I believe things happen for a reason. Sometimes, there seems to be more irony than reason in the way events unfold, but I think that life has a purpose and there truly are explanations for why things occur even if we don’t’ always discover the answers in this lifetime.
But sometimes it seems that events do push you down a specific path.
I just discovered that since I switched to Blogger’s beta version my posts have not been getting picked up by Lefty Blogs. I had been wondering why there were so few comments on my blog. Surely my opinions hadn’t grown any less offensive to those readers who always found me disagreeable. Maybe I had gotten more boring – a distinct possibility that I can’t really discount.
I certainly have been less observant than usual because I didn’t notice until late yesterday that Lefty Blogs hadn’t picked up two things I had posted a couple of hours earlier. So, out of curiosity I went to their site to see if they had dropped me. After all, perhaps I’m not lefty enough. Another distinct possibility.
Nope, I’m still on their Virginia blogroll. I surfed around and to my surprise discovered that a lot of other bloggers who used Blogger and switched to the beta version were having the same problems with their feed.
In my case, it amused me because it’s just the shove in a direction I’ve wanted to take for a while. I’ve even mentioned it to a few friends and fellow bloggers.
I’m going to hang up my dancing slippers and slip away.
There are a few reasons for this, which actually have little to do with Lefty Blogs. That they aren’t getting my feed is just a fortuitous coincidence.
The main reason that I’m taking a break from blogging is lack of time. To really do it right, political blogging needs to be an on the spot, up to the minute response to breaking news. In today’s instant headline world, blogging is not the place for the leisurely, thoughtful in depth analysis that I like to write and read in others. The most relevant bloggers do short, choppy and timely posts, updating several time a day. And I just can’t do that anymore.
I think you can get away with updating just once a day. But when you go longer than two or three days, you really get less relevant. Or at least that’s my take on it.
And blogging is fairly time intensive. Unlike some other forms of writing, such as fiction, memoirs, and personal essays, it’s impossible to do political blogging without a lot of reading of other blogs, newspapers, and magazines. You can’t do the type of blogging that I was trying to do without being well informed and without being willing to do intensive research and linking. That more than the actual writing is what makes it so labor and time intensive.
I enjoyed every minute of doing it, almost to the point of addiction. Indeed, on any given night, long after I had researched, linked, and written my own blog entry, I’d still be up surfing the net and reading other people’s blogs, and writing comments on their sites too.
But I can’t keep doing that. As much fun as it’s been, I’ve been informed by those who love me that I need to take my life back. I need to stop neglecting family members. Having lost my mother nearly a year ago, it became very clear to me that the people I ignore today may not be here tomorrow and I may not ever get the chance to make it up to them.
Nor should any of us put off doing the things we want to do for that mythical tomorrow that may never come. And I’ve been putting off doing something that I’ve wanted to try for way too long.
I alluded to it in another post (no, I refuse to link this time, I’m tired of linking). In "No Republican Blogger Died In the Making of This Blog," I mentioned that I was getting interested in writing fiction. I gave you a brief snippet – but a sort of tongue in cheek sample.
The truth is I know I’m a decent enough writer of non-fiction and of doing the type of writing that works on a blog or even in an off-line op-ed piece. But I have no objective proof that I’d be a good fiction author. Still, I’d sure like to try.
I don’t expect my first efforts to be dazzling because the first essay I wrote back in fifth or sixth grade wasn’t brilliant either. It took work and practice to be an effective non-fiction writer. And it will probably take effort to be even a little bit good as a novelist or short story writer.
I’ve made my first effort and joined a writer’s workshop at my local library. When I read my short story it was very well received and that gave me encouragement to keep trying. It’s when I start sending work out to actual editors and publishers that I expect to taste a bit more humility. But that’s what having a support group like the one I joined is for. To get the feedback and validation to keep plugging away when the going gets tough.
So, I’m going to try my hand at writing fiction. And I’m going to take more time to savor my family and friends and rejoice while I’ve got them.
And next year, I’ll probably get so impassioned, once again, by the state of politics that I’ll be back. Or maybe not. I’m not closing the door on blogging. But for now, another door is opening.