Tuesday, August 11, 2015

An Unplanned Sabatical

So, you may have noticed there hasn't been any writing in this space for almost a month (well, outside of a review for a new Berenstain Bears book I got for my daughter and buried in a blank space in June). I didn't plan on not writing, but things sort of combined to make it so.

I went to the Mid-Atlantic Church of the Nazarene teen camp, which was awesome - then left a couple days later for vacation in Colorado. I thought I'd get some writing done in down time there, but our three year old ended up in the hospital with a kidney infection for half the week. She's pretty much doing fine now - although parenting a three year old is always an adventure.

It's been a good time off for me. I've found in trying to keep the discipline of two posts a week, there are really times when things get stretched. And by "things" I mean my brain and my creativity and, sometimes, my sanity. I was really running dry there for a while.

I get nervous when I get off schedule. To be honest, it's mostly for selfish reasons. I'd like to write more. I'd like to be writing in ways that might pay a little bit of money from time to time. I get those chances occasionally. The main reason I started writing and writing regularly was to keep in practice. Writing well takes repetition, like anything else. I like writing. I need to write. Sort of connected to that was the notion that I often had lots of things to say about topics that people around me didn't always care too much about. Writing it online was an easy way to get my ideas out there without upsetting my friends and neighbors - it also provides the bonus of being able to be discovered by people who are interested in some of the same things.

Lastly, though, I write because I am trying to create some kind of presence. I like to see the page hits go up and it's fun when people share these posts. It makes me feel an extra sense of fulfillment - beyond the surge that comes from just getting something down in words (and occasionally doing it well). In the past, when I've taken time off (usually because of business or creative burnout) the audience and hits have dropped off dramatically - taking months to swing back to a "normal" range. It's not that I really care if people are reading, but I do care if all the hard work I've put in to being faithful to write gets wiped out by a few missed postings. I'm not sure I can explain it properly (or if it's entirely healthy - more fodder for counseling!), but that's not quite relevant to what I wanted to say today anyway. This time, though, that hasn't happened. I'm not sure if there's enough in the kitty to keep people coming back or if the search bots have just multiplied.

I got some much needed time off and return to the regular schedule with a lot of ideas (just wait until Thursday!) - I also come with a real sense that I can disappear for a little while without being entirely forgotten. That's thanks to you.

So, thanks.

Thanks for reading and sharing and commenting and thinking. It's nice to know there's someone else out there.

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