This blog is shutting down for a period—at least nine months. No, I am not pregnant and needing to devote my time to nurturing The Baby Inside of Me. Quite simply, I am about to start teaching college classes in the fall as part of my assistantship, will be getting married in December, will be writing my Masters thesis, and will be working to graduate in May. Out of all of that, there are several reasons that give rise to a necessary break from the writing of the blog. They are as follows:
First, during the school semester, there’s really no time to write here anyway. My second year of graduate school will be busier than the last. Even if there is a snippet of time that pops up, it’s not going to be enough to write a quality post. What exactly is a quality post? I’ll answer that in a bit.
Second, when teaching, it’s unavoidable that your students are going to Google your name. If you do that with mine, my name is unique enough to where this blog is one of the first hits on your search results. So, this blog is easy to find. It’s always best to keep a certain distance between you and your students. I will do this by not writing during the semesters. I don’t need (or want) to have the following scenario: A student comes up to me before class, says, “Hey, I read your last blog post,” and then wants to talk about it with me when we really need to be focusing on The Odyssey or Medea.
Third, feeling the need to update your blog regularly while teaching affords too many tempting options to let off steam about stupid/ignorant/clueless/rude/inconsiderate students online. That is simply a temptation I do not want to put in front of myself. I like to think I have more integrity and compassion than that.
Fourth, I don’t really feel like a blog satisfies certain ambitions. A quality post, to me, has to have something of consequence in the text block. Writing about your kid’s dirty diaper, funny as it may be, is a waste of your time and a waste of your readers’ time. (Perhaps that’s harsh and perhaps people would argue I’ll feel differently once I have a child of my own, but I’m pretty positive I will never write about Huggies-encased feces.) But a quality post, for me, also entails quantity. If something is really worth writing about and worth writing about well, it’s going to take a good amount of words to articulate it. Those of you who are regular readers here know I do not write typical blog posts in that rarely (if ever) do I write one in less than 500 words. Blogs are usually (but not always) meant to be quick, light, and snappy. I can’t remember the last time a post here embodied that. In fact, I rarely refer to my posts as “posts” because of how lengthy they are. Usually I feel more led to use the word “article” or “essay.” Quite simply, I have ideas in my head about writing pieces that aren’t very blog-esque to begin with. Perhaps I need to begin to seek out a new sort of medium for my words.
Fifth, my life will look very different in nine months, and I just may not care about blogging anymore. I may be preoccupied with more interesting uses of my time, such as: hanging out with my gorgeous wife, determining what career path post-Masters I want to enter into, and finding out if I can get any creative projects published. Speaking of . . .
Sixth, I feel the need to save my writing efforts for more creative purposes. I estimate that all of my writing on here averages 1,500 words a post, so I’ve written just shy of 200,000 words. That’s a hell of a lot of short stories I could’ve been writing or novels I could’ve been beginning in the meantime. That’s not an admittance laced with regret. I’ve enjoyed every post I’ve written on here and wouldn’t change how I spent that time. But I do acknowledge that priorities are shifting—so much so that I may want to exert and exhaust my word bank for more creative purposes moving forward. We’ll see how I feel once I graduate.
None of this means I’ll be deleting this blog. It can stay up here for however long as far as I care. But life does come in seasons, so there is need to reevaluate uses of one’s time every now and then. Blogging takes up a considerable amount of the clock for me. Though most people probably don’t spend a whole lot of time crafting, drafting, editing, and revising their blog posts, I do—almost to a perfectionistic extent. That could be a lot of time spent elsewhere more wisely, and given how often I find myself complaining that I never have time to write short stories, maybe the hours the blog hogs are meant to be used somewhere else. Who knows? Again, all of this will be reevaluated come May.
My blog is not one that receives hundreds of hits each day (unless it’s the Queer Press Series or that one post about when I got engaged), but I know there have still been some faithful readers nonetheless. Honestly, you’re the only reason this thing still exists. It’s unavoidable that any people who write, no matter how humble they might try to be, still possess a small shred of narcissism when it comes to what they’ve written. They want others to read it. Even if it’s just a small group of folks, they still write to be read. Many posts on here have never received a comment and many have. Many people—random souls at times—have sent me e-mails or Facebook messages of encouragement expressing their gratitude and enjoyment, and I cannot begin to express the overwhelming thanks I feel towards such people. To those who think this was a worthwhile use of their time, I’m forever grateful. Perhaps it still will be to someone down the road, so that’s why I’m not deleting it. Again, new content could pop up here again. We’ll see.
But that’s all for now and for a while. I hope reading this finds you in a swell season of your own.