Where Have I Gone? What’s Coming Next?

Whew – it was a doozy of a February! It looks like I was barely even online, going by my post schedule and how good (i.e. bad) a job I did at reading other people’s stuff. But that’s ok – I think I did more good by choosing the path I took this month.

It’s made me sit back and think, though: what are/were my goals for the blog? How is what I’m doing going to get me closer to those goals? Have my goals changed?

The short answer: my life goals have most definitely changed, and everything else has as a result.

The longer answer is more complex. Chief among the things behind all these changes is my depression has, in recent months, gotten significantly better. I am able to experience things and have my mind not instantly go to “well, life is basically over now.” I’m also not constantly afraid that I’m going to be fired, and thus I don’t feel like I have to get a book traditionally published as a backup career. I’ve never wanted to self-publish because then I’d have to spend time and effort being my own salesman, which I hate and am not good at. I’m not invested in blogging as a sales platform, and I’ve only done it when my short story contracts required some social media presence as part of my contract. And that’s fine. The career/monetary/advancement prospects of blogging have essentially evaporated.

Related to feeling less depressed, I have new reason to become more introspective for a while. It’s not bad stuff that’s happening, and neither is it good things coming to pass. It’s just real life things I need to meditate on, mull over, and think about. It’s things that I won’t be able to do by focusing on trying to make people like me – whether that be in real life or over the internet.

And, as much as I hate to admit it, I must let some things go, and it’ll be a while before I’m back on the blog at full speed.

So, new rules for my blog:

  1. I’m not going to be reading as many posts. Most people’s posts are interesting and fun, and I’ll still try to peruse the WordPress reader and pick a few to read, but I’m going to turn off all my email notifications. I can’t follow anyone religiously anymore.
  2. I encourage everyone to only read my posts if you’re actually interested. I’ve planned this year’s book review posts in advance (except June, which I may be changing), and all of those will be published on the blog and my Goodreads. I’ve also got many other posts planned in advance.
  3. Except for those posts I’ve already pre-planned, I’m only going to write a post if I’m inspired to do so. No more forcing myself to respond to a prompt with the hopes to bait people to the blog. No more struggle to boost the stats.
  4. I’ll respond as quickly as I can to comments, etc., but won’t work myself up over it.

In effect, these new “rules” will likely kill the blog. I assume I’ll start back up on full steam at some point, and I’ll potentially have to do so from almost scratch. I’m not worried, though, because there’s many times I’ve had to do something new. I don’t have a timeline for when I may pick up the blog again fully, and honestly it may end up being “never.”

Godspeed, my friends. Regardless how involved I am in your and your blog’s future, I hope I’ve improved a day or a moment for you in the past. You have almost certainly improved some of mine.

31 thoughts on “Where Have I Gone? What’s Coming Next?

  1. trentpmcd says:

    I have a love-hate relationship with my blog and blogging. When I’ve tried to take a sabbatical from it, I rarely go beyond a week of “cold turkey” quitting, and perhaps three-weeks of limited posts/reading. Enjoy all of the free time you gain from breaking away!

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      I don’t think I’m going completely cold-turkey. Same time, I’m probably not going to be doing nearly as much. I completely understand love-hate, too; I love a lot of the people (the real people) I meet on here, but there’s so much jumbling together of the personal with the impersonal that it can get frustrating.

      I have this idea that I’ll come back stronger in 6 months or a year. Maybe not as strong as I was a year ago when I had no job, but maybe I’ll have ideas on how to participate with the community in a more wholesome, genuine way.

  2. robertawrites235681907 says:

    Blogging serves different purposes in all of our lives, H. I am glad yours has done what it needed to and now you need to focus on your new career. Once day you may want to come back to blogging when your career has settled. You also may not want to, your career may become all encompassing. I wouldn’t have thought about sacrificing time to blog when I was your age at the beginning of my career. Writing is a meditation for me, of sorts, and it helps me deal with the disappointment and disillusionment I feel with my corporate life. Now because I am not successful at what I do, I am, it just seems to have no real meaning in the context of real life and the human story. I wish you all the very best.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      I don’t think I’m going away 100%, but I think I will be slowing significantly. Reading blog posts can take up a LOT of time (as I’m sure you know – I think you’re one of the biggest participants in the entire blogosphere! Wowies!)

      Iplan to come back after 6 months to a year – though at what speed we’ll have to wait and see. The hope is to become more genuine and thoughtful in what I do and participate in the community with better goals and stakes.

  3. D. Avery @shiftnshake says:

    First of all, thank you for the path you took this past month with rallying the community for Sue V.
    I hope we see you now and again at the Ranch and understand totally if we don’t. I feel also like I haven’t posted so much, written much lately and also know that that’s okay. Important things aren’t going to change if I don’t play the game. As far as writing goes, sometimes blogging seems like just walking a narrow plank between encouragement and discouragement, a bridge to nowhere. It’s hard to get off that plank even when you just want to sit on a rock for a while, or better yet, crawl back underneath it. One thing is true, though, and that’s having met some wonderful, good people. You’re one of them.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      Oh, I’ll be around a bit. I still plan on reading some posts, maybe doing a prompt or two – but not all the time. I’ll still do the history columns. 😉 And yeah, blogging is so hard to get a real grip on. Even though it says I’m close to 1k followers, what does that even mean? Nothing, if it’s just statistics.

      I think the main thing is I need to be introspective and look for ways to be genuine and truly work for the communal good rather than the good of “stats”. I need to find the “me” I’m looking for, both on and offline. I actually think working with the Rodeo this past month has given me a new lease on what blogging/internetting *should* be about, but it’s so hard to put my finger on it without sounding either hollowly self-aggrandizing or falsely humble.

      I’ll see you at the saloon, pard’ner.

  4. Tom Darby says:

    I’ve missed our interactions and I will continue to miss them. Your interest in my blog (my writing,) helped me out of my depression at the time when I needed it the most. You have been a wonderful encouragement. I wish and pray all the best to you my dear friend.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      I’m glad I was there at an important time – you were there for me, too. I think without each other, neither of us would be still here, on the blog, in nearly as big a fashion.

      I don’t think I’ll disappear entirely, but I’ll be a mere shadow of what I once was. I hope to be back in real form in six months or a year, but do so with more genuine fervor and an eye for what is right rather than what is expedient.

      Absolutely wishing the best for you.

  5. Pink Roses says:

    Take your time and get to know yourself better. I think that’s what you are doing. It’s something I have tried to do myself. Covid has made us all introspective. The best time for me is in the evening, all jobs done. I sit alone and let myself just be. All the best, and glad to hear your depression is lifting. There is nothing else so debilitating.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      Thank you for your kind words – I think you’re more right about all this than you can possibly know! I really do want to meditate more, but I have to start making time for it, haha.

      Thank you for being around – I wish I could have reciprocated better. 🙂

  6. Miriam Hurdle says:

    I’m not as energetic about my blog as I was 3 or 4 years ago, HRR. Back then, I spent so much time doing challenges, responding to comments and visiting blogs. It was like a snowball which knew no stop. Finally, I did NaNoWriMo one year and put blogging on hold for the whole month and felt okay. After I published the poetry book, I posted irregularly. In 2019, I tried to post book reviews every well but was struggling to keep up. The last year, I had a hard time to have a regular sleep schedule because of lack of activities during Covid. Getting a good night sleep is a daily chore.

    I’m making adjustments every day for my life and blogging. As to blogging, I like to do it as an enjoyment rather than obligation.

    I hope you take time to get your career established. It’s a tougher journey to establish a publishing career. I do it as a hobby.

    You can always keep your blog open and do any amount of interaction as you want. Wish you the best.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      Thank you, Miriam, for your insights. I don’t plan on closing up entirely, but I also don’t plan on posting with the idea of raising my stats. I want to be more genuine about all my activities, both on and off line.

      I’ll still be around, and if I see you when I’m browsing the reader, I’ll stop by. 🙂 In the meantime, you get some sleep.

      • Miriam Hurdle says:

        I know, HRR. I’m okay with my blog for now. Yes, I’m still trying to get some sleep, make sure to walk for two miles and ride the recumbent bike for a few miles to see if they would help. 🙂

  7. LucciaGray says:

    A blogging break now and again is a good idea. Sometimes it all gets too much and we have to reduce our to do list. You may want to cone back, I always do!
    I had some dark moments last year and read some helpful personal growth books, which, I’ve posted about on my blog every Monday.
    I hope you find your way to your equilibrium. I know it’s a cliché, but time tends to put everything and everyone in their place. Patience and faith, are also helpful. I wish you all the best.💗

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      Thank you, Luccia. I think I’m not going to leave 100%, but I’m going to limit my responding (and, if I feel moved to do so, post-writing) only on Saturdays. I’ve pretty much got all of this year’s books read and reviews written up, so I’m kind of set to not completely disappear until the end of 2021.

      But yes, you’re right. There’s a drive in me to find an equilibrium, become a better person, and be who I feel I really am. First goal? Find that person. 🙂

      Blessings to you and yours.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      I’ll still be around some! If I catch you on the reader, I’ll still poke in and say hi!

      And thanks for encouraging me, too. There was one photo you had for a prompt – a frog with some slime – that I’ll never forget. (Not to mention the Draman, haha!)

  8. Peter Martuneac says:

    I’ll definitely still be reading your book review posts, but I’ll miss your insightful comments on my posts! Maybe I’ll try to lure you out with another post about Ulysses Grant and Robert Lee in the future haha

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      Oh, I’ll still be around. I might read more like a few posts a week rather than a few posts a day.

      And yes, anything Civil War or Age of Jackson (esp. Age of Jackson – you just wait for my March reading list) will rile me to action.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      I think they’ll lead me in a good direction. I’ve started doing more thinking on my situation and my self, and I think now is a time I’ll kind of have to keep working on the introspective stuff. I’ll be around half-heartedly for a while, but perhaps I can share more when I’m back up to full.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.