Fading to black…

If someone had told me 15 years ago that I would spend a great deal of my free time hanging out on a computer “talking” to strangers and sharing tales of my life and my thoughts with these strangers I would have laughed my ass off and replied “Don’t think so, I am not a socially inept person.” Life is funny like that though, it has a way of taking you places that you don’t necessarily plan on going.

After 4 years of slogging away in this space, it has brought me a lot of joy, I have met some cool people and it allowed me to express myself in a way that I needed in order to grow. Yet in recent weeks I have realized that this space has a dark side for me and right now I am trying to decide if it’s time to say good bye.

The past few weeks professionally have been intense, as I joke on my twitter bio, I am the non-profit extraordinaire, but that really isn’t a joke; I am damn good at what I do. I started at the bottom in my field, went to school and worked my way up. Though I choose to run a small agency, in the past several months alone I have been contacted by headhunters and other organizations about positions that a few short years ago would have made me jump for joy. Leading an agency with revenues of 5 million dollars? Fuck yeah!  In less than 2 weeks I raised more than enough money to keep my agency’s summer program open and brought in the type of donors I have been bugging my board about for years, donors that will help cement the financial security of our organization. I won’t lie, I took a risk with the move that I made, one that could have backfired, I prayed and meditated for guidance knowing if this move didn’t work, I was jeopardizing our agency’s 17 year history.

So now that the kids and families that are served by my agency won’t lose their summer programming, I thought I would be relaxed and happy but I haven’t been happy. See, until this morning, I was too busy feeling like a loser because this space isn’t as successful as other bloggers blogs. I was bummed because I wasn’t going to the BlogHer conference; I was bummed because PR people say my numbers are low. In other words everything about this space has been bumming me out.  That dissatisfaction is spilling out into other areas of my life and frankly it must stop.

Addicts typically like the addictive behavior that is bad for them, but they reach a point with the booze or drugs or whatever when they know they need to stop. I am not saying I am some type of blog addict, but I know that writing for print publications doesn’t bring out the tension that I am now starting to feel around this space. I wrote professionally for 5 years before I ever blogged and looking back, my writing did not interfere with my career as a non-profit administrator. I enjoyed the columns I wrote and enjoyed the extra cash I earned. Yet in blogging I feel like I am a hamster on a wheel always wanting more and I don’t know if I can get off and find balance.

Last week I had little time to blog and it felt good, yet when I read most blogs now or even check in on fellow tweeps who blog, I feel the tension rise. Frankly it’s a shitty feeling. Right now I am exploring ways that maybe I can occasionally blog and still maintain my online presence but if there is no way to do it and maintain a semblance of balance, I will be fading into the black and pulling the plug here.

In other words blogging and everything about it, isn’t bringing out the best in me. Life is too short and precious to not enjoy what I have and pining away for what I don’t have is a waste of time. I am hoping I can find that balance that will allow me to keep this space open, but if not then I see this as one of many destinations on this journey we call life that we outgrow.

16 thoughts on “Fading to black…”

  1. Guh.. I so feel you on the numbers situation. If you ever figure out how to blow it up, let me know?

    On the other hand, you’re putting out great writing and have a loyal fan base, and that’s not a bad thing…

  2. Well, I always come here to read and learn. I’ll be sorry that an important avenue of thought and information will be gone. I have never wanted to blog, or frankly, write publicly at all, so I don’t know the struggle you feel. That being said, if your needs are not being met, then I respect whatever you choose to do. I have enjoyed reading what you have to say and hope you will find a place to write where you can feel more satisfied. I’ll keep checking back on your Portland column as well. Good luck and thanks for being there to enlighten me and others.

  3. Pingback: Why I Blog
  4. I just found ur blog today and was so excited abour it! The material is great! I wish you nothing but the best!

  5. you are one of the few bloggers i am reading/following right now. hope you find your happy place…but keep sharing until you do, okay?

  6. This is my first time commenting here, but I’ve been a reader of your blog for a month now. I hope that you do continue blogging but that you continue to do it on your own terms. I’ve been blogging for two years, and I felt at odds with it until I figured out that the things I was chasing in blogging were things I really didn’t want but that I thought I wanted because every “good” blogger I knew wanted them.

    I don’t really want to be a brand ambassador. I don’t really want to be known as the lady who knows and is friends with every blogger. I don’t want to be a better blogger. I don’t want to be the most popular blogger…anymore.

    I want to write well.

    I use my blog as a medium to do that, to write. My stats are good, but not because of any intentional efforts I’m making to make them good. I just write and connect with other writers and human beings who are of interest to me. That’s it.

    I hope you find your happy medium and keep writing because it seems you are awesome at that. Make blogging work for you and I promise, you will come to love it again. I promise! 🙂

  7. Hey there, I *hear* what you are saying. Our convo on twitter last night started because I too felt I wasn’t in line with other bloggers, that perhaps I was doing something wrong because I wasn’t getting the type of opportunities that I wanted. It bummed me out too, I second guess if all the time I spend on my blog, networking with others, really matters. But once again I go back to why I started blogging, and for me it is how I grow and learn and reflect, and I will not compromise my integrity by posting anything that isn’t 100 – which is what I feel alot of bloggers are doing. At the end of the day it’s not about the numbers, which is what brands make you think. Large numbers don’t equate a firm fanbase, it doesn’t mean you have readers that actually care what you have to say. As I told you yesterday, you have to make a decision that will allow you to breathe comfortably and keep your sanity. There is nothing wrong with taking a break from blogging, because if it’s not fun, you shouldn’t be doing it. Looking forward to meeting you this summer.

  8. I just started reading your blog about 2 months ago. I’m not a blogger. I’ve been yearning for blog with as much forethought and intelligence as yours from a shared perspective. I hope you find peace in your writing but you will be missed.

  9. Ultimately, do whatever is going to make you happy. Please allow me to tell you how I’ve loved reading your blog. I follow A LOT of blogs and news sources but whenever I see that you’ve posted something I am excited to read it. I sit down with your words, while I skim others. I absorb your insight, while I’m mostly disconnected from others. So thank you for the time you’ve put into this, whichever path you take from here. You’ve certainly made THIS black girl in Maine feel a little less insane. Also, I hope we can brunch soon 🙂

  10. You tweeted me and this is the first time I read your blog. I sure understand what you are saying. I was struggling with the exact same debate. I guess I still am. I say was, because after a year of writing a new song every week, I took a break. That was a tough decision, because I was addicted to writing the songs and getting the fan feedback….but these mofos fans are not buying much of my album. I have sold a handful, but thats the struggle I am working with now….how to make some money with this thing so I can feel good about myself for doing it. Anyhow, great writing, and I would like to invite you to be a blogger on my site if you ever have the need to vent about hypocrisy. Peace.

  11. I have had this struggle before. I have had a blog since oh, about 2000 in one form or another. Basically it is my diary, that happens to touch on things I think are important. At times I have tried to turn it into something else; a lifestyle blog that is pretty and full of beautiful pictures of my home, a commentary/review blog on music and books, an art blog, a place to sell my art…And I started to feel the same way. Looking at blogs that were what I wanted mine to be made me feel like my life was inadequate. My clothes are not cool, I don’t have beautiful dinner parties with my friends, I don’t have any cool hair advice….. So I stopped it. I still look at those blogs but I don’t want mine to make people feel that way. That is part of why I made it private – just when I was gaining an audience by leaps and bounds.

    I hope you choose to write something somewhere. If you do please let me know.
    Also, I envy your career! Trying to make the jump into non profit work in Maine has been hard for me. I worked in community development for years in Canada and there are so many foreign certifications I seem to need here (that I can’t afford to get right now) to get a foot in the door. Congratulations on saving your summer programing. That is an awesome accomplishment!

  12. Keep writing regardless of the numbers! I know how you feel because, I have felt the same way at times.The truth is that God gave you writing as a gift. He will bring the people that it’s suppose to reach to your blog. Keep writing! We’re reading 🙂

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