Friday, July 14, 2006


Heading out of town for a few days. Good timing. I am considering stopping blogging.

Reasons to stop: I can't afford the time, especially now. Dissatisfaction with the quality of what I produce, particularly in comparison to other bloggers. It's just too hard sometimes, putting myself out there.

Reasons to continue: It is a creative outlet. The fact that something is difficult isn't a reason not to do it. Blog friendships.

There. I’ve said it. That's a relief in itself. Let's see if the break helps to clear the head.

At the moment though I'm coming down on the side of stopping.


Blogger Stray said...

Mmm ... difficult decision.

I want to wrap you up in reassurance that I love what you write, and apart from being well written and sensitive and emotive, it is also 'you' - and although I'm sure there are better photographers and writers in the world, blogging is about people not critique. I suspect you didn't write this for that kind of stuff though, so feel free to brush it aside as feels comfortable ;)

I love Daisy-Winifred's take on it over on animatedstardust - she says she writes as tool not trade. That the process is more valuable than the product is inherent in blogging, and that the product happens to have value to others is a happy accident for which I, as a reader, am very grateful.

I am so new to this ... but have found my small amount of courage to begin, to try, to push forward, not by reading the journals of the great writers who know exactly what they are doing and produce crafted essays worthy of a newspaper column ... but in the honest, open, vulnerable stuff that other people stick up despite their obvious doubts and worries about doing so.

That said, it is your tool, your honesty, your life that you're sharing, your time that you are spending ... so, I think it is a matter only of the impact on you.

Blogging reminds me of therapy (when it is working). Every couple of weeks I vow that I will stop, quit, put it all away. The constant exposure is tiring and painful. But I continue to be glad that I haven't yet although I may do next week :)

Enjoy your time away,


10:05 am  
Anonymous Natalie said...

I echo what stray said. Sometimes it's good to take a break from the blogging world but it's also good to return. "tool not trade" is an excellent motto for blogging.

Hope you enjoy your break.


10:59 am  
Blogger herhimnbryn said...

All that Stray said!
Have a good break and be well. It's your decision m'dear. Just know that I, like many others would miss your images and words and thoughts.
Take care.

12:48 pm  
Blogger MuseinMeltdown said...

Blogging can become a self-fufilling prophecy... It should be an outpouring of freeflowing ideas,not a slavish chore. Hugs and take care - but I will miss your comments and insights into life if you leave. Remember also it is not about quantity but quality of thought.

1:04 pm  
Blogger Sky said...

ohhh, mary, i am sorry to hear that you have so many expectations of yourself here...i wish it felt more like a place to let your hair down and share yourself. i enjoy reading your posts and will miss you if you disappear. i am glad you are getting away for a few days. the pressure you are under right now must be weighing heavy. my moves always seem to paralyze me for a while.

i wish you didn't feel a need to compare yourself to other bloggers. there is no other mary bringing us a breath of air. pure and simple - you are the one. :)

1:19 pm  
Blogger Brenda said...

I think we all struggle with these questions and that you have, as ever, in sensitive, simple and eloquent writing, said it. It's hard to put ourselves on the line and write and post and hope what we've said is meaningful to someone else.

I, too, would miss you greatly if you took an extended break. Your posts are delicately written, wonderful respites in the writing world, but I understand how hard it is to maintain that voice perhaps.

So sometimes slip into sloppy writing... or long-winded writing... letting other sides of who you are manifest.

My biggest problem with blogging is that I tend to spend copious amounts of time commenting at other writers' sites who almost never visit mine and so I deal constantly with questions of reciprocity and whether my writing is of any value.

I keep making the decision to stop the one-way flow, that it drains rather than energizes, leaves me feeling often confused and somehow humiliated. Like why am I leaving these indepth, long, erudite and often caring comments at sites where I may be responded to in the comment thread, but not in terms of readership at my own site.

It's a pressing problem for me, and one that I struggle with daily now, swearing off it, then finding I'm doing it. So I especially love the reciprocal blogging relationships... and would greatly miss yours, Mary.

So I hope you take a break, and come back, and keep writing, keep sharing your thoughts, feelings, world with us.


1:46 pm  
Blogger Jean said...

Aiee. I'm trying to take the view that my struggle with exactly these issues - perfectionism, competitiveness - is worthwhile in itself, and blogging is a useful place to work with it. The process not product thing, which Stray puts very well, is so true. I hope you won't stop. Your blog is so beautiful, exquisite, but not at the expense of feeling. But change happens. Maybe now. Maybe sometime. Eventually, almost certainly.

1:59 pm  
Blogger chuck said...

It can be healing to stop for "a breath of air"... I have been stopping by your weblog for "a breath of air"... the air at the springs in Ireland you wrote about.

Don't make a sudden decision...just take "a break"; then see.

4:55 pm  
Blogger rdl said...

Oh Mary, I certainly hope not - I for one (among many) will miss you. Just take a break and just do it when the spirit moves you.

5:25 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What Sky said. Blogging should be fun. If it becomes a chore, by all means, stop.

8:34 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever you do, you will give value to it; I can tell that from all you've written. I wish you all the best in your new life [the place you've chosen has a lot of echoes for me]. I hope you keep blogging, because I really enjoy your blog; however, it's your choice, and your life.


9:10 pm  
Blogger Dale said...

Well, if you think you can wriggle out of your blog friendships just by stopping blogging, you're sorely mistaken, Ms Mary.

:-) I love your blog. Lots of people do. But you must of course do whatever makes most sense for you. I always discourage people from feeling like a blog's a responsibility. Part of the joy or them, to me, is that they're completely gratuitous. Do them while they're fun, and don't when they're not.

12:53 am  
Blogger zhoen said...

Not to mention a certain shadowy blogger (Abdul Walid/Teju Cole) who has done temporary runs of blogs, tipping off a few other bloggers who get the word out, and then he takes them down and disapears again.

Not recommending this, really. But make your own rules, play with the form. Turn it upside down and wear it as a hat. I love your blog, always have. But it has to please you.

3:01 am  
Blogger LJ said...

Or you could wait until you're settled in your new home. Until the pressure of packing and being in a flurry of change has settled a little.

And when you are in a new place, seeing the world the way we do when everything is new - and you are at that creative, awake time - you could post some pictures. You have such a good eye.

And you could write again, when it feels exciting to do it and when you can use it as a tool of expression.

Stray's comment was dead-on.

And although I'd understand if you paused or stopped, I would miss your posts, M.

1:00 pm  
Anonymous Jess said...

What Stray said! and what Sky said! and I would greatly miss you if you vanished, Mary. Maybe you would consider pausing instead of stopping?

At present, I can surely empathize with your reasons to stop. But I've been thinking about this comparison issue the past few days, after reading Zhoen's "Status" post. Comparison is a deadly enemy--of creativity, of communication, of self-esteem, of relationships, of enjoyment... I suppose the list could go on, but the point is made.

I hate to think we live in a world where it's more important to "produce" than to just be. Sometimes, just being is hard enough.

Now & then, when I question the value of doing this, I look back through my archives to see what's there. Go back and start rereading your blog from the beginning. You will see the value it has for you.

4:27 pm  
Blogger justin said...

If this is your last post, Mary, then I wish you all the best for your new life in the country. I've enjoyed reading your blog.

8:13 am  
Blogger MB said...

You must, of course, make the decision that is right for you.

You know that I have struggled with similar questions. Like Jean, I think the struggle itself is valuable — that is precisely why I started my blog. And it is a major reason I continue it — moving into the fears, the doubts, the blanknesses, puts me in motion that allows me to move through them. It's the only way I know. But that's me.

The other major reason I continue has to do with blog friendships. I would hope that, even if you discontinue or take breaks, you would still visit! Others do this and it seems to work just fine!

I've noticed a lot of bloggers taking periodic breaks that seem helpful. Or starting and stopping blogs. The pace of posting you choose, how many per week, whether you take the summer holidays off... it's all under your control. You have complete freedom to set whatever parameters you wish. Or none at all.

Lastly, I will say, loud and clear, that I enjoy your blog immensely. I look forward to your quiet, clear voice. I admire the photos you take, the words you choose, the points you make. You do things I could never do. You express your particular point of view and do it well, and THAT is what I value.

But the bottom line, what's most important, is that you find what works for you. Lots of options!

10:00 pm  
Blogger starnitesky said...

Mary, I love reading your blog and I sincerly hope you do not stop blogging, I echo what stray says, there will always be people who can be better at things. Your blog is always interesting to read, I feel you are a sensitive (and maybe shy) person like me, I do hope after your break you will decide to continue blogging. Best wishes.

10:06 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

Stray: you really are an outstanding commenter ... thank you. And also for the link to Daisy-Winifred. I will head over ..

Natalie: Thank you. Yes, I am going to take a break.

Herhimnbryn: I appreciate this. Thanks.

Shani: An outpouring of freeflowing ideas. Wonderful.

Sky: You are a warm and supportive ally. Thank you.

Ah Brenda: I so want to reassure you! I do understand so well about measuring one's worth in comments. But you need have no doubt about your own value, and that of your work ...

Jean: As always your words and thoughts are incisive and well-chosen. Thank you.

Chuck: I'm going to follow your advice ... and thank you for your kindess.

Rdl: I'll still stop by from time to time ...

Anonymous: You're right of course.

Jan: Thank you ... I appreciate this very much.

Dale: Fun? Blogging? Hmmm.... ;-)

Zhoen: Wear it as a hat! Love it. Thanks.

LJ: I'm thinking something along those lines ... As always. thank you.

Jess: But I don't do things in half-measures! Seriously, a pause, perhaps a long one, is looking more likely.

Justin: Thank you ....

MB: Thank you, and don't worry, I'll visit ....

Starnitesky: You guessed right about shy ... glad you dropped by.

11:50 pm  
Blogger Dave said...

(I was anonymous #1. Not sure why it didn't register my identity.)

3:43 pm  
Blogger Tarakuanyin said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog, and will miss it. I hope you decide to come back.

7:22 am  
Blogger Mary said...

Tarakuanyin: thank you .....

6:29 pm  
Blogger Sonia said...

Hi Mary, I've enjoyed reading your blog and I will miss you if you stop your blog. I can understand your feelings and I can say that sometimes I think stopping blogging,too. For me, because of the English. It's hard many times understand the text and to write a comment. I made many languages mistakes! The time is also a concern about it. Anyway, for now, I am on the side of no stopping.
I wish all the best to you and I hope you enjoy your break.

11:34 pm  

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