I'm troubled. I've been thinking through some things pertaining to this blog, and quite frankly, I'm on the fence.
Like so many, I started this blog to keep family and friends in the know about our life. When we moved across the country almost 7 years ago, and away from the majority of my immediate family, it was so hard to lose that daily connection. This was a place I could post my daily or weekly updates, and pictures of our life. A way to keep us connected while we were apart.
Then my blog generated some traffic - though I will admit to you, I have no idea how. I wasn't out there promoting it. It was started for friends and family. But somehow, maybe through comments or links or friends of a friend - this blog gathered a following.
When we adopted Quint, my faithful readers grew exponentially and my writing began to shift. Not one causing the other, but just simultaneously. Once I became a mother, I felt like I was transitioning emotionally to a deeper place in my life. This caused my writing style to change a bit and the things I chose to write about became more abstract.
Winding down were the posts about daily life, weekend agendas, and the latest. And even though I still post updates, they are a bit more free-flowing and organic than they used to be. Not as much a "journal" as a place to be artistic.
Having said that, I have been struggling with what to do about this blog. Because a few things are weighing on me.
First, the pressure to keep it up and keep it up well. Though I enjoy this blog and take great pleasure in it, usually - my one rule for myself is that I write with sincerity and honesty and that I do it well. No slacking. I'd love to be a great blogger, but I'm just so-so. Maybe that's the stage of life I'm at - what with the little ones. I just can't find the time to write more often than a couple times a week and that feels a bit lazy.
Second, the number of people downloading pictures of my kids disturbs me and I'm beginning to worry about safety due to some things that have cropped up over time. All of this is tracked through a program I have running on the blog. It's tells me the who/what/when/where of activity to my blog - be it visitors, first time guests, commenters, and yes, those who download pictures of my children. Not just who, but specifically which pictures and how many times, and way more info than I need to know. Because honestly, I'd like to live in a blogger bubble that tells me all our information is safe and it's fine, and all my readers are good people. But I can't for the life of me understand why people would be downloading and saving pictures of my kids. I understand why my family does it. Just not the hundreds of others. Frankly, it's a bit creepy. I've even taken measures to stop this from happening, but they are just going around them. Creepier.
Third, let's talk about comments. And let's be honest. Comments are the point. Right? For many. You put yourself out there, post pictures of your family, write from your heart - and it's nice to hear that someone else was touched or blessed or moved or motivated... It's nice to know that your writing serves a purpose. The crux of course comes when certain people, who despite this great age of technology, still seem to think that by leaving a comment as anonymous are in fact anonymous (you are not, btw) and said comment is hurtful or rude or flat out nasty. That was a train wreck sentence, but I'm leaving it. Because the point is - bloggers seek validation through comments. Why else do it? And one rotten apple can spoil the bunch. SO. I'm on the fence. Always have been. My friend thinks I'm nuts. She loves comments like a good piece of chocolate. The truth of the matter is this; I too love your kind comments. They are many times my inspiration to keep writing. I just don't know that I want to keep comments turned on anymore. There's a certain safety in writing a post and knowing that people will simply have to keep their negative thoughts to themselves. That they won't have access to berate or discourage me. Quite honestly, I'm very sensitive. Always have been. Since birth. Ask my mother. It hurts me tremendously to receive negative feedback. (Remember, I don't post these ever, but receive them frequently) So I'm feeling more and more like taking comments off altogether is the answer. And perhaps for those of you who I hold so dear and have gotten to know over the years, we can stay connected through another source.
Fourth, I've thought about going to the dreaded format of password protection. For those unfamiliar, this would mean the blog would become invitation only. I know it's a pain. I know it's no fun. But I'm starting to feel vulnerable. There are things I would like to write about that I find myself censoring because I just have no idea who is reading this blog anymore. I can tell you the numbers are high. Much higher than I would have ever thought possible when I started. And it's flattering and heartwarming to me. But it's also a little bit vulnerable.
Fifth, and last - I'm not sure my heart is in it anymore - at least in this format. I'm living on the fence of being able to post extremely difficult topics about adoption, race, parenting, being a wife, my faith, and more and yet I'm always holding back because I don't want to deal with the judgments or the backlash. Maybe because of ALL the reasons above. That just doesn't sit well with me. Because of #1. Do it well and honestly, or close the laptop.
I've got decisions to make...but either way, I have truly loved having you with me over the years. Will you excuse me for a short bit while I choose the path that's best for my family?
Hugs to all of you,