I think I’m going to stop writing.
Trust me when I say I never thought I’d say those words.
The thought first passed through my mind on Sunday when I was rereading the last thing I wrote: an epitaph of sorts for a friendship that is no longer. Looking through it from a writer’s perspective, it reads like a blog post, like something I’d share with the world (or my minuscule band of misfit readers, whoever/wherever they are) instead of…. a personal vendetta of hurt (or whatever the equivalent of an “adult diary entry” is. I don’t know.) In short, my writing voice has changed over the years. (Yes, I know that’s the natural progression of the writer but all change is not good change.) To test that theory, I went to my blog and searched through the archives for the posts that gripped my soul with their throat-punching grit and honesty. I can see the vast difference, can you? Here are a few of them:
On Monday, the thought grew more persistent and I texted and emailed a few select about my halfway-at-the-time decision. Yesterday, I made it Facebook official and you would’ve thought I said I was shaving my head! Inquiring minds wondered why I would make such a decision since writing is as much a part of my life as food or drink is. I can’t leave inquiring minds in the dark so, here’s my reasoning for thinking such a dastardly, sacrilegious thought:
Even though I have been writing for 16 years, I’ve had the blog for 5 years and have under 300 followers. That should not bother me, but it does. Some writers say they don’t write for the off chance of readership or publication, rather for themselves, but I don’t think that’s solely true. We crave feedback. I can see the difference in my blog when I was writing for myself, writing to process, and when I started writing with you, dear Reader, in mind. I miss the feedback and it sickens me for both reasons: that I’m not getting it and that I desire it more than I desire the joy of writing. I miss writing for myself; but even in writing privately, my writing voice has changed and I need to find that gutty grittiness again.
Content creation/marketing is just… too much and social media has sapped all the joy out of writing and sharing because it’s all about likes and followers and algorithms. (I think I’d feel this way—and more so— even if my blog got 500 likes and comments regularly.) And trying to write consistently (which is harder than it appears to be on the surface) and keep up with everything? Sigh. It’s exhausting.
Writing just… isn’t fun anymore. It feels like a job.
Additionally, I’m now working a demanding job with a steep (so far anyway) learning curve while teaching myself programming/web development in my off-hours, getting up an hour before work, and staying up after work to learn and study. It’s a lot!
I got so many shocked and concerned reactions on Facebook last night from people who, I’m sure at least some of them, never read any of the words I wrote. I find that kinda funny.
I need to focus on web development and finding my joy of writing again—(I have another blog about my progress of teaching myself web development but that’s tech writing—a whole different beast!)—so, while I might be writing privately, this will probably be my last public post on this personal blog.
Thank you, dear Reader, for tagging along through the journey.