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Blog means never having to say you’re sorry

April 12, 2012

All across the internet, writers are apologizing. They meant to update. They know it’s been a while. There have been things, but not bad things, just, you know, LIFE things. They’ll be back. This is just a placeholder. They’ve been composing posts, really they have, but then they got distracted and the baby threw up and well, here we are three weeks later….

Back when I started writing this website, I decided in advance that I wasn’t going to snivel if I failed to update in time. An apology, I figured, was really just a way of deflecting blame; besides, the person composing these essays isn’t a real person, and this is not a blog about the quotidian. There would be writing when I had something to say, and the time to say it properly. Otherwise, what was the point?

I wrote two posts ago about my ongoing attempts to protect three hours a day–three measly hours–to write without interruption. Those attempts were born of desperation–I had a deadline, and a project I cared about, and I was determined not to fail. (I finished. Quite the load off my mind. And I have discovered that getting to the library, where I do not log on to the internet, is an absolute miracle. I have not worked so efficiently, nor so well, since the advent of wifi.)

But the problem with deciding that the internet is the enemy of one’s productivity is that one’s website tends to suffer. So that’s one explanation wrapped inside a rather flimsy excuse. Another is simpler: like most blogs, this one has lost a bit of steam. One begins in a rush of excitement, and one has a lot to say. Then years go by, and one tires of the sound of one’s voice. This is endemic; many of my favorite websites have petered out a bit over the years. I wish they hadn’t, and I confess that I get annoyed with their authors for leaving me stranded. Now I myself have become annoying, and so it’s time to break down the fourth wall and apologize, sincerely, for updating so sporadically. Unfortunately, I can’t in good faith promise to reform my sporadic and annoying ways.

I have considered shuttering the blog, of course. Do I still have anything meaningful to say? Fact is, I do have things I want to post–Important, Relevant, Helpful things, essays I’ve mulled over while sitting in traffic, brilliant original thoughts I’ve jotted down groggily in the backs of books in the middle of the night, then forgotten about. But I am lazy and distracted and undisciplined and time, as it invariably does when one is not abject and lonely, keeps speeding up. I’ve gone back and forth about this a million times…if I can’t hold up my end of things, shouldn’t I just be honest with myself, honest with you? I can always write in my journal, after all. If I’m not going to fish, I should have the sense to know it’s time to cut bait.

But I don’t want to just write in my journal. I want to write to and for you.

There’s no question that keeping up with this website is much harder to manage now than it was back when I was still stumbling around beating my miserable divorced head into the wall. I’m happier now, busier now, more inclined to get outside and weed the flowerbeds than stay in to write something obnoxious about my ex-husband. Truly, I don’t think I can ever match the frequency with which I wrote during those first couple of years. Here, have some more excuses. I’m typing this perched on the piano bench–the only available seat–in my dining room, which is filled with the living room furniture. The living room itself is empty, because its ceiling had to be taken down, because I’m having the sloped floors upstairs repaired. Then the house will go on the market. I have overnight guests coming tonight, and a dumpster in the yard, and it’s baseball season again for both children, each of whom is rostered on about sixteen different teams.Every day I run around like a lunatic and then collapse into bed at night with a novel, feeling guilty at all the things I have not done.

I have never been known for my tremendous powers of concentration, nor for anything that might be termed an urge toward overachievement. Wherever possible, I let things slide; that this website has slithered down the slippery slope of uncompleted tasks is a constant source of mild and persistent shame. But there’s nothing to do but be honest about the state of things.  I don’t want you to be vexed when I don’t update. But I don’t want you to give up on me. So I encourage you to subscribe to the blog, if only to spare yourself the annoyance of checking the homepage and coming up with the same stale post for weeks on end. (I don’t know how to make an RSS feed button, but I’d be happy to do that too.)

I’m still here, is what I’m trying to say. I will always post as often as I can.

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. April 12, 2012 1:52 pm

    I’ll be here, waiting patiently, excited about new posts, and quietly wishing you well when there aren’t any.

  2. Anonymous for now permalink
    April 12, 2012 1:59 pm

    Same as PinkieBling above. I’m wondering if you would consider a guest post on your blog? If I could submit a personal essay to you, for your approval, in keeping with your blog theme, looking for feedback and others’ thoughts? Just curious.

    Wishing you all the best, as I get my car ready to travel your path.

  3. April 12, 2012 2:01 pm

    i love you! please don’t ever leave!

  4. April 12, 2012 2:12 pm

    For a moment there, I thought you were describing me: ‘I have never been known for my tremendous powers of concentration, nor for anything that might be termed an urge toward overachievement. Wherever possible, I let things slide…’

    I guess the steam comes and goes, you’re not running out of it forever. With my (older) professional blog (which was supposed to be read by clients, you know), it never occured to me to apologise for not posting every week. I was on holiday or I had too many deadlines or I couldn’t think of anything clever to say… I would rather hear from you when you are really in the mood for posting rather than just a placeholder or throwaway piece of work. So please continue posting, when you can…

  5. April 12, 2012 2:21 pm

    You were one of the first blogs added to my RSS feed and I get so excited when I see you’ve posted. Believe me, I’m not going anywhere. And if you are posting less frequently because you are kind of in a better place, well, that’s a trade off that is totally worth it.

  6. Melody_NC permalink
    April 12, 2012 2:48 pm

    I’m already subscribed and must say I get a little thrill when I see a new post from you in my blog reader. Hmmm, that sounds a little weird but hopefully you know what I mean. Basically I came for the divorce and stayed for the writing. I’ll read whatever you’d like to write about whenever you feel like posting. Glad things are going well although a little hectic!

  7. irretrievablybroken permalink*
    April 12, 2012 3:04 pm

    Damn, you guys are nice. So there IS a way to subscribe via RSS? It’s already there? Go figure. I’ve really got no business wallowing in the kindness of complete strangers on the internet, since I don’t even know how to work it. I don’t know what RSS stands for, either.

    Anonymous for now, yes! email me at irretrievablybroken@gmail.com.

    • April 12, 2012 6:03 pm

      Yep, most RSS (really simple syndication) feed readers will allow you to subscribe just by entering the blog’s URL. You don’t *have* to have the button. Check out Google Reader sometime if you have a minute – it’s pretty simple to use, and beats the pants off constantly refreshing your favorite blogs!

  8. DES permalink
    April 12, 2012 3:14 pm

    I also came for the divorce and stayed for the writing, and the knowing comments on being the spouse, and the ex, of an academic. Too, too true. And reflected on intelligently far too infrequently, when one considers the size of the relevant sets.
    So post as you please, I can wait.

  9. April 12, 2012 3:49 pm

    Oh goodness. Post when you can. Plenty of other shit to feel guilty over. We are all happy that you’re happier!

  10. April 12, 2012 6:10 pm

    If there is a way to subscribe to you via RSS I haven’t found it, but finding that you have posted in my email works for me. . .I’m glad you’re hanging in there, despite life happening. I’m glad things are better. Kind of sad you’re selling the house, after all; but i know this is what makes sense to you. Don’t stop posting. Just one thought: when you have time to think it: Maybe now that the divorce impetus (which I will not say more about than that it saved my sanity several times during my own divorce) is gone, you need a new one? Maybe not a whole new blog, but –

  11. April 12, 2012 10:06 pm

    I will read whatever you write whenever I can get it. Don’t apologize! And if you know you are headed for a blog drought and need a guest post, I too would be honored to contribute, but you don’t need to. We are patient, and happy you are happy.

  12. April 12, 2012 11:13 pm

    Aww, good luck with your house and all. you helped me so much through all the divorce stuff. i’m happy to read a post from you whenever you post!

  13. April 12, 2012 11:55 pm

    Please do keep up your blog!

  14. Julie permalink
    April 13, 2012 6:25 am

    Stop by when you can. I am always interested.

    One of the best things ever said on this topic was, I think, by Bueno Baby, who wrote, “Tough shit, BLOG. I had a LIFE thing going on.”

  15. Nan permalink
    April 13, 2012 9:13 pm

    Excellent. I check everyday, happy to find a new post whenever.

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