Taking a Break? Or Breaking Up With Blogging?

Disconnected or Disconnecting…


Ah…I’m back in the saddle again…

I was faithfully reading and commenting on blogs a few weeks ago, when my computer shut down mid-comment.  And it wouldn’t turn back on.  Much to my chagrin, my more tech-savvy husband was not able to rectify the situation upon his return from work that evening.  Our faithful PC was officially out of commission.  We spent a few weeks debating our options, to fix or replace…that was the question.  We spoke with the Geek Squad at Best Buy; we chatted with the store manager at Staples, M talked with his IT friend at work.  While we were able to access and back up the files on our hard drive, we were unsure whether it would cost more to repair  our laptop or buy a new one.  After pricing several of the cheapest models we could find during the holiday sales, we still calculated that once we purchased the Windows office suite, Internet security, plus the warranty plan we were considering after this fiasco, the bill would run a minimum of $500.00.  This was just not in the budget, especially with Christmas approaching. After asking around, M found a local computer repair shop that offerred free diagnostics.  We turned our sad little laptop over for assessment and were pleased to hear that repairs would cost a mere (!) $150.00.  So, a few days later, we have our laptop in hand.  However, we are waiting to get our Internet security reinstalled and updated, so I am still without Internet.  Soon enough, I’ll be back in the virtual realm.

During this time, I wondered a bit about what I really wanted out of blogging.  I started to consider whether this time away from my PC and the Internet was a sign that it was time to take a break or even a break up from blogging.  I have to say that the break couldn’t have come at a better time.  Between sleeplessness due to my daughter, V’s teething, a visit from my Dad for the Thanksgiving holiday, coming down with some illness that has left me depleted and visiting the doctor tomorrow, and pulling my back out this week, blogging would have been shuttled into the backdrop of my life anyway.

We did lots of fun family activities during this time away as well.  Our Christmas shopping is nearly complete; only two people to shop and wrap for.  We made many of our Christmas gifts this year; my daughter’s main gift from us, a homemade dollhouse, is well in hand due to the time we were able to devote to it.  Our homemade holiday cards are nearly complete (though we still have to address and mail them).  We cut down our first Christmas tree as a family and decorated it with my Dad during his visit (something I haven’t done in a good 12 years or so).  We visited Washington DC.  We had a playdate at our house (yep, I actually cleaned and cooked for this one, too!).   With all the activity, and also the lack of energy from little sleep and illness, I have to say, I missed my blog less than I had predicted.

What I did miss however, was writing.  I have always known that for me, the act of writing takes precedence over the work that is needed to be a successful blogger. I need to write; it is something I always have done and always will do as long as I am breathing. Honestly, most of blogging, I could take or leave.  I am happy when I discover an interesting blog that I enjoy reading, but I am selective about how I spend my time reading and commenting.  I do have periods of time I devote to this sort of activity, and I have a small circle of folks that I really enjoy reading and relating with, but I am not one of those folks who finds her primary community online.  For me, my community is in the non-virtual world, a world where I can hold my husband’s hand as we snuggle up watching Big Bang Theory or Dexter on the couch, a world where I can do “art projects” with my daughter, chat on the phone with my best friend from high school, hang out with friends at the park or kid’s rec center,  or run into our children’s librarian while enjoying an adjoining town’s holiday festivities.  The online communication I missed was posting and reading Facebook updates from my family and friends, checking my e-mail for any communications (still waiting!) from poetry journals I’ve submitted work to, and reading a handful of blogs that I really enjoy.  I don’t envision (though I wouldn’t shun the opportunity) being a blogger with product endorsements, a fancy website that I pay to sustain, or one that spends many hours of my week connecting online.  Because for every hour I spend online, that is one less hour I can spend living in the physical world, doing, enjoying, sensing, exploring.  I live enough in my head as it is; I need the balance of the tangible world and the people in it to keep me centered.

I plan to keep blogging for now.  I enjoy writing and sharing my writing online. I feel humbled by the folks that read and take something away from my writing; it makes me happy to think that my words might resonate for some of my readers.  I enjoy reading other people’s good writing, and reading sites that focus on child development, personal growth, or literature and poetry. I like connecting with other people in different places over shared interests and broadening my understanding of the world by reading people’s stories that differ from my own experiences. I know there are online communities I have yet to find, and that I will likely form and deepen some online friendships  if I continue my work.  But I am going to blog on my own terms.  I know that I have other roles and needs that supercede blogging and that for me, the drive to write would pulverize the drive to blog if they were to face off in a caged match. Though I know this won’t make me the world’s most popular blogger, I’m okay with that.  It’s who I am.  And I believe that being honest and true about my goals, rather than trying to fit myself into the role of the ideal blogger, will ultimately lead me down the writing path that is right for me.




9 responses to “Taking a Break? Or Breaking Up With Blogging?

  • Kristin @ What She Said

    I can relate to a lot of what you said here. While I do spend more time cultivating an online community than I think you do, it’s important to me as well to live just as much in the physical world as the virtual one. And the act of writing will always supercede reviews, giveaways, contests, and other paid opportunities. Writing to me is like putting together a puzzle – each word has to fit together just right to form a uniform picture. That will always be my first priority.

    I can take or leave many aspects of blogging as well and try not to get too caught up in playing the game. Because when all is said and done, I don’t want to be The Bloggess or Dooce. I rather like having a small blog, where I can personally respond to each comment individually and explore the blogs of those who visit mine. And in the end, I just want a outlet for my writing and my memories, and maybe a jumping-off point for other writing opportunities.

    But that’s the beauty of blogging – it’s not one-size-fits-all. It is what you make it.

    Good to see you back. I’ve missed you, both here and in my physical world. 🙂 Sorry you’re feeling so poorly, though. Do you need anything?

  • Juliana

    I love reading your blog. Makes me feel more connected to you guys even though we rarely get to talk or see each other. But I also get that it takes time away from the “real world.” So, I say, just do it when you want to and when it makes you happy.

    By the way, can I say how awesome I think it is that you and M are making V a dollhouse? What a great idea! I want to see pictures when you are done. The dollhouse has been one of the best gifts we ever bought. We got it two years ago at Christmas and it still gets played with almost every single day around here. When we go somewhere new if there is a Dollhouse, both of my girls make a beeline for it and will play with it the whole time we are there, ignoring everything else.

    Miss you!!

  • becky gomez

    You go girl –to each their own .

    Love to see the dollhouse that you and Marc did==V doesn’t know yet how great parents she has with all that you are doing and have with her.
    We’re very proud of you two, esp. with our great and wonderful daughter and mom.

  • Indu

    Pamela, I truly hope you don’t end up breaking up with the blogging world coz you’re one writer whose blog I thoroughly enjoy reading. Its a shame I don’t know you personally, you’re a wonderful and a sincere writer and you’ll always find readers no matter how infrequently you decide to update your blog.

  • Jessica@Team Rasler

    Wow, I feel like you took the words right out of my mouth. I’ve been on blogging hiatus lately, too, and missed writing so much more than I missed blogging. I’m happy to be a small blogger along with you, writing about our non-virtual lives. Thank you for reminding me that it’s fine not to be the world’s best blogger. We’re busy trying to be the best moms, wives, etc., after all. Have a very merry Christmas!

    • Pamela

      Hi Jessica!

      I need the reminder sometimes; the laptop breakdown had it’s upside! Have a Happy Christmas with your family! Best, P


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