do! (but secretly, I really hope you keep writing - I'm selfish like that! :d

Anonymous said...

I check your website everyday! It's part of my routine! I can see how finding time is difficult, but even with this schedule now--only writing when you have time--is fine for us. We can't be too greedy now can we? Just because you don't have as many comments, doesn't mean that we aren't reading. Seriously. If it's something you really have to do, I'm sure we'll understand eventually, but there will never be a blog that I love just as much as this one! And there's certainly no Kelly and Jerrys like you in the world. (And Allisons too!)

Thanks for all you've done for us. =]

Ray said...

Whenever you do decide to stop writing, "You will be dearly MISSED!" <3 I've been reading your blog for so long (since your honeymoon posts) and have enjoyed them immensely.

But of course:

Family comes first. And your health (when it comes to being well-rested) is just as important. If you only have time to write once a week or once every two weeks, so be it. As long as you're doing it because it makes you happy, that's what matters most.

Take, care Kelly.

Jennifer said...

When I was pregnant (and even in those first horrid months afterward), your blog helped keep me laughing- oftentimes, it was the only thing that could make me do it. So, if you do leave, I understand. But I'll miss your humor, zaniness, and presence here.

Kirstin said...

thank you so much for all of the fabulous posts that have made me laugh, on occasions cry, and always always make my day happier.

i don't comment often, but i want you to know that your voice has made my days brighter.

thank you and i would miss you if you left :0). but i hope that whatever you do is the best for you!

Anonymous said...

No you can't!!!! But do it for you and when you have time. I'd rather have a few posts every now and then, then nothing at all. Even if its just the monthly letters to Alli.

Lori :-) said...

Something that might help... eventually:

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-340921.html

BTW, nice seeing you today! Hope that project isn't totally killing you.

Anonymous said...

Please don't give up your blogging. Some days it's the only thing that can make me smile or laugh.

Anonymous said...

We'd hate for you to go!! But you could always try Twitter?

Christina said...

Don't go. =( Please.

Anonymous said...

My daily routine, get up, make coffee, feed the animals and log on to check for a new post. When there is one, it's like x-mas morning..lol When theres not, i just think darn and go about my daily routine, however i do check back at the end of the day :-)
I really hope you stay with the blogging, but if not thats ok as well. I remember having little ones and working a full time job and it's tuff to handle, let alone trying to keep the whole world wide web happy. You do what you feel best, but as you can tell by the comments, YOU WOULD BE MISSED.

B said...

I'd miss you so much, you bring many belly laughs, along with reminders that among all the uproar in life, you have to take a few minutes and laugh at the seriousness of it all. If you have to go, you have to go, but you sure would be missed, and not just for the amusing parts of your blog, but also for the way you are able to touch us with the serious.

Anonymous said...

I've never missed an entry. Odd since you don't even know me, but I've been reading you since before your wedding. I would miss you. You know what? You're a mother now. Nothing goes according to plan or schedule, certainly not always, regardless how control freaky you need to be. We don't put the pressure on you. I'm fine with once a week or whenever. YOU put the pressure on you. This too shall pass, Kelly. Sleep deprivation is the worst...but still I'm tempted to say, these are the easy years.

Take a break, but don't shut down. Lots of ne'er commenters, like me, would miss you.
Wissh/Chriss

Tanya said...

I would really miss reading your blog if you stopped. I am yet another follower from Xanga and, although I am not posting there either anymore (moved to LJ), I still have your blog in my favorites. Reading your posts gives me so much insight into what my life will be like when my husband and I are parents. But, also, don't feel like you have to post every day if you can't. We understand.